Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake

The other day I asked my friend what food should I wave in front of her in case she falls into a coma. You know, just regular lunch time conversation. Hey, come on, it can happen...look at soap operas!

She instructed me to wave little squares of Scharffen Berger chocolate in front of her.

Dear friends, please take note. Please present the following to me should I have a medical emergency (Treats listed in no particular order):

a. Fresh lemon tartlets
b. Mochi (especially kinako and pink with white beans)
c. Wasabi mashed potato salad from Delica in San Francisco (I also think the powerful smell of wasabi might help wake me too)
d. Carnitas burritos. Hello, wouldn't you wake up for this?
e. Pumpkin bread
f. Kettle Corn (only made a Farmer's Market, not from the store. Dude, I'm in a coma and only want the best :)
g. This Gingerbread Apple-Upside Cake

Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs mentioned this cake to me and she had me at Ginger. I'm all about the Ginger. And Apples. And Cakes without Frosting. And Cakes that are upside down.

I found that Smitten Kitchen adapted the recipe. She cut the molasses and added honey in the cake, and caramelized the sugar for the topping. I just cut the molasses some, but followed her technique for the topping. That change added a really nice caramel flavor to the apples.

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
After pouring the brown sugar/butter topping on the bottom of the pan, Fuji apples were placed on top.

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
This has a LOT of batter. The recipe calls for a 10" pan. I baked it in a 9 x 3 inch pan, and I think it would go way up to the top (if not overflow) a 9 x 2 inch pan. So, if you don't have the recommended 10" pan and use a 9 x 2, I wouldn't add all the batter (make a little mini cake to go along with this cake!)

I actually made it twice. The first time I put it into a 10" cast iron skillet, added all the batter and it way, way overflowed. Luckily I had some foil under the skillet!

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
Because I was using a 9" pan, I had to bake it a lot longer than the recipe...65 minutes.

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
This cake is delicious! It takes like fall on a plate. I loved the gingerbread cake so much I could just eat that without the apples...but that would be silly because the apples rock it too.

Recipe:
My adaptation - click here for printable recipe
Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Karen Bates at the Philo Apple Farm via the New York Times (published: October 27, 2009) and Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake (blog post: Monday, November 23, 2009)

Topping
2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan (This is different than NY Times and Smitten Kitchen's versions)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 apples (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges

Batter
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup molasses (This is less than NY Times version)
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Note: This has a LOT of batter. The recipe calls for a 10" pan. I baked it in a 9 x 3 inch pan, and I think it would go way up to the top (and might overflow) a 9 x 2 inch pan. So, if you don't have the recommended 10" pan and use a 9 x 2, I wouldn't add all the batter (make a little mini cake to go along with this cake!)

Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan (I used a 9" x 3 cake pan). Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring until thick. I forgot to add the salt but Smitten Kitchen says to swirl it in. The New York Times recipe doesn't caramelize the sugar and butter in a pot; I really liked the nice caramel flavor. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of your cake pan. Make circles of overlapping apple slices on top of the caramel.

Make the batter: Using a mixer with paddle attachment, beat 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and the sugar on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to high and cream until light and fluffy.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, honey and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Alternate mixing the flour and molasses mixtures into the butter mixture, adding the next once the last has been incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan. New York Times says to bake for 45 to 50 minutes (in a 10" pan) or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (It took me 65 minutes in a 9 x 3" pan.) Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a platter.

NY Times suggests serving warm or cool with very softly whipped cream. (I didn't top it with anything...and it was still delicious!!!)

You may be interested in:
Smitten Kitchen's recipe (adapted from NY Times)
New York Times recipe ("Ginger-Apple Upside-Down Cake" Adapted from Karen Bates at the Philo Apple Farm, Published: October 27, 2009)
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23 comments:

Kara Helen said... [Reply to comment]

That's a great cake! I have a recipe for something similar but with canned pears rather than apples on the top. I agree - ginger absolutely rocks!

Memória said... [Reply to comment]

You convinced me to bookmark this recipe. Thanks a lot haha.

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

This looks absolutely delicious. It's on the list to-do next time we have a crowd. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Sook said... [Reply to comment]

I love the idea of this cake! Ginger and apples... Sounds fantastic!

The Duo Dishes said... [Reply to comment]

So funny! Burritos, kettle corn, cake...that would bring you right from the grave. This cake looks too good!

C said... [Reply to comment]

I love your blog!

Blue Is Bleu said... [Reply to comment]

My goodness this cake has everything I love! I'm with you on the ginger, apple, no frosting and upside-down. I'm making this for sure! Thanks :)

DailyChef said... [Reply to comment]

Delica's wasabi potato salad is AMAZING! One of my coworkers at my old job ate that for lunch almost every day, and got me hooked too. I didn't know other people knew about it too!

Tamara Marnell said... [Reply to comment]

Hm. Since it's brown-colored from the molasses anyway, I could potentially sneak in whole wheat flour unnoticed >.>

Beth said... [Reply to comment]

Ooh I like the first commenter's idea for pears...I think I may pick up some fresh ones and try this recipe with that! Yumlish!

Lori R. said... [Reply to comment]

oh yummy!!!! This sounds delicious!!!! I love cakes that incorporate apples in it!!!

grace said... [Reply to comment]

overflowing gingerbread cake batter--oh, the horror! no, that's not the stuff of my nightmares, but of my finest dreams. :)

Dawn said... [Reply to comment]

I'm still having a moment about the wasabi mashed potatoes. wow!

Nancy/n.o.e said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so glad that you tried this cake, and that you loved it too! If we were both in a medical emergency, I might have to fight you for this cake - your version sounds amazing. I'm about to try some new recipes for a gingerbread (plain) taste test, but what I really want to bake is THIS CAKE!

Jen said... [Reply to comment]

I just made this cake over the holidays. I used a 9x2 pan because that's all I had and the batter didn't spill over, but I definitely had a large foot on the bottom of my cake.

Katrina said... [Reply to comment]

That really look great and sounds yummy. I've so enjoyed ginger more than ever before this past fall/winter!

Term papers said... [Reply to comment]

You found that Smitten Kitchen adapted the recipe. She cut the molasses and added honey in the cake, and caramelized the sugar for the topping. You just cut the molasses some, but followed her technique for the topping. That change added a really nice caramel flavor to the apples. Greatly admire your work.

Tracey said... [Reply to comment]

This looks wonderful Mary! Thanks for all of the tips - I'd really hate to have the cake overflow in my oven!!

Hannah said... [Reply to comment]

Wow. So want to eat this right now... it looks utterly amazing!

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

I love gingerbread -- it has to be one of my favorite autumn/winter desserts. It's just so comforting to me. The apples sound like a wonderful addition to gingerbread, and it seems like the flavors would work really well together. I hope I can try out this recipe soon.

Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

If you are ever in NY, rest assured that I will have a slice (or two) of this on reserve for you in case you ever pass out :)

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

I saw this on Smitten Kitchen but it didn't grab me. However now I am definitely convinced I must make it! Looks amazing. I love fall desserts like this.

Denise said... [Reply to comment]

Ok, I've had this cake on my "to do" list ever since you posted it. However, as usual time slipped away from me and I just got around to it yesterday, and all I can say is OMG!!! It is truly one of the most delicious cakes ever! My nieces ate most of it, I think I'll have to make another this week! I used a springform pan and it worked really well and held all of the batter. Thanks for posting this, keep those recipes coming!

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