Apple slices are drenched in vegan caramel sauce and layered on top of a fluffy spiced cake, giving you this impressive Apple Upside Down Cake. It’s a gooey, comforting, and irresistible dessert that’s perfect for fall!
This is no ordinary vegan apple cake – Apple Upside Down Cake is so much more!
Buttery soft caramelized apple slices are layered on top of a comforting spice cake in this must-make fall dessert. The entire cake is assembled in the pan upside down in this order:
Why I can’t get enough of this easy apple upside down cake
- Caramel + apples = perfection – Gooey, caramel-coated apples are layered on top of a fluffy spice cake that’s as warming as my Vegan Apple Muffins. Every bite is pure perfection!
- Comforting flavors – Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the caramel sauce and cake make this the ultimate comforting fall dessert.
- Impressive, yet foolproof – Preparing a vegan upside down apple cake is foolproof. Just layer, bake, flip, and enjoy!
How to make an apple upside down cake
Start the apple topping by heating the vegan butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk until the butter has melted, then take the pan off the heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.
To make a salted caramel apple upside down cake, stir in 1 teaspoon of salt when you add the cinnamon/vanilla.
Pour the caramel sauce into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Arrange the apple slices on top of the sauce (the more, the merrier!).
Next, make the cake by whisking the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the melted vegan butter, applesauce, soy milk, and vanilla extract until just combined.
Pour the cake batter over the apples in the pan.
Bake the vegan upside down cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Just use quality gluten free all purpose flour in the cake batter.
Yes, you can use my homemade caramel sauce or salted caramel if you already have a batch on hand. Store-bought vegan caramel should work, too.
It’s also a good idea to gently heat the jarred caramel in a saucepan first because this will give it a more pourable consistency and help it evenly coat the apples.
Yes, you can use a mix of sliced apples and pears instead or swap the apples for another kind of fruit you like. You might want to change or omit the warm spices from the caramel and cake so the flavors don’t clash with the fruit you choose.
Pineapple upside down cake is always popular, as is rhubarb, strawberries, bananas, cherries, apricots, figs, and many other fruits. Use this guide from The Kitchn if you need more tips on making upside down cakes with different fruit.
The leftover upside down cake can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The whole cake or individual slices can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Apple Upside Down Cake
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 medium apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven and grease pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter the sides of a 9 inch cake pan. You don't need to butter the bottom. Set aside.
Prepare the apple topping
- In a small saucepan, add the vegan butter and brown sugar. Turn the heat to medium and whisk occasionally until the butter has melted. Cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the cinnamon and vanilla.
- Pour the sauce into the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices on top of the sauce.
Make the cake
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Pour in the melted vegan butter, applesauce, soy milk and vanilla. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the cake batter over the apples in the pan.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let cool for 5 minutes then invert onto a serving dish.
- Serve with dairy free vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in a covered container.
Gluten free? Use gluten free all purpose flour.
- You can use other fruit, such as pear slices if desired.