Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

Fall spice takes center stage in this showstopping upside-down cake. Cooking the apples in molasses and brown sugar lends deep caramelized notes, and a blend of warm spices in the batter heightens the apple’s richness. For an extra dose of decadence, serve with a dollop of mascarpone.

Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake
 
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups (367 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup (170 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (42 grams) molasses, divided
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples (450 grams), peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (127 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2⅔ cups (333 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons (12.5 grams) baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter sides of a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ⅔ cup (147 grams) brown sugar, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons (42 grams) molasses. Pour into prepared pan. Arrange apple slices in groups of 5 in alternating patterns on top of sugar mixture.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened butter and remaining 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in remaining ½ cup (170 grams) molasses until no streaks remain. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Pour batter over apples, smoothing with an offset spatula.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan to release sides of cake, if needed. Carefully invert onto a flat serving plate. Serve warm.

 

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