Apple-Molasses Upside-Down Cake

Apple Mollases Upside Down Cake

Cast Iron pans are a secret weapon.  Yes, they are heavy enough that they could actually be used as a weapon, but that’s not what I am talking about.  I love my cast iron pan, but I hardly ever use it!  The problem is, because I don’t use it very much, whenever I go to use it – I usually have to re-season it.  It is not that hard, but kind of a pain.  It is always completely worth it though – particularly for baking.  The one thing I have not done yet is use my cast iron pan to bake something on the Big Green Egg…now we’re talking.

The other week I signed up to bring dessert for book club.  I decided that I would make two desserts – one for the kids, and one for the adults.  What did I make for the kids?  Of course these…but I wanted to do something completely different for the adults.  Something that was easy, not too heavy, but that looked appetizing enough for everyone to try it.  I was so happy when I found this recipe in Bon Appetit, and it called for a cast iron pan.  It had been a while since I baked on my cast iron pan, and it was time.

It was a little risky to make this when we were trying to think spring, but I think I pulled it off.  The apples really made this dish – the cake had such an intense flavor that the apples offset it nicely.  Most of the Moms had a taste, and many of the kids did too.  Now, all I have to do is make this on the Egg to give it a nice smoky flavor…now that would be something else.


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted  butter
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose  flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher  salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground  cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking  soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking  powder
  • 3/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons grated  peeled ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3-4 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apples,  (about 2 pounds), peeled


Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Melt butter  in a 10-inch (as measured across the bottom) cast-iron or other ovenproof  skillet; set aside. Whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder  in a medium bowl.

Whisk molasses, egg, ginger, and 1/4 cup sugar in a large  bowl. Whisk in sour cream, then milk. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients, then 3  tablespoons melted butter from skillet. Set aside.

Place 1 apple on a work surface  stem up. Cut a large piece of  apple from 1 side, leaving core behind. Rotate apple and repeat twice for a  total of 3 large pieces (a triangular core will remain). Repeat with remaining  apples.

Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar to butter in skillet. Cook over  medium-high heat until sugar begins to caramelize, 2-3 minutes. Add apples; stir  to coat. Cook apples rounded sides down for  3 minutes, then turn over and cook  flat sides down until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes longer. Space apples  evenly in skillet flat side down and pour cake batter over.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake until a cake tester inserted  into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30-40 minutes.

Let cake cool in skillet for 10 minutes, then carefully invert  onto a plate. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Apple Mollases Upside Down Cake


10 thoughts on “Apple-Molasses Upside-Down Cake

  1. Can you imagine how awesome this would be in the egg?! Oh my goodness. I’m salivating just thinking of it! And the skillet is genius. I need to use mine more too. :)

  2. That looks so delicious, I want to make it… but I then pose the question – can I use a normal pan? Because although I own one, it’s quite small and shallow :) You’ve mentioned using a heatproof skillet, but I’m thinking along the lines of a normal baking pan… What do you reckon, could I pull it off with one of those?

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