Apple Pecan Upside-Down Cake

I have recently come to more fully understand the breadth of the food blogging world. While Jim thinks I am more than a little crazy to want to take pictures of everything I make before we eat it, I know that I am not alone. I just discovered Google Reader, and am quickly learning how awesome of a tool it is, and am currently following 22 food blogs and counting. If you don’t know about it, definitely check it out. I love the functionality of being able to save recipes I want to try without having to print them out, which wastes paper and results in piles and piles of recipes that I then have to file.


In my review of my starred posts, I came across this recipe from Stephanie Cooks. It looked delicious, perfect for fall, and was originally from Cooks Illustrated, which usually means good things. This cake was incredibly easy to put together, I think it took me 35 minutes start to finish, and came out exactly like it the recipe said. While mixing everything together, I did decide that it needed some nuts. Since I love pecans and apples together, and I had them on hand, I toasted some up and added them at the end, which is reflected in the recipe you see below. Jim said this is one of the best things I have ever made, and after some of the lack luster showings from recipes I had tried earlier in the weekend, it was a great way to end our Sunday evening.






  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus extra for coating the pan
  • 4 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cored
  • 2/3 cup of light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice



  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup toasted pecan pieces



  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 inch round cake pan, set aside. Heat the oven to 350.
  2. Halve the apples from pole to pole. Cut 2 apples into 1/4 inch thick slices, set aside. Cut the remaining 2 apples into 1/2 inch thick slices.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides add 1/2 inch thick apple slices and cook, stirring 2-3 times, until apples begin to caramelize, 4-6 minutes. Add the 1/4 inch thick apples, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves and coats the apples, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer the apple mixture to the cake pan. Lightly press the apples into an even layer. Set aside and prepare the cake.
  5. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together, set aside.
  6. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs together in large bowl until thick and combined, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla, whisk until combined.
  7. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Stir in pecan pieces. Pour batter into the pan and spread evenly over the fruit.
  8. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.
  9. Cool pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run paring knife around the sides of the cake to loosen.
  10. Place wire rack over the cake pan. Holding the rack tightly, invert the cake pan and rack together. Lift the cake pan off. Be sure to place the wire rack over a cookie sheet to catch any drips. Let the cake cool 20 minutes of longer, and then transfer to serving platter.

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