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the best apple upside down cake recipe

Layered Cinnamon Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake (Vegan)

Nothing screams Autumn quite like caramel and apples. This cake celebrates this age old favorite combination in an incredibly delicious way!

Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 16 - 18 servings



  • 1/4 cup 1/2 stick vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or any plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons strong black coffee
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 7 - 8 medium apples peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 1 cup aquafaba liquid from 2 cans cooked chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or organic vegetable shortening melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • non-dairy vanilla ice cream or non-dairy whipped cream for serving optional


For the Caramel:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until butter is melted and bubbling. Turn off heat for a minute and slowly pour in the cream, milk, and coffee (careful, it will sizzle), After that, add the sugar and salt and return to heat and stir gently until it comes to a boil. Boil for about 7 or 8 minutes until its thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla. You should have about 1 1/3 cups.

For Apples:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add the apples and lemon juice. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the sugar and continue cooking for another few minutes until the juice has started to caramelize with the sugar, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle in the vanilla and cinnamon then gently stir to combine. Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans with butter or oil and spread 1/4 of the mixture (per pan) into an even layer on the bottom of each of the 3 pans, reserving the last of the apples for the top of the cake. Pour 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce(per pan) over the apples and spread with a spatula.
  2. For Cake:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Pour aquafaba into bowl of stand mixer and beat until its begins to look light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Slowly drizzle in sugar while beating on high and continue until it forms stiff peaks (it should take about 5 more minutes). In separate bowl, stir together the lemon juice, applesauce, melted coconut oil, oil, and vanilla extract.
  2. Now, while continuing to beat the aquafaba mixture, slowly pour in the liquids and beat just until evenly combined (the volume of fluffiness will fall a bit but don't worry, it was still worth it for the end result).
  3. Now in another separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients. Use a large spatula to gently fold in the ingredients just until fairly combined. (It's actually better to leave some small lumps then to overmix and lose volume.)
  4. Carefully pour the batter over the apples in the prepared pans and place them in the oven to bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the top starts to brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Remove cakes from oven and allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes then loosen the edges all the way around with a thin bladed knife. Now, wearing oven mitts, invert a large plate over each of the pans and carefully flip them upside down while holding the plate tightly to the pan. Use a rubber spatula to scrape out any of the extra syrup left in pan and pour over each cake.
  6. Allow them to cool for another few minutes to avoid damaging the cake, then carefully layer all three on top of each other so that you have a triple layer cake. Spoon the reserved apples over the top and drizzle extra caramel as desired. You can also add any garnishes you'd like such as nuts or leaves and flowers for decoration.
  7. You can eat it while it's still warm or allow it to cool completely (warm is AMAZING!!). Oh, and ice cream or whipped cream with it is delicious!