Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Apple Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

'Tis the season to be baking. Somehow, even with all our cookie baking, many of us still find that we're expected to produce additional seasonal baked goods. We have holiday gatherings at work, family gatherings, open houses. This cake is both seasonal and fairly easy. As an added bonus, you probably already have the ingredients in the house.

recipe adapted from SmittenKitchen


4 T butter (plus extra for greasing pan)
1/2 C dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 large apples cut into 1/4 inch wedges. Smitten advises 4 apples. I guess it really depends on the size of your apples. I used Northern Spies.
4 T butter and 4 T applesauce
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg
1/3 C dark molasses
1/4 C honey (I used the 1/3 C the recipe called for and felt it a bit too sweet, probably because I subbed applesauce for half the butter, and that's sweet too).
1 C buttermilk (you can just use regular milk - here's what to do. Pour a cup of milk. Remove a tablespoon of it. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar. Wait 5 minutes. You're good to go.)
2 1/4 C flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t ground ginger
1 t cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a 10" cake pan. (Good luck with that by the way. I don't own one. I used a regular 9" pan, had tons of leftover, some of which I mushed into a baby bundt pan). Now that I've completely got you measuring your baking pans...it's time to make the topping. In a small saucepan, melt the butter (4T). Then add the brown sugar and simmer over medium heat, stirring for 4 minutes. Then swirl in some salt. I believe what your going for here is making a carmel, but mine didn't quite pull together in that time. You might need a smidge more. Remove from heat and pour in the bottom of your cake pan. Then layer the apples, I suggest working from the outside in, making ovelapping circles around the edges towards the center. Fill in the gaps by chopping up some slices to fit.

To make the batter:
Using a mixer, combine the remaining butter with the sugar and cream until light and fluffy. In another bowl mix together the molasses, egg, honey, applesauce and milk. In yet another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Then alternate adding the molasses mixture and the flour mixture to the mixer holding your creamed butter and sugar.
When it's all thoroughly incorporated, pour your batter into your pan on top of the apple slices. Bake 45-50 minutes or until a skewer or knife poked in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn over onto a plate and unmold.

It's delicious served with whipped cream.

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