"This gingerbread-spiced molasses-heavy caramelized apple upside-down cake is perfect for the holiday-decked winter months. . . It’s intensely flavored, dark and coppery and goes about as perfectly with some barely sweetened, softly whipped cream as I imagine it would with a dark beer or hard cider." Read more about this recipe’s origins at SmittenKitchen.com
Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
For the Topping:
- 4 Tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing pan
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 apples (about 1¾ lb), peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch wedges
For the Batter:
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup dark molasses
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2¼ cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Very softly whipped cream
To Make the topping:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, four minutes, then swirl in salt. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of your cake pan. Make circles of overlapping apple slices on top of the caramel. Chop any remaining slices and place them in the gaps.
To Make the Batter:
Using a mixer, blend ½ cup butter and the sugar on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to high and cream until light and fluffy.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, honey and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Alternate mixing the flour and molasses mixtures into the butter mixture, adding the next once the last has been incorporated.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at least 45 to 50 minutes (thanks to commenter klp for reminding me this took a bit longer) or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a platter (one that will catch spills, unlike what you see in the pictures above).
Serve warm or cool with very softly whipped cream.