As a Canadian living abroad, it is essential that I import my own supply of maple syrup. The maple syrup sold here is heinously expensive and packaged in tiny bottles. Even worse is the fake maple syrup that is basically corn syrup with “maple flavouring”. It offends me to be in the same room as that stuff. Using a full cup of maple syrup, this is a recipe after my own Canadian heart. It also afforded me a chance to finally use some of the lovely apples from our family friend’s farm. They have been sitting in my fridge begging to be turned into pie or cake or something. It has taken me a few weeks to finally getting around to doing something with them, but this cake certainly does them justice.
I have never made an upside down cake before; I tend to make layer cakes rather than coffee cakes or sheet cakes. However, the maple topping of this cake really appealed to me and I have to say it is the best bit! I’m really glad I added the cinnamon to the cake batter as well. The original recipe didn’t have any spices added to it, but with such autumnal flavours as apple and maple, it seemed weird not to have anything like cinnamon. So I chucked some in and it really tastes lovely. It stops the cake from being plain and complements the sweetness of the apples and maple syrup very nicely. If I had to do one thing differently next time (and there will be a next time!), I would chop up another apple and add it to the cake batter. The apple topping is delicious but it’s quite a thin layer of apples. If anyone tries this variation, please let me know how it turns out!
I promised myself that I wouldn’t bake anything this weekend because I have been doing so much other baking lately. However, I think that because I don’t have a kitchen during the week, the craving to use my oven comes on strongly over the weekend and I just can’t resist it! I have plenty more ideas of scrummy treats to bake. Stay tuned for more photos, recipes, and (if you’re lucky enough to be around me on the weekend) some free samples! ;)
Maple Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes one 8″ square cake – Serves 9-12
Adapted from Food & Wine
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2-3 large cooking apples (mine were huge so I only needed 2), peeled, cored and sliced
- lemon juice
- 2 cups all purpose/plain flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarb)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/3 c white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup butter milk (add 1-2 tsp of lemon juice to the milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pour the maple syrup into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until very thick and reduced to ~3/4 cup (around 20 minutes). Meanwhile, butter and flour an 8″ square baking tin and preheat the oven to 350F/175C.
- Once the maple syrup is ready, pour it into the prepared pan. Layer the sliced apples on the bottom of the pan slightly overlapping each piece. I had three lines of apples, although I suppose you could also do concentric squares of apples.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk together the vanilla, buttermilk and eggs. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on high with an electric mixer).
- With the electric mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixure and mix well. Mix in 1/2 of the milk mixture. Add half of the remaining flour mixture (i.e. the 2nd third) and mix well. Add the rest of the milk and mix. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined.
- Spoon large dollops of batter overtop the apples and gently spread it out. Bake in the preheated oven on the centre rack for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes before placing a plate on top of the cake and flipping. Gently tap the bottom of the cake tin until it releases. Enjoy!