Maple Apple Upside Down Cake

by Marla on February 10, 2011 · 56 comments

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Healthy whole grain breakfast cake recipe with maple apples.There is something special about an upside down cake. The technique is very simple, but it seems like something more. Sweet goo meets crumbly cake makes this an irresistible creation. Maple, apples and cinnamon are the perfect partners. They are delicious in any season and are readily available year round. Almond meal in this cake adds a great texture and a subtle nutty flavor. I will be using it a lot more in upcoming recipes.

Healthy Valentine's Day Maple Apple Cake recipe.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this would be a lovely cake to share with your loved ones. It fills the house with amazing smells as the apples saute in maple & coconut oil. When the cake bakes the sweet aroma makes you smile big.

Cut paper Valentines at preschool

These little cut-outs at school made me smile big too.

Healthy whole grain breakfast cake recipe with maple apples.

This cake is perfect for breakfast, brunch or as an any time snack. I love fruits mixed with cake. Pear Spice Cake with Toasted Walnuts is a favorite around here.

Healthy whole grain breakfast cake recipe with maple apples.

Serve with some freshly whipped cream, thick greek yogurt or slightly sweetened whipped cream cheese. Vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt or gelato would be delicious too.

Healthy whole grain breakfast cake recipe with maple apples.

What is your favorite way to use maple syrup? Are you a light maple grade A kind of person or do you prefer rich, dark grade B maple syrup? I am grade B gal all the way.

Fresh apples for cake recipe - Gala, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp ApplesWhat are your favorite kinds of apples?

Maple Apple Upside Down Cake

Makes 8-10 servings


  • I love cinnamon with apples. Ground ginger, nutmeg, cardamom or pumpkin pie spice would be nice flavors in the cake too.
  • When it comes to pure maple syrup, my favorite is the richer maple tasting grade B amber. Grade  A is lighter in color, sweeter and less maple in flavor. When it comes down to choosing, just use which ever you prefer.
  • Firm sweet-tart apples such as Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady and Granny Smith work really well in this cake.




  • 2 1/2 cups diced Apples, keep skin on
  • 2 teaspoons unrefined Coconut Oil
  • pinch of fine Sea Salt
  • pinch of ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 cup Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine Sea Salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia Powder (or sweeten to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 large Egg, whisked
  • 1 cup fat free Milk
  • Cooking Spray


Apples: Heat coconut oil in a medium non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add apples, water and a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Stir occasionally and cook for about 8 minutes until apples are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat, stir in maple syrup and let apples cool in a separate bowl.

Cake: Pre heat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Prepare a 8×2 inch round pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Gently combine the wet and dry together to form the cake batter.

Put apples in the pan first in a single layer. Make sure they coat the bottom of the pan well. Carefully smooth the cake batter over the maple apple mixture. Try to keep the apples from moving around too much. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool for a few minutes.

To remove from pan: put a large dinner plate over the cake pan. Hold it tight and flip the cake over. It should slide out easily. If it sticks carefully use a spatula to loosen up the sides.

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 the urban baker February 10, 2011 at 6:28 am

Fuji apples and grade B maple syrup! I love this post, I love your photos and I would really love a slice of this right now with my early morning cup of tea!


2 Marla February 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

Susan: Wish you were closer – I would love to have you over!


3 Estela @ Weekly Bite February 10, 2011 at 6:31 am

My mouth is watering! Looks delicious!

You’re such a talented food stylist :)


4 Cherine February 10, 2011 at 6:31 am

This cake looks absolutely fabulous!


5 Maria February 10, 2011 at 7:06 am

My kind of cake! Love it!


6 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 10, 2011 at 7:12 am

marla, this looks amazing! i love upside-down cakes…so beautiful :)


7 Rosa February 10, 2011 at 7:18 am

Upside down cakes are so wonderful! Yours looks delightful.
Cheers, Rosa


8 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 10, 2011 at 7:56 am

Marla, this cake is stunning! I just love all those fresh,
fall-reminiscent flavors you used. This looks so scrumptious. And,
let’s see, my favorite way to use maple syrup is on some warm,
fluffy blueberry pancakes – and the REAL stuff! My husband refuses
to use anything but Aunt Jemima, but I have my own bottle of dark
Vermont syrup that’s just heaven! :) Can’t live without


9 FoodFitnessFreshAir February 10, 2011 at 8:02 am

Now this is a breakfast in bed I’d love to be surprised
with this weekend….Hm…ways to drop a hint.


10 Kristen February 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

What a delicious, full of flavor cake this is. Love that it
is healthy too :)


11 Lucy February 10, 2011 at 9:05 am

okay where do you find the time for everything?!! x


12 Marla February 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Lucy: It’s tough girl, I squeeze in work whenever I can. Different times of the day different stuff. Getting the lighting and time right for photos is the toughest. Usually the cooking/baking takes place the day before the shoot. Lots of food labeled “do not touch” in the fridge at all times. Does that happen in your house too? I know you are very busy as well.


13 carolinaheartstrings February 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

That looks so good. What a nice treat for a cold winter day.


14 Sommer J February 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

Honey Crisp are my favorite apples.

This looks gorgeous- my kids would love it!


15 judy meridith February 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

looks yummy. I bet the family really loved this one. Just looking at it makes me want some.


16 Faith February 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

Such a gorgeous cake and pretty pictures, Marla! Apples are
my favorite fruit (along with cherries when they’re in season) and
I’m always looking for new things to make with them…and Cortlands
are my favorite, I bet they’d be great in this cake!


17 Lesley Miller February 10, 2011 at 10:36 am

I love, love, love your new blog header! A subtle change
but it’s perfect.


18 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. February 10, 2011 at 10:50 am

super clever and looks delish


19 Nicole, RD February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

Your blog is dangerous for me! I always leave hungry!!!


20 Amanda February 10, 2011 at 11:41 am

Those cut outs are SO cute!! And I love this cake. I
really, really want some. I normally don’t like apples baked in
anything, but I am pregnant, and I think I am now obsessed with
this cake thanks to you. It might be me and this cake for the next
6 weeks. :)


21 Marla February 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Amanda: It’s amazing what we crave when we are pregnant & how those cravings change throughout the pregnancy. Glad you are in a baked apple phase 😉


22 Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food February 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

So pretty, so homey, and so full of wonderful and healthy
flavors, Marla. This cake has really spurred me to buy almond flour
to taste and experiment with, something I’ve meant to do for ages
but haven’t gotten around to doing. In answer to your question: I
love best the small, tart, nameless heritage apples of an ancient
and forgotten pair of apple trees deep in the forest surrounding my
home in North Carolina. Does any apple taste better than one you
have discovered and picked yourself?


23 Jeanette February 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

What a healthy, hearty cake and a special treat! Love the whole grain and nut flours in this recipe!


24 Xiaolu February 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Mmm I know from experience that apples and cinnamon are great together indeed. And I can already imagine that maple would make it even tastier! I’ve also really taken to eating fruit treats with a tart yogurt or sour cream topping in the last year. A great balance to the sweetness and warm spices. I like honey crisp, gala, and golden delicious for munching. And fresh and local really is much tastier than store bought!


25 Marla February 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Xiaolu: I wish we had apple trees in our yard. You are right there is nothing like picking fresh fruit from a near by farm or your own land. I prefer the balance of a tart yogurt or sour cream over ice cream any day when paired with a sweet cake like this. There is a such thing as too much sweet – sometimes 😉


26 Jessica @ How Sweet February 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm

What a delicious cake! Love it.


27 Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather February 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm

So pretty! I love finding new ways to use fresh apples, yum :)


28 Sonia@7spice February 10, 2011 at 8:33 pm

mmm…this reminding me I’ve not had an apple crumble since ages! Cake recipe is healthy+delicious. Did I tell you that I love your new header? You look awesome! :)


29 Marla February 11, 2011 at 5:12 am

Sonia: Thanks so much. Apple crumble is one of my all time favorite apple desserts. Now I need to work on a crumble topping without all the brown sugar. hmmmm


30 Daydreamer Desserts February 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Love the addition of maple syrup to this cake, and I can just imagine the incredible aroma while it’s baking. Drooling!!


31 Barbara Bakes February 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Maple is a fabulous addition to an upside down apple cake. Great idea!


32 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 11, 2011 at 5:02 am

I just love your description of the cake as “sweet goo meets crumbly cake”, that sounds pretty delicious! I’m a grade B maple syrup girl myself, I like the richness and full flavor of the grade B and it’s great to bake with too.


33 A Canadian Foodie February 11, 2011 at 6:46 am

I thought it was rhubarb when I first saw it. It would be
great with rhubarb, too…. and thick dollops of homemade yogurt or
sinful creme fraiche! YUM! I love the hardy ingredients and
appreciate the thought you went into making it. :) Valerie (There’s
a little love waiting over at my site, too) XO


34 Heavenly Housewife February 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

What a wonderful cake, kind of like a tarte tatin meets
pineapple upside down cake. I love the delicious warming flavours.
I bet this is awesome with a nice cup of tea. *kisses* HH


35 Gaby February 11, 2011 at 6:57 am

break me off a piece of that!!! holy yum!


36 merry jennifer February 11, 2011 at 7:03 am

What a gorgeous cake. I love the combination of flavors
that you’ve used. Maple, cinnamon, and apples go so well together.
I’m partial to Honeycrisp for snacking, but tend to buy Gala more
frequently since they’re usually more abundant and less


37 Heather February 11, 2011 at 9:00 am

Mmmm… I am loving this!


38 Cookin' Canuck February 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

Absolutely beautiful, Marla! Your perfect patchwork of
apples makes such a lovely presentation. As for our favorite apples
– Gala all the way.


39 Marla February 11, 2011 at 11:36 am

Dara: I had not thought of the “apple patchwork” concept, interesting way to see this cake. You are so creative and have such a great eye. It ups the Americana factor. Apples, cinnamon & patchwork!


40 Sara February 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Such a delicious looking maple upside down cake! Yum! Also
I LOVE your new site design! Love your pic you gorgeous babe! :)
xoxo ps. Thanks for visiting my blog…I have been a little busy
with projects and have no time for tweeting or blogging..but will
post once a week! :)


41 Marla February 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Sara: Thanks for your super sweet compliments! I always love when you stop by for a visit. Even though you are so busy I am happy you will still post one of your beautiful recipes once a week. I always look forward to visiting your blog. Wondering what you are up to behind the scenes??


42 grace February 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

forget the boring ol’ pineapple upside downer–i’m all for
apples from here on out!


43 Bunkycooks February 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm

This is such a lovely post. The colors with the apples are
perfect! The cake looks pretty yummy, too. 😉


44 Joanne February 12, 2011 at 6:25 am

I love the way fruit always seems to caramelize on top of upside down cakes. I think it’s what makes them so decadent.

This cake looks gorgeous! I love the maple coconut almond combination.


45 Nutmeg Nanny February 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm

This sounds great! I love maple and apple…yum!


46 Leslie February 13, 2011 at 6:08 am

Amazing amazing photos!!!! I love the little cut out people too! Very cute!
I am a grade a kinda girl. My kids are spoiled and only eat real maple syrup. However it is soooooooo expensive. I probably spend about $40 a month on the stuff!!! Aggggg. But we can never go back to the “maple flavored high fructose corn syrup”!
Thank for stopping by my blog!


47 Marla February 13, 2011 at 6:38 am

Leslie: I know the pure maple syrup can be very expensive. I buy large bottles of it at Trader Joe’s for fairly reasonable prices. They last a good long time because they are so big!! My kids only know from the real stuff and I am with you – no “maple flavor fakes” around here. Could you imagine the sugar crashes after that stuff??!!


48 tasteofbeirut February 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I was thinking recently about the wonderful maple syrup and how I miss using it in my cooking; thanks to you, I am now going to use it in my baking! Love love apples, raw or in a cake. This is a healthy and delicious cake.


49 Carolyn Jung February 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I wish I was one of those cute little cutout people so that I could just pounce on that cake. Is that wrong? LOL


50 Marla February 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Carolyn: That is so not wrong – love your enthusiasm for great food :) I really wish I had some of this cake right about now.


51 Rocio Rincon February 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Oh wow, what a great recipe!!! It looks so simple, nutritious and yummy! I’m definitely trying this. Mmmmh! Xoxo ♥


52 erin March 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

This looks so cool! I love that you can see all that
apples. That usually doesn’t happen with your average, run of the
mill apple cake.


53 Judith M. October 4, 2014 at 8:19 am

Thanks for this recipe. I’m going to make it today.


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