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Upside-Down Apple Cake – Easy to Make, Easy to Eat

Upside-Down Apple Cake

Large Cakes | 24th October 2018 | By

This wholemeal upside-down apple cake is super easy to make and and the results are better than satisfactory – a lot better. It’s quick to prepare and tastes delicious. The slightly caramelised apple pairs well with the subtle tones of cardamom and cider.

Earlier this month, I posted 80 seasonal and delicious apple recipes. I’ve already made apple cider scones this autumn, but with apples galore at the moment, I just couldn’t resist using them in another recipe. Actually, I’ve been using our windfalls in all sorts of ways. They go very nicely with cabbage and make a great addition to mashed potato too. I’ve also been enjoying homemade apple sauce on my porridge in the mornings – one of the best uses for seasonal cooking apples or windfalls in my opinion.

Upside-Down Apple Cake

Having said that, this upside-down apple cake is exceedingly good too. It has a lovely flavour with the slightly caramelised apple on top and notes of cardamom and cider throughout. The texture is also very good. It’s one of the easiest apple cakes to make and there’s no need to peel the apples – bonus!

Upside-Down Apple Cake

The cake can be made with just wholemeal flour, but I used some Free From Fairy gluten-free wholegrain flour as well. It’s a really nice mix and adding a little to my ordinary wholemeal flour or spelt flour seems to enhance the bake. If you ever need gluten-free flour, this is the one to go for. It comes in both plain and self-raising versions and both are a mix of wholegrain teff, sorghum and buckwheat with a little tapioca and potato starch thrown in for good measure. I love it.

Upside-Down Apple Cake flavoured with Cider and Cardamom

Both the cider and kefir react with the bicarbonate of soda to help with the rise. Bakes with wholemeal flour don’t generally rise as well as those using plain flour, so a bit of extra help doesn’t go amiss. Don’t worry if you don’t have any kefir, you can use buttermilk, sour milk or watered down yoghurt instead. You can also omit the cider if you like and substitute it with more kefir / buttermilk / sour milk / watered down yoghurt.

Other Tin and Thyme Apple Cakes You Might Like

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Upside-Down Apple Cake. PIN IT.

Upside-Down Apple Cake flavoured with Cider and Cardamom.

Upside-Down Apple Cake – The Recipe

Upside-Down Apple Cake
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5 from 2 votes

Upside-Down Apple Cake

This easy wholemeal apple cake is quick to make and tastes delicious. The slightly caramelised apples pairs well with the subtle tones of cardamom and cider.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Afternoon Tea, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Keyword: apples, cake, cardamom, cider, kefir, upside-down cake
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 315kcal


  • 125 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 125 g light muscovado sugar
  • seeds from 8 cardamom pods - ground
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 g wholemeal flour I used 180g wholemeal & 20g Free From Fairy gluten-free wholegrain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tbsp cider
  • 3 tbsp kefir can use buttermilk or watered down yoghurt
  • 2 dessert apples - cored and sliced but not peeled.
  • 1 tbsp (25g) demerara sugar


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180℃/350℉/Gas mark 4.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and muscovado sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the cardamom pods and cream some more.
  • Beat in the eggs, one by one, adding a little of the flour if the mixture looks like curdling.
  • Sieve in the dry ingredients, including the Free From Fairy gluten-free wholegrain flour if using. Throw out any large pieces of bran remaining in the sieve. Gently stir until just incorporated.
  • Gradually add the cider followed by the kefir, stirring as you go.
  • Slice the apples and lay them on the bottom of a greased deep round 20cm (8") silicone mould or lined tin.
  • Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top.
  • Scrape the batter from the bowl over the apples and level the top.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch and an inserted skewer comes out mostly clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a serving plate so that the apple slices are on top.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 516IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg


I’m sharing this easy recipe for upside-down apple cake with Curly’s Cooking for #CookBlogShare, with Only Crumbs Remain for #BakingCrumbs, with JibberJabberUK for #LoveCake and with Searching for Spice for #CookOnceEatTwice.


  1. angiesrecipes

    25th October 2018 at 5:18 am

    Up side down cake is our top favourite! Yours turned out so good and I love the use of kefir in baking so much!

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks Angie. We always have loads of kefir hanging around and it works brilliantly in baking.

  2. Corina Blum

    25th October 2018 at 6:37 am

    I love any kind of apple cake and I especially love the caramelisation you get with an upside down cake. This is so lovely and seasonal and a great way to use up windfalls. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks Corina. It was a lovely cake and because there were only two of us, it lasted us 4 whole days – though I don’t think it would have been good for much longer than that.

  3. Sisley White

    25th October 2018 at 12:49 pm

    This is a great bake. It’s making me so hungry.
    I need to make this at the weekend.

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks Sisley. It’s a nice easy one to make, but looks a bit more impressive for being served upside down.

  4. Cat | Curly's Cooking

    25th October 2018 at 9:17 pm

    This looks so tasty. Apples are always delicious at this time of year and your cake looks like a fantastic way to use them. I love the flavours and also that you don’t need to peel the apples! Bonus! Thanks for sharing with #CookBlogShare.

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Cat. I love apple season, but I do get bored of peeling apples quite quickly, so this cake is a particularly good one in that respect.

  5. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    25th October 2018 at 9:20 pm

    I love both upside-down cakes and apple cakes/pies of any description really! This one sounds really delightful and the fact that it is made with wholemeal flour and kefir and apples makes it really healthy, almost medicinal 🙂 It sounds like easy to make and definitely easy to eat! Thank you for sharing with #BakingCrumbs 🙂

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Jo. I’m not sure marketing this as a medicinal cake would make it seem particularly appealing, but yes, it’s definitely an uplifting one 😀

  6. Kavita Favelle

    27th October 2018 at 7:37 am

    I love the sound of cardamom and cider with apples, sounds perfect and a little variation on the usual cinnamon. And the upside down aspect is fab, not made up upside down cake for eons!

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:12 pm

      This was the first upside-down cake I’d made for eons too. It’s such a good thing to do with fruit especially ones that go well with caramel flavours. I often use cardamom with fruit as I think it pairs just as well as cinnamon – though I love that too.

  7. Lucy

    27th October 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I have some Bramleys to bake with, do you think these would work as well? I am just imagining the delicious spiced flavour and drooling already.

    • Choclette

      28th October 2018 at 1:10 pm

      I reckon Bramleys would work fine, though I’d probably double the amount of demerara sprinkled on top.

  8. nessjibberjabberuk

    28th October 2018 at 7:06 pm

    It looks delicious. I love the addition of cider to give it extra apple goodness.

    • Choclette

      29th October 2018 at 6:11 pm

      It’s hard to beat an apple cider cake at this time of year Ness 😀

  9. Mayuri Patel

    29th October 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Love cooked apples so this cake definitely has me salivating. Love that you’ve used wholewheat flour.

    • Choclette

      4th November 2018 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks Mayuri. I pretty much always use wholemeal flour in my baking. It’s more nourishing and I actually find it tastier too.

  10. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    31st October 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Yay for upsidedown cakes – I love how easy they are the endless flavour combos you can achieve with them. i’d most definitely love to try a slice (or two) of your apple version Choclette, it looks absolutely scrummy 🙂 Thankyou for linking it up to #BakingCrumbs,
    Angela xx

    • Choclette

      4th November 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Angela. Yay for upside-down cakes indeed. I can feel a pear one coming on next.

  11. Kat (The Baking Explorer)

    2nd November 2018 at 9:24 am

    I would love a slice of this with custard!

    • Choclette

      4th November 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Kat. Warm from the oven, this would be excellent with custard.

  12. Chris (Thinly Spread)

    7th November 2018 at 9:25 am

    Oooh, I haven’t made an upside down cake for ages, yours looks delicious! Perfect for apple season.

    • Choclette

      7th November 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks Chris. I do love a good apple cake and upside down ones are some of the easiest to make.


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