Maple apple upside down cake

This maple apple upside down cake a variation of the classic pineapple upside down cake. The boiled down maple syrup gets caramel-like, and the entire dessert tastes like apple pancakes!

Maple apple upside down cake

When my dad returned from Taiwan last month, we took him apple picking. Normally, my family and I go apple picking in October, but we waited until November so that my dad could come with us. Unfortunately, my go-to apple (Fuji) was completely picked clean. In the years (decades?) that we’ve been going apple picking, I’ve never had a situation where I wasn’t able to pick Fuji apples. The only apple that was available that day was the Pink Lady variety, and it was down a really, really steep hill.

Thankfully, we all survived the trek down the hill (and made it successfully back up). While most of the apples near eye-level were picked clean, we were able to fill our bag with the apples. As we were getting ready to head home, we saw that the orchard was selling bags of Fuji apples as well. Don’t worry, we bought some!

Maple apple upside down cake

Since I don’t usually eat Pink Lady apples, I knew that I would have to use them in recipes. After a few weeks of limited baking, I finally got around to making this maple apple upside down cake.

The cake itself was soft and tender, and reminiscent of a stack of apple pancakes. The boiled down syrup turned caramel-like and helped sweeten up the cake. We loved the texture of the cake and all agreed that a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg could have given this dessert a 5-star rating. All in all, this was a wonderful cake, and I would recommend it to others!

Maple apple upside down cake

Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 (he actually gave this a 4.75, but I told him we’d only do half point increments)
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Maple apple upside down cake

A variation of the classic pineapple upside-down cake, this maple apple version reminds me of apple pancakes.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Servings: 10
Author: Eva Bakes


  • cup pure maple syrup Please do not use fake or imitation maple syrup or anything syrup-like that has artificial maple flavoring
  • 3 apples peeled, cored, and cut into eighths (I used Pink Lady)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk I made my own by adding about 1 teaspoon into some 1% milk and let it sit and curdle for about 5 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1 and ⅓ cups granulated sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 350℉. Grease and line a 10" round baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, boil the maple syrup on high heat. Then turn the temperature down to low and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about ¾ cup. Pour this into your prepared baking pan and set aside.
  • Arrange the apple slices on top of the reduced maple syrup. It's OK to have the apples overlap if needed.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl or measuring cup, mix together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and the sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Alternatively add in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the side of the bowl.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake the cake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15-30 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cake pan, a plate or any other serving dish (I usually run a butter knife around the perimeter of the cake to help it dislodge from the sides). Allow the cake to cool before serving.


Leftover cake should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and will last several days.
Source: Joanne Chang, via Food and Wine

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