Upside-Down Apple Gingerbread

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Upside-Down Apple Gingerbread

star rating (7) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Gingerbread is frequently paired with fruit when served, so it made sense to us to put the whole presentation in one pan as an upside-down cake. Gingerbread and apples were made for each other, so we've made a cinnamon-scented apple topping for this moist, slighty spicy cake.

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
2/3 cup (5 ounces) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (4 ounces) molasses
1/2 cup (2 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large, firm cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Cortland
1/3 cup (2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan.

For the cake: Cream the butter and sugar together until light. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light. Beat in the molasses. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients.

Make the topping next: Mix together the 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Peel the apples, slice them, dredge them in the sugar/spice mixture, and place them artfully in the prepared pan. Sprinkle on any leftover sugar/spice mixture.

Assembly: Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour this mixture over the apples and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

When the cake is done (the surface should bounce back at you when gently pressed), remove it from the oven, invert a serving plate over the cake pan and, gripping the two securely, flip them over so the cake drops out onto the serving plate. If some of the apples stick, gently pry them from the pan and place them in their appropriate places on the cake. Unlike pineapple, apples tend to shrink in cooking, so this cake-turned-upside-down will be visually enhanced if you garnish it with whipped cream. Otherwise, it's great as is. Yield: 16 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1/16 cake, 62g): 156 cal, 4.5g fat, 2g protein, 10g complex carbohydrates, 17g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 13mg cholesterol, 148mg sodium, 208mg potassium, 44RE vitamin A, 1mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 48mg calcium, 37mg phosphorus.


  • star rating 02/24/2015
  • Erin from MD
  • Wonderful spicy gingerbread. I heeded the advice about the 9 inch round pan being to small But it had me thinking perhaps they meant 9 inch square pan. That's what I used and it fit perfectly.
  • star rating 11/12/2014
  • from Pittsburgh, PA
  • Loved it!!! I made cupcakes instead of a cake. They turned out well but next time I'll try the cake. Baked normal sized ones at 350 for 14-16 minutes, filled them with two tablespoons of batter. Used fresh grated ginger and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg in the batter. Kept the skins on the apples and added my own spice mix of cinnamon, clove, and star anise. They turned out very tasty and perfectly spicy for a brisk fall day.
  • star rating 11/16/2013
  • Prairie Owl from KAF Community
  • Great taste and appearance. I used a 10"'pan as others had suggested and the size was just right. I also used 3 apples and slightly overlapped the slices, so shrinkage wasn't a problem. One tip -- place a greased circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan to minimize the possible mess when the cake is turned upside down after baking. It worked well for me. Thanks to the recipe writer.
  • star rating 02/08/2013
  • Janet from Chappaqua, NY
  • Excellent, moist, delicious, easy to make. Do not use the recommended pan size! It won't fit. I used a #8 (10 inch) cast iron skillet which was the exact size needed.
  • star rating 12/27/2012
  • Amy from Georgia
  • Loved this cake! Altered it by adding 4T butter and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar to the bottom of 11inch skillet, this was based on previous comment about the pan being too small. It came out great! Next time more apples, used only 2 and they did shrink, so adding more will be needed next time
  • star rating 10/23/2011
  • Anne from Whittier, NC
  • Excellent taste, but does not fit in a 9" round cake pan. Even though I did not put all of the batter in the pan it still came over the sides and made a mess in my new oven. Also took longer than 40 minutes to bake. So I made it in a 10" cast iron skillet and used only one apple. It all but came over the top and still took longer than 40 minutes to bake.
  • star rating 11/03/2009
  • Margaret from Easton, PA
  • I used a 9" Wilton round cake pan. This was too small for the batter too rise and stay contained. However, I liked the crusty edges where it spread over the top. (Of course, if the pan had not had a flat extended rim, I would have had a stinky mess, instead.) I may try a bundt pan next time. The cake was good warm, and also good the next morning, when I shared it with my ESL class.