Sticky sweet apples and a caramel apple sauce top this decadent caramel apple upside down cake, making it perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by International Delight®. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
caramel apple upside down cake

It’s fall!

Okay, NOT REALLY/AT ALL. It was 90+ degrees here yesterday and I sweated through three shirts on my walk to work.

BUT I spied Honeycrisp apples in the produce aisle, and if there is one thing I can never resist…it’s a Honeycrisp.

So we are eating apples today and we are going to like it!

I promise.


I am a sucker for a warm apple pie, but who has time for rolling out a double crust?! Or worrying that it won’t set up?! Or having its juices leak all over your oven floor because you forgot to put a pan under it for catching said juices and then burning and setting off your fire alarm?!


That I just can’t take right now.

So…caramel apple upside down cake! It basically has all the glorious flavor of apple pie filling, while still allowing you to sleep at night.

Compromise. I like it.


Honestly, what I love most about this is the caramel sauce topping. It’s made from the leftover apple brown sugar butter mixture from the sauteed apples, mixed with a little International Delight Caramel Macchiato Coffee Creamer for some extra creaminess, so it is absolutely BURSTING with juicy flavor. The apples themselves also do a hefty amount of caramelization in the oven, so the caramel on caramel on apple on light fluffy cake action is just divine.

I still can’t say I’m 100% ready for fall yet…but cakes like this are definitely making the transition far less painful.


Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
Sticky sweet apples and a caramel apple sauce top this decadent caramel apple upside down cake, making it perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.
Yield: 1 9-inch cake
For the topping
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 chunks
  • 4 Granny smith apples, peeled and cored
  • ⅔ cup (133 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup International Delight Caramel Macchiato Coffee Creamer
For the cake
  • 1 cup (120 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Grease the bottom and sides of a deep 9-inch round cake pan. Set aside. Heat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Cut 2 of the apples into ¼-inch thick slices. Set aside. Cut the remaining 2 apples into ½-inch thick slices. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the ½-inch thick apple slices to the pan. Cook, stirring a few times, until the apples begin to caramelized, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in the ¼-inch thick slices, brown sugar, lemon juice, and coffee creamer. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture coats all of the apples, about 1 minute more. Transfer the apples to the prepared baking pan, trying to leave as much of the juice as possible in the skillet. Press the apples into an even layer. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars and eggs until thick and well combined. Add in the butter until combined. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, simmer the remaining apple juice mixture on the stove until slightly thick, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it. Invert the cake onto a wire rack. Allow to cool for 20 minutes or longer before cutting. Serve drizzled with the caramel apple sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice

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This conversation is sponsored by International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

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44 Responses to Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

  1. Love upside down cakes. Love the combo of sticky sweet apples and a caramel apple sauce on the top. This is decadent cake. Incredibly YUM, Joanne. Drooling! 🙂

  2. So true about the juices spilling thing and the smoke alarm. Ha ha. This looks so great! I love Honey Crisps too and can’t resist them either.

  3. I want to nosedive into those apples… or just eat all of them off the cake when no one is looking!

  4. Pam says:

    I love honey crisp apples too! It’s been cool & rainy here in Oregon – it feels like fall here and I am very happy about it!

    The upside down cake looks incredible!

  5. How I love a caramel apple cake…oh and apple pire too and what a good idea Joanne….breakfast!

  6. Gahh! Can I even describe how perfect this cake is looking to me right now?? All those caramel-smothered apples = squeal!!

  7. Meg says:

    Ooh, yes. Despite it also being humid and approximately ten thousand degrees here right now, I am all about fall and dragged all my decor out yesterday! (Plus, I put in an apple-scented Wallflower — so, yeah. All fall up in here.) This looks wonderful!

  8. I am so with you! It’s been 90+ and humid here for like the past 3 to 4 months straight and even though I like summer, I confess I am ready for fall things…like apples and this gorgeous cake! I don’t think it gets any better than caramel on caramel!

  9. It may not actually be fall, but I would never say no to a giant slice of this!! Looks fabulous.

  10. We are fans of any upside down cakes! This looks sensational with that caramel.

  11. We just got back from Vermont where we picked two pecks of apples – Silkens and Ginger Golds. So, this recipe is pretty much FATE for me.

  12. Delicious- brunch, here I come! Pinning 🙂

  13. Upside down cakes are some of the easiest and most delicious cakes! This caramel apple version has my name all over it. I bet the kitchen smelled amazing while this was baking. I love baking with apple.

  14. Heather says:

    Yummy! I do love Honeycrisp season – just filled our fridge drawer yesterday. Ha ha.

  15. Hurrah for the end of “bikini season”, now we can feast on apply caramelly desserts without worrying about thigh wobble. Using the coffee creamer is a great trick to keep things simple 🙂

  16. I am not a huge fan of cold weather – but cake like this is the only way I deal with it! LOVE that caramel sauce topping. Genius idea to make it from “the leftover apple brown sugar butter mixture from the sauteed apples” and adding in that ID Caramel Macchiato Coffee Creamer! Brilliant dessert, Joanne!

  17. What a beautiful cake! I can’t get enough apples this time of year!

  18. grace says:

    first of all, that creamer must be magnificent! more importantly, what a treat. i’m still resistant to fall recipes, but for something this delicious, i’ll allow it. 🙂

  19. One of my most favourite foodie things about Fall is Honeycrisp apples. I LOVE them. It’s feeling very Fall-ish here today, and the weekend forecast is dreary and cool. It might be the perfect time to embrace the changing of the seasons and make this delicious cake. I love upsidedown cakes and they are MUCH easier than making a pie, for sure.

  20. Lynn says:

    I’m not ready for fall yet either, but this lovely recipe is a good start!

    I’ve been away from blogging briefly and have missed some of your posts, but just read through and there is much yumminess there!

  21. I’ve never heard of that variety of apple but will get behind this with any type of apple! Yum.

  22. CakePants says:

    Oh wow, this looks fan-freaking-tastic! I’ve never done an apple upside-down cake, but this sounds like a great idea because, like you said, who has time for rolling out crust?! Delicious.

  23. Kate says:

    I almost feel like you can’t have apples without caramel. It would be pointless.

  24. I’m holding onto summer as long as I can, but I would never say no to this upside down apple cake. Looks delice!

  25. Mira says:

    Love baking with apples ! This upside down cake looks perfect! Pinned!

  26. This cake looks fantastic Joanne!! The caramel sauce topping looks fantastic with the creamer!

  27. Beth says:

    Breakfast? I’m allowed to eat this for breakfast? Stand back, kitchen – here I come!

  28. Tina says:

    I want to move somewhere which Fall temperatures abound. I love this – its so fancy looking and I am gaining weight just looking at it!

  29. amanda says:

    This cake looks AMAZING!!!

  30. I am so ready for fall and this looks like the perfect way to begin!

  31. Oooh, I am a bit jealous of your 90 degree walk to work, Joanne, sweating through 3 shirts or not!!
    I have just been on holiday to the south of England and it was sunny but barely 60 degrees!
    Still, we have lovely Fall food to look forward to, and I was really happy today to see you kicking us off with this gorgeous apple pie … the caramel part sounds to die for! 🙂

  32. mimi says:

    I would make this cake just for the caramel! Isn’t it sad that fall doesn’t automatically begin on September 1st?

  33. I try to always remember to put a pan under things that may bubble over. Learned that the hard way for sure. Yay for apple cake … but not for fall 🙁

  34. I really need to make an upside down cake!

  35. cheri says:

    Hi Joanne, honey crisp are my favorites too, this looks amazing!

  36. This cake looks freaking fantastic! I’m so excited for apple season.

  37. Hotly Spiced says:

    We have great varieties of apples here but I’ve never heard of the honey crisp. I do love an apple cake and especially an apple cake with caramel. The way you have drizzled the caramel is very tempting xx

  38. Kelly says:

    As much as I will miss summer berries, I love anything caramel apple! This cake is a gorgeous way to welcome fall!

  39. Sarah says:

    Can I come over to your place?? I need this in my belly Nao!!!

  40. Reeni says:

    Not ready for fall but I am ready for apples! You can’t go wrong with apple cake paired with caramel! My favorite!

  41. Lisa says:

    I could eat that for breakfast, happily!

  42. Liz says:

    Oh, my. You’ve hit on two of my most favorite things: apple desserts and caramel! This is one exquisite cake!

  43. elly says:

    I actually live more in fear of upside down cakes setting up than pies, but I’m willing to ignore my fears to make this.

  44. Johanna GGG says:

    that cake looks so good – yes who has time for pies and the like but funny I can always find time to eat them 🙂

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