Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake Recipe | Fresh Tastes Blog | PBS Food

Bake Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake

Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake recipe

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Have you been apple picking before? When I first moved to Los Angeles, it was fall. I piled all my friends in a car and we drove east for an hour to a small town near Palm Springs. There were groves and groves of apple trees where you could get a basket and pick whatever your heart desired.

Picking apples will make you appreciate apples a bit more. It was then I realized the difference between red delicious, gala, pink lady, granny smith and my all-time favorite, honeycrisp. When you taste them side-by-side, their differences are remarkable and so noticeable. Before then I’m not sure how passionate I was about apples; picking your own will do that to you!

Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake recipe

Every year when fall rolls around, my eyes are peeled for honeycrisps. They’re perfectly sweet with the right amount of texture, making them ideal for baking. And honestly, they’re great in a salad, too. Honestly, they are a fully functioning apple. I decided to put them in this upside down cake and pair the apples with a bit of rosemary. Not too much, since rosemary can be a very strong flavor, but just a hint. Add caramelized brown sugar and a flakes of sea salt, and you have yourself a beautiful winner of a cake.

Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake recipe

Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake

Apple Rosemary Upside Down Cake recipe

Honeycrisp apples are excellent for baking because they are sweet with texture. (Recipe Courtesy: Adrianna Adarme of the Fresh Tastes blog)



  • For the Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • For the Apple Topping:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves detached
  • 1 large honey crisp apple, cored and thinly sliced (equaled to about 1 cup of sliced apples)
  • Pinch of flaked sea salt, plus more topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Next, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla; and then mix until the mixture is smooth.
  3. To the butter and sugar mixture, mix in half of the flour mixture and the milk. Then, mix in the remaining flour mixture, being sure not to over mix.
  4. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (*see note below about alternative vessels), melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, rosemary and salt and stir until the sugar begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to cool slightly. Next, arrange the apple slices to your liking. Feel free to layer them a bit, as they’ll shrink during baking.
  5. Pour the batter over the apples, and gently spread the batter so it’s nice and even. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. To invert the cake, place a (large enough) plate on top of the cast iron skillet and turn both of them over; lift up the cast iron skillet and voila! Your cake!
  7. Serve this cake slightly warm with a dollop of whipped cream (if desired).


If you don't have a cast iron skillet, feel free to use a 10-inch cake pan. Be sure to grease it liberally, especially up the sides, with about 1 tablespoon of butter.

Adrianna Adarme - PBS Food Fresh Tastes BloggerAdrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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