Upside-Down Maple Apple Cake

This delicious Upside-Down Maple Apple Cake, tastes just like a stack of warm pancakes!

Imagine a big stack of warm pancakes. Imagine they have some cooked apples on top. Now imagine that they have been drizzled with maple syrup, that’s now a little warm and has soaked into the pancakes here and there. Good job. Now you know exactly what this cake tastes like.

I love that this cake can be made virtually any time, as it’s made with easy, pantry ingredients. And I always seem to have apples around.

This Maple Apple Cake will make your house smell wonderful for hours. It’s almost worth making just for the smell alone! Thank goodness it tastes as good as it smells.

Upside-Down Maple Apple Cake

Cook’s Notes for Upside-Down Maple Apple Cake

The only tricky part of this great cake is figuring out what to bake it in. If you happen to have a 10-inch round cake pan with 3-inch high sides, you’re all set (skip directly to recipe!). If not, you may want to read on.

I don’t have a 10-inch cake pan of any variety. I contemplated using my cast-iron frying pan, but decided against it. In hindsight, I think it probably might have worked with a round of parchment on the bottom of it. Instead, I decided on my 10-inch springform pan. If a springform pan is your only option too, you’ll have to do a little bit of extra work to try and make it reasonably leak-proof. See the instructions in the recipe for some ideas. At the very least, if you bake this cake in a springform pan, be sure to place it on a baking sheet, just in case.

I made my cake with Granny Smith apples, even though it’s not usually my apple of choice for cooking. It does hold it’s shape well though, which is nice for this cake. Braeburn, Jonathan or any other apple that holds it shape well when cooked would work here.

Adapted from a Joanne Chang recipe

Upside-Down Maple Apple Cake

Upside-Down Maple Apple Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: apple cake recipe, apple cake with maple syrup, cake using maple syrup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Energy: 369 kcal
Author: Jennifer
This is a delicious apple and maple syrup cake, baked upside-down and reminiscent of a stack of warm apple pancakes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and extra maple syrup.


  • 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 large apples peeled, cored and quartered, then cutting each quarter into 4 equal slices.
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk *see notes
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar

For serving:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream and a bit more maple syrup for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan and set on top of a baking sheet. Set aside.

  2. In a large saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until very thick and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. (**Use a large pot and watch as it approaches boil, as it will bubble up considerably!) While the syrup is simmering, you can peel and cut your apples. Pour the thickened syrup into the prepared pan. Arrange the apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles, overlapping them slightly.

  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl.

  5. Pour the batter over the apples and spread it into an even layer. Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes  or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan, on a cooling rack for 45 minutes.

  6. Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plat. Tap lightly to release the cake. Remove the pan. Let the cake cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream and extra maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

Make your own buttermilk! Mix 3/4 cup regular milk with 2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Let stand 10 minutes and use.


More Apple Baking Recipes from the Seasons and Suppers Archives



I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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