Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake


Here we go again, I’m making a cake, which naturally falls under the Dessert category, but before I even gather up the ingredients, before I even whisk the batter, I’m already thinking of eating it for Breakfast.

I’ve been sneaking dessert for breakfast for as long as I can remember, and in this blog, I’ve made enough recipes that I’ve considered it a blog perk. Sometimes dessert for breakfast is something healthy but tastes like a treat, like Carrot Cake Smoothie, or Chocolate Coconut Avocado Pudding, or Zucchini Banana Bread. But sometimes I just straight up eat actual cake for breakfast. Life is short, the days are long, and cake makes me happy. No shame.

So this cake.


(which I am definitely eating for breakfast tomorrow)

This cake is a Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake. I knew I wanted to make another caramel upside down cake and since I’ve been exploring all the different varieties of apples available at my local farmer’s market (my favorite is Honeycrisp – so sweet and shatteringly crisp) I knew making an apple cake would be a great autumnal recipe.

I researched the best apples for baking, listened to Martha Stewart, and picked Gala apples for this cake. But eagle eyed readers might know that the apples in the photos are not Gala apples, but Macoun – which Matt and I got from upstate New York when we visited his parents. Macouns are also sweet, and go great with cheese, but not typically used for baking. The best baking apples have a good balance of tart and sweet, but also will not fall apart when thrown in the oven. Other good baking apples are Empire, Braeburn, and Pink Lady.

Since this is an upside down cake (not to be confused with the Upside Down on Stranger Things), there are sliced apples on top (or really the bottom, but that’s the point of an upside down cake – you flip it over so the fruit lining the bottom becomes the topping). There are also chopped apples inside, mixed in with the batter, which makes the entire cake extra tender and moist. And then there are chopped pecans folded in, too, which add the much needed CRRRUNCH.


For the sauce/topping, I used salted caramel sauce from Trader Joe’s. Three years ago I made Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies and it’s been my go-to for baking ever since. Also three years ago a stranger told me I had caramel stuck in my hair, and last night Matt told me I had cheese sauce stuck on my shirt, so not much has changed, really.

You can make your own salted caramel sauce, and I do want to emphasize the word salted because the little pop of saltiness tastes like magic when combined with the silky sweetness of the caramel and the cake, and the subtle tartness of the apples.

The resulting cake is pure comfort, tender with soft apples and crunchy pecans, topped with sticky sweet and salty caramel, and plump apple slices. And because it has a lot of fruit, that’s your excuse to eat it for breakfast.


Yield: serves 8

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes



1/2 cup caramel (I used Trader Joe's salted caramel)
2 apples, each peeled, cored, and sliced into 8 wedges (I used Gala apples)


2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped (I used a medium-sized Gala apple)
1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour a 8x8 inch square pan. You can also use an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. Spread caramel on the bottom of cake pan. Arrange the apple slices on top in rows.
  4. Make the cake. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, Greek yogurt, and vanilla together.
  5. Whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add to wet mixture, blending just until well combined.
  6. Fold in chopped apple and pecans.
  7. Pour the batter evenly onto pan and bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a platter and serve warm.


Do you have a favorite variety of apple? What cake would you like to start your day with?