Desserts, Recipes

Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake is full of caramelized apples, cinnamon, and of course, whiskey! The thin cake layer holds it together for a perfect slice every time!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes are quite popular — but just not my thing. I will gladly make them for my family and friends, though. Since I had a bag of apples that needed to be used, I wanted to make something beyond the standard apple pie.

Caramel is one of my favorite pairings with apples, so I decided to slice the apples thin and caramelize them prior to layering my springform pan. Baking apples in breads or muffins makes them soft. Caramelizing apples gives them a special crispness that helps balance out with the softness of the cake it sits on. Either way, they’re tasty!

Granny Smith Apples are my favorite to use in the recipe!

What kind of apples should you use?

Any kind! I prefer using Granny Smith for most of my baked dishes as they help balance out the dessert with a slightly tart flavor. But honestly, any apple you have on hand can work for this recipe.

Can other fruits be used?

Yes! I’m sure you’ve heard of a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, but if you’re looking for something different, try this apple version. Pears, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries could also be used.

Ingredients for an Upside-Down Cake:

Caramelized Apples:

  • 3 apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Tennessee Apple Whiskey, optional

Cake:

  • ½ cup butter, room temp
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons Tennessee Apple Whiskey, optional
Cinnamon is optional in this cake but it really helps bring out all the goodness of apple desserts!

How to Make a Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake:

Peel, core, and thinly slice your apples. Place in a bowl of water that is mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice. This will prevent your apples from turning brown while you are slicing them.

In a large skillet, melt your butter over low-medium heat.

Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, continuously stirring until dissolved.

Stir in lemon juice and whiskey (if using).

Drain your apples and carefully add to the pan. Gently turn until the apples are fully-coated.

Allow to caramelize for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until all of the apples are slightly flexible.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Spray a 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray then line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

Using either a hand- or stand-mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth.

Add the vanilla extract and thoroughly incorporate.

Mix in one egg at a time, mixing well after each one.

Alternating between the flour mixture and milk, start and end with the flour. Only mix until everything is incorporated.

Using a spoon, stir in the whiskey, if using.

Layer your apples in the bottom of the springform pan. Pour the remaining caramelized sauce on top of the apples.

Pour the cake mixture on top and evenly spread.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing the springform pan and flipping onto a serving dish.

Enjoy your upside-down cake!

Slice of Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake
Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake

Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Bring a little of Tennessee to your home with our Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake!

Ingredients

Caramelized Apples

  • 3 apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons Tennessee Apple Whiskey

Cake

  • ½ cup butter, room temp
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Tennessee Apple Whiskey (optional)

Instructions

Peel, core, and thinly slice your apples. Place in a bowl of water that is mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice. This will prevent your apples from turning brown while you are slicing them.

In a large skillet, melt your butter over low-medium heat.

Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, continuously stirring until dissolved.

Stir in lemon juice and whiskey (if using).

Drain your apples and carefully add to the pan. Gently turn until the apples are fully-coated.

Allow to caramelize for approximately 10 to 15 minutes until all of the apples are slightly flexible.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Spray a 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray then line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

Using either a hand- or stand-mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth.

Add the vanilla extract and thoroughly incorporate.

Mix in one egg at a time, mixing well after each one.

Alternating between the flour mixture and milk, start and end with the flour. Only mix until everything is incorporated.

Using a spoon, stir in the whiskey, if using.

Layer your apples in the bottom of the springform pan. Pour the remaining caramelized sauce on top of the apples.

Pour the cake mixture on top and evenly spread.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing the springform pan and flipping onto a serving dish.

Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 4/29/2020

Special thanks to the Meal Plan Monday Group where I can share my recipes!

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Lynchburg Mama's Tennessee Apple Upside-Down Cake

6 Comments

  1. Rena Walter

    This sounds like it could be our favorite!

  2. looks so yummy..i want some

  3. Edna Williams

    I honestly love this! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jodi Hunter

    This looks so amazing.

  5. Tamra Phelps

    You had me at ‘carameluzed’! That looks sooooo good. I’ll try this one.

  6. Dana Rodriguez

    This sounds so delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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