Salted Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

Eve 11/10/10

Sweet, luscious and divine, this cake will give any other apple cake a run for it's money. Buttery vanilla cake sweetened with brown sugar is baked with tart apple, caramel and sea salt flakes. 

So guys, it is officially autumn around here; lots of orange and red leaves, frosty mornings and long dark nights. But this also means a lot more comfort food recipes and sweet treats to make the day more pleasurable. I feel I have cracked a code - this cake is absolutely Amazing with a capital A.

PS. Baking the Day is now on Instagram!

May I introduce my Salted caramel apple upside-down cake! (That is a heck of a title!!)
If you love caramel, salted caramel, apples and vanilla, you have come to the right place, this cake is an explosion of all things fall-like. 

Salted caramel...Where do I begin? It's sweet, sticky and very addictive, may it be a sauce or chewy candy. It is so versatile! Throw some salted caramel sauce into a muffin mix for very luxurious muffins or even put some soft caramels into cookies. This cake is super-duper yummy; soft and tender brown sugar cake with butter, caramel and vanilla with tart but sweet apple slices and a salted caramel dulce de leche topping. 
Once the cake is baked, the "leche" is a molten sugary sauce and once you turn the cake upside-down onto a plate, the sauce runs into the cake, making it so flavorful and delicious. 

You can probably tell that I LOVE this cake, and you will too!

To make this gorgeous cake, you will need to start with some "dulce de leche" which is condensed milk which has been caramelised. You can buy cans of ready-made dulce de leche but the nearest shop that sells it to me is a 40 minute drive away! Instead, I just made my own by boiling a sealed can of sweetened condensed milk for 2 hours, constantly topping up the pan with water. 
To be honest, it is much easier (and probably tastier) to just buy a ready-made can of sweet dulce goodness. 

Melt the soft caramel with some milk and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes in a small saucepan until smooth and velvety in texture. I advise that you use cows milk when it comes to this recipe as we need the dairy richness to carry the warming flavours of the caramel in the sauce. I used semi-skimmed (2% fat) milk but to be decadence, you could use whole milk (3.25% fat), breakfast milk (5.4% fat) or to be over the top, you could even use double cream (48% fat). 

However, if you are extremely against using cows milk, you could use full fat coconut milk. 

While the dulce, milk and salt are melting together, slice up your apples thinly. I like to use a tart apple and a sweet apple as each bite is filled with the traditional apple flavour along with a very subtle tang. Arrange the apples neatly on the bottom of the tin, make a pretty top.

Now, this is the part when my willpower completely, absolutely, fails me. So, warm salted caramel sauce slowly getting poured on to sweet, crisp slices of apple. You see where I am going?! Yep, just grab one or two of those apple slices covered in caramel and just take a minutes to enjoy it. Slow down and just put the appley-caramely goodness in your mouth. Ahh, sweet satisfaction... 

Next, start the batter for the cake. Cream together some soft salted butter and light brown sugar. The brown sugar creates a beautiful colour as well as flavour, echoing the caramel topping. Add your room temperature eggs one at a time until the mixture has become a soft beige cream. It is very important that your eggs are at room temperature; if they are not, the cake mixture can easily curdle and separate, giving the cake an uneven bake and texture. When adding the eggs, I like to give 2 minutes beating-time once I have added 1 egg and another 2 minutes beating-time once I have added the second eggs, producing a lovely emulsification between the butter and eggs. 

To enhance the caramel flavour, I added 3 drops of natural "buttery caramel" flavouring to the batter. I use this brand but beware, it is extremely strong and intense; 1 drop can go a very, very long way!

Sieve in your dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients and you are good to go. Dollop the batter carefully onto the cooled caramel apple top and level. Just bake until the house smells like an explosion in a autumn-themed bakery. 

But seriously, my little bakers, this cake it not to be missed. Tender apples covered in a sweet and salty rich dulce de leche caramel sauce, topping a divine and dreamy caramel brown sugar butter cake. 

It may look innocent but oh no, this cake will blow your socks off!

Salted Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake
Posted By Eve
Makes 1 cake, serves 10

For the caramel apple topping
  • 130g dulce de leche
  • 50ml milk, at room temperature
  • 1 granny smith apple or any other tart apple
  • 1 gala apple or any other sweet eating apple
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. sea salt flakes

For the cake
  • 70g salted butter, softened
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 drops caramel flavouring (optional)
  • 50g plain yogurt 
  • 50ml milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºc/ 160ºc/ gas mark 3 and grease and line a 23cm cake tin. Make sure the tin has not got a removable bottom but a springform tin is ok.
  2. First, make the topping. Heat  the 130g of dulce de leche in a small pan with the milk and salt until thinner in texture and appearance. Pour this into the cake tin. Peel and core the apples and slice into thin slices. Arrange the slices over the caramel in a layers.
  3. For the cake, beat the butter and sugar together well until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time and whisk in well until lighter in texture and colour.
  4. Add the caramel flavouring and whisk in well. Add the yogurt, milk and vanilla and beat in well. 
  5. Sieve in the rest of the ingredients and fold in until the mixture is uniform in texture and appearance.
  6. Spoon the batter on top of the apples, careful not to move them out of place and spread out evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes  until risen and and when a skewer is inserted, it comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a serving plate. 
  7. Serve warm or cooled with coffee


This cake is best served on the day of baking. Keep leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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