So, I promised after I shared my Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce recipe that you’d be seeing it again. And this time, it’s a component to a heavenly new dessert that you’ll want to try while Fall apples are still in their prime!
This Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake is a dairy-free, egg-free, AIP-friendly cake that is packed full of sweet apples, sticky salted caramel, and cinnamon. I loved this cake so much that I made it as a birthday cake for my mom this year and it was a huge hit with my family! So good, in fact, that I made it again for Mark and me as a Halloween treat!
If you don’t have Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce on hand, go make a batch of that now, then join me as I walk through this decadent Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake recipe. After you savor a thick slice of this warm apple cake covered in caramel, you might even consider replacing your Thanksgiving pie with this delicious dessert!
There’s just something about upside down cakes that intrigue me. They’re sort of a classic, old school dessert that also seem to impress. Maybe it’s the shiny, fruit-covered topping or maybe it’s the fact that they present a bit of a challenge when it comes to actually flipping them upside down. Either way, I’m fond of these cakes and knew I had to make my own Fall-inspired version! And while this Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake may LOOK intimidating, it’s actually SO easy to bake and flip upside down!
As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, baking + the autoimmune protocol diet don’t always go together easily! It’s definitely a challenge replicating the texture of baked goods without gluten, dairy, or eggs. In that past, I’ve showed you how to use gelatin eggs (like in my Paleo Pumpkin Blondie recipe), so I assumed that would be a good plan for this cake. But, after a couple tries, I discovered that using applesauce in place of eggs created the perfect texture and flavor! And since it’s an apple cake, adding applesauce just seemed to make sense!
Speaking of applesauce, this Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake is LOADED with apples! Applesauce as an egg-replacer, diced apples that get mixed into the cake, and sliced, caramel-covered apples that comprise the beautiful topping. I used a combination of apples, but I recommend some crisp, sturdy varieties like Staymen Winesap, Jonagold, Pink Lady, or Granny Smith.
Get out your already-made Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce along with your apples. Peel, core, and thinly slice two large apples and add them to a large skillet. Peel, core, and dice the remaining large apple and set it aside for the cake batter.
Cook both the sliced apples and salted caramel sauce together for about 5 minutes, or until the apples have some give to them. Don’t overcook them, since they’ll end up getting baked in the oven.
Set the caramel apples aside and prepare a round cake pan with coconut oil (or butter) and parchment. You’ll want to grease the pan well and then cut a circle of parchment to fit into the bottom of the pan. Grease the parchment, too, so the topping doesn’t stick to it. The better you grease your pan, the easier it will be for the cake to flip well!
Pour the caramel apple slices into the parchment-lined cake pan and spread them around so they evenly cover the pan. You can also make a decorative design, like I tried to do. It doesn’t have to be perfect, since it will get slathered with more caramel sauce after it’s out of the oven!
Grab two mixing bowls and throw the dry ingredients into one bowl and the wet ingredients into the other, holding off on the diced apple and apple cider vinegar until last. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, stirring gently. Coat the diced apple pieces lightly with arrowroot powder and fold them into the cake batter. Then, add the apple cider vinegar, which will react with the baking soda so that the cake rises.
The batter will be dense and thick, but that’s okay! Scoop and spread it gently and evenly over the caramel apples. And now, it’s all ready to bake!
Bake your Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once it’s nicely browned, pull it out of the oven and let it cool off for 15-20 minutes. I usually run a knife around the edge while it’s cooling, too.
Now comes the moment of truth! Flip that cake! Use a large plate or cake stand and flip the cooled cake quickly, tapping the pan a little if it doesn’t come out right away. I’ve made this recipe 3-4 times and it’s flipped perfectly every time, so I’m confident you’ll have success! Peel off the parchment and try not to drool as you gaze at the shiny caramel apple topping! 😉 Drizzle with extra Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce until your heart is content and then enjoy each caramel apple-filled bite!
Technically, my Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake should serve about 8 people, but it’s SO good, that I guarantee you, it will be near impossible to only eat one piece! Pretty sure Mark and I polished off half the cake right after I baked it! So, you’ve been warned – this cake is addictive and won’t last long!
I’m thrilled to have an easy, scrumptious dessert that I know I can rely on for my first Thanksgiving on the autoimmune protocol diet! Even if you don’t have any dietary restrictions at all, do yourself a favor and bake this Paleo Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake anyway! You will absolutely love it!
- 3 large apples
- 1 cup Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce, divided
- ¾ cup arrowroot starch, plus extra for dusting apples
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup applesauce
- ⅛ cup raw honey
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9'' round cake pan with coconut oil. Cut a round piece of parchment to fit on bottom of cake pan and grease parchment, as well.
- Peel, core, and slice 2 of the apples. Peel, core, and dice remaining apple and set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the 2 sliced apples with ½ cup of the Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce for 5 minutes. Pour apple slices and caramel onto parchment-lined cake pan and spread out to cover bottom of pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients except for apple cider vinegar. Stir in ¼ cup of Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce.
- Combine wet into dry ingredients. Sprinkle diced apple with arrowroot starch and fold into cake batter. Add apple cider vinegar last and stir gently.
- Spread batter into cake pan and smooth out evenly. (Batter will be thick.)
- Bake cake for 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert cake onto a large plate or cake stand. Drizzle with remaining ¼ cup of Pumpkin Salted Caramel Sauce.