Moist and gooey, this skillet cake is between a bread pudding and cake, made like an upside down cake.
I came up with the idea during the 2020 Shelter In Place pandemic order. I figured it was a great time to create and experiment. I love the idea of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, but the ones I have had were always too sweet. This one is sweet, but it’s balanced with saltiness and tartness from the lime juice and apples. The cake part is similar to a spice cake.
You’ll start the dessert on the stove top and transfer it to the oven to bake. The recipe is very simple, and you can add or omit some of the ingredients if you prefer.
There are three parts you’ll be making: the skillet sauce, the apples, and the batter.
FOR THE SKILLET SAUCE
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
FOR THE APPLES
- 3 to 4 tart apples (depending on size) – Gala, Sweet Tango, Granny Smith work great, or any combination – peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, 2 tablespoons of chopped dates or raisins (or any combination)
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup of Half-n-Half or milk
- Optional: 2 tablespoons of Amaretto
- 1-1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350.
Make the skillet sauce: melt the butter in a cast iron skillet. Once melted, add brown sugar and maple syrup. Cook until it forms large bubbles, and then set it aside.
Make the apples: In a bowl, add peeled, sliced apples. Toss the apples with white sugar and lime juice. Add any nuts or dried fruit you wish and set aside with apples. Pour into skillet and stir, incorporating all ingredients well. Let rest on stove-top while you’re making the batter.
Make the batter: In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and add sugar, combine well. Add eggs, almond extract, vanilla paste or extract, ground cinnamon, salt, and half and half or milk. Beat well.
Stir in flour and baking powder.
Pour batter over apple mixture…
Bake in oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
Cake will be springy and caramelized brown. Don’t let it burn.
Remove from the oven and serve warm.
To serve, spoon or slice a piece of cake and flip it over on the plate so the apple mixture is on the top. Add ice cream or fresh brown sugar maple whipped cream on top.
This dessert is also good cold.