Dessert or breakfast pastry? You decide. Whether you serve our Apple Upside-Down Cake with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of vanilla yogurt, this rustic cake is bound to be a winner. There are a few things to note when preparing. First, be sure to use smaller apples in order to allow more rings to fit into the pan—it will turn out much prettier this way. You'll also want select a cake plate or platter that is completely flat without a lip to ensure a flawless transfer when you turn it out. If you're tempted to swap the Honeycrisp for another apple variety, we urge you to do so with caution: the Honeycrisp hold up wonderfully in this cake—even keeping a bit of crunch through the baking process. The slightly tart flavor is an absolute winner when paired with the sweet and tender cake.


Credit: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck; Food Styling: Erin Merhar

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
1 hr 15 mins
Makes 1 (9-in.) cake (serving size: 1 slice)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium. Remove from heat. Spread brown sugar evenly over melted butter, and arrange apple rings in a single layer on top of sugar. Place a cherry half in center of each apple ring. Set aside.

  • Beat sugar and remaining 1/2 cup softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until blended. Add egg; beat until well incorporated.

  • Stir together buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl until baking soda is dissolved. Stir together flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Spoon batter evenly over apple rings in skillet.

  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool in skillet 5 minutes, and carefully invert cake onto serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream.