Sourdough Apple Upside-Down Cake. Is that a tongue twister? Regardless, this cake is phenomenal. Quick, easy, beautiful, and most importantly, tasty.
Anyways, this cake is stunning. It's the prettiest apple upside down cake because of that rose-shaped top, which is surprisingly easy to create! It's also tender, fluffy, and the apple flavor in this cake just stands out, with extra flavor accentuated by some cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious.
The best part about this apple cake is that it's super easy to make, which is great when not so much effort still equals a stunning cake!
You can even opt to leave out the sourdough discard or add up to 75 grams of it if you have a bunch to get rid of! I give you lots of options for making this cake recipe in the easiest way, personalized to you.
Sourdough Apple Upside-Down Cake: The Breakdown
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Mix the dry ingredients
- Mix the wet
- Prep the apples
- Prep the pan (AKA create the rose)
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
- Scoop the batter into the pan
- Bake the thing!
- Let cool and flip it! Ta-da. It's gonna be a beauty.
My favorite apple variety for baking!
This subject is a doozy. There are simply SO many apple varieties to choose from for baking. But the ultimate apple choice really comes down to the texture and flavor you want in the apples after baking.
For me, it's most important that the apple retains crispiness and its flavor after baking. And I've had that be successful most often with Honeycrisp apples! It holds just enough shape and crisp even when cooked very, very thoroughly. And a massive plus, the flavor runs the perfect amount of tart and sweet to me.
If you want to explore this topic more, check out this post by Bon Appetit.
Apple types aside, let's get to baking!
Sourdough Apple Upside-Down Cake
- 1 7 or 8 inch cake pan
- 150g all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 80g neutral oil like grapeseed or canola oil
- 150g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 90g sour cream or plain yogurt
- 50g sourdough discard optional, can add up to 75g
- 100g brown sugar I use dark for a darker top, but light works if you'd like a lighter top!
- 2 medium or 1 large apple(s) honeycrisp, braeburn, or pink lady work best
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, and sourdough discard. Set aside.
- Prep your cake pan by spraying the pan with oil spray. Then cut out a circle of parchment paper that fits the bottom inside of the pan snugly. Place the circle in the pan and spray the top of the paper with oil.
- Peel the apple(s) and slice finely.
- Evenly press the brown sugar onto the paper at the bottom of the pan so it covers the bottom entirely to the edges. Lay out the apple slices by overlapping them until they make a row around the outside.
- Then continue with rows to the center until you fill the whole surface area. Any leftover apple slices can be placed on top somewhat haphazardly because they won't show after baking. (I usually end up making two layers, and the second one is with no overlapping.)
- After your pan is prepared with the brown sugar and apples, it's time to mix the batter. Dump the flour mixture into the wet mixture bowl and fold just until no lumps appear. Then scoop the batter on top of the apples in the pan and even it out carefully, as not to disturb the apples beneath it.
- Bake the cake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then place your serving plate upside down on top of the pan and flip the cake onto the plate. You should hear it plop down. Remove the pan, and remove the paper atop the cake. Wait 15 minutes to serve and slice if you want to eat it warm! Enjoy!
Let me know what you think in the comments! And if you want to make another sourdough discard cake recipe, check out my Sourdough Lemon Bundt Cake! It's another stunner.