Do you remember the day when you learned that you were no longer in college and alcohol was no longer your friend? I was very rudely reminded of this fact over the weekend. I went out with some new friends on Saturday night and, well, we may have had a couple of extra drinks. Pair that with the fact that I had two glasses of white wine in the afternoon because it was such a lovely day…and yeah. My brain wanted to jump out of my body and pair up with someone else on Sunday morning. I was in such bad shape that I ordered pancakes for breakfast, which I’ve never done before. I spent the remainder of the day on the couch, watching old episodes of The Mindy Project in an effort to sooth my soul. I remember in college we would go drink for drink all evening, wake up in the morning and be ready to do it again. I think around 23, though, all of that changed, and I was welcomed into the world one morning with this strange new feeling called a “hangover”. It’s your body’s way of telling you that no, you are not invincible, and yes, you are getting old. The price of a good time, I suppose, is severe pain the next day. I feel like I need a green juice and coconut water and another evening snuggling up on the couch until I’m fully recovered. I never want to see alcohol again! It is now my sworn enemy. Until Friday night, I’m sure.
The baby Doc Martens I got for my good friend’s baby, the reason I felt like death on Sunday morning, lunch at Bar Primi the afternoon before and my attempt at a hangover cure (I’ve heard Marmite helps)!
A couple of weeks ago, I received a copy of Joy the Baker’s new cookbook, Homemade Decadence, and I was super excited to flip through it, pick out a recipe and start baking. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are an inspiration, so I highly recommend picking up a copy if you haven’t already. There eggselent (do you see what I did there) brunch recipes, boozy cocktail recipes (please, not right now), classics like lemon bars and new twists on the classics, like buttered popcorn rice crispy treats (say what). There are also loads of big, beautiful cake recipes that I can’t wait to dive into, like the cover’s chocolate-peanut butter pretzel layer cake – can someone please make this for my birthday next month? I decided to start with something decidedly simple, though, as I had house guests at the time but still wanted to whip something up.
This maple apple upside-down cake is the best thing you could possibly make to put you in the mood for fall. Fresh autumn apples paired with a rich maple syrup drizzled over the cake is irresistible, especially if you throw in a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. My guests and I enjoyed the cake at home, then I brought the rest into the office to share – everyone seemed to remark on how tasty it was. I love that this cake doesn’t require too much work or any fussing with making a batch of frosting. It’s made in one pan, and the carmely, mapley drizzle is almost better than frosting, anyway. Joy always says that caramel is the best addition to any dessert and I agree. This upside-down cake will stay moist and delicious for a few days after it’s baked, so it’s perfect for a weekend brunch dish, made a day or two before, or for days after alongside a cup of good, strong coffee. It’s finally chilly outside, so get in the spirit of the season with this cake!
Time to get baking.
Arrange your apples in your buttered cake pan, pour half of your maple mixture over them, then spread the cake batter gently over the top.
Grating the apple and adding it to the cake makes it extra moist and allows the cake to have even more apple flavor.
Bake for 50 minutes or so, until browned and set.
Run a knife around the cake to loosen it, then invert it onto your plate or cake stand.
Heat up your remaining maple syrup mixture, and drizzle it over the top.
- 2 medium apples, sliced into ½-inch thick wedges
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 apple, grated
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter a 9x2-inch round baking dish or cake pan. Slice two apples into wedges (you can peel them or not - I didn't) and arrange the wedges in the bottom of your prepared baking dish, overlapping if needed.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the maple syrup, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat until the butter melts and the mixture begins to simmer, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour half of the syrup over the apples in the baking dish. Reserve the remaining half for after the cake is baked.
- For the cake, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, maple syrup, brown sugar and grated apple. Add the apple mixture to the flour mixture and stir well. Dollop the batter onto the apples in the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
- Bake the cake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it a bit before inverting it onto a plate. Drizzle the cake with the reserved, heated up syrup and let cool just slightly before slicing and serving.