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slice of upside down apple cake on a plate

Upside-Down Salted Caramel Apple Pecan Cake

Apple + caramel + sea salt and pecan = the perfect fall dessert.
Course Dessert
Cuisine cake
Keyword apple cake, apple pecan cake, cake, salted caramel
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Author Monique of Ambitious Kitchen


  • 3 medium Honeycrisp Apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk of choice (almond, skim, etc)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Brown sugar for dusting
  • Coarse Sea Salt for sprinkling
  • For Salted Caramel:
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease the sides of a 9-inch cake pan with butter or non stick cooking spray.
  2. Peel and thinly slice apples, set aside.
  3. For the salted caramel sauce: Melt 1 stick of butter in saucepan over medium heat, add 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar and stir until bubbling. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and stir for 30 seconds then turn off heat. Spread caramel mixture in cake pan and layer with apples and pecans.
  4. For the cake, in small bowl mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.
  5. In medium bowl beat 1/2 cup of softened butter and both sugars until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Alternate adding flour mixture and almond milk. Beat about 2 minutes until smooth, then add in sour cream and mix until well combined.
  7. Pour cake batter on top of the apples. Generously sprinkle brown sugar all over top of cake batter.
  8. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick put into center comes out clean. Cool 15-20 minutes then run a knife along the outer edge of the cake to loosen and place on platter then flip over to remove cake from pan. Sprinkle top of cake with sea salt.
  9. Let the cake cool for an additional 10 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.