Apple Upside-down Skillet Cake

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, September 12, 1914:  Made a cake today. It looked like having been made by a green-horn.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Hmm. . . what kind of cake did Grandma make? It’s getting to be apple season—maybe Grandma made an Apple Upside-down Skillet Cake. It can be a little tricky to successfully get it out of the pan in one piece—so if care is not used it can end up looking like it was made by a “green-horn.”

Apple Upside-down Skillet Cake

1 2/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup shortening

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 cups sliced apples

In a mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, 2/3 cup sugar, shortening, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Beat until there is a smooth batter. Set aside.

Stir 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Add water and butter, and then pour into a 10-inch skillet with an oven-proof handle. Cook on the stove top using medium heat. Stir constantly until sauce boils and becomes clear. Turn off heat. Add the apple slices, and spread evenly in the skillet.

Pour the batter into skillet over the apple slices.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of cake is springy when lightly pressed with finger tips. Cool in skillet for about ten minutes; then turn out onto a serving plate.

64 thoughts on “Apple Upside-down Skillet Cake

    1. It really is quite easy to make. And, I didn’t even have much trouble getting it flipped out of the pan. I just ran a knife along the edge of the pan, and then held the serving plate over the pan, and flipped it. If didn’t immediately come out, so I just set it on the counter; and about 10 or 15 seconds later, the cake slide out of the pan onto the plate. And, it was all in one piece!

      1. I also love the way foods turn out when I use my vintage cast iron skillet. When I saw that this recipe was cooked in a skillet, I just had to try it–and it turned out wonderfully.

    1. My husband and I really like it–and I’ll definitely make it again. The recipe is a keeper. 🙂

      It really wasn’t that difficult to make. The most time consuming part was peeling and slicing the apples.

  1. I bet your Grandma’s was mighty tasty even if it wasn’t the way she’d hoped. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds like a special treat anytime, but especially on a cold winters day.

  2. This really looks good. I rarely make anything with apples, just because it’s so hard to get good ones here. But this looks worth waiting for the new crop to show up and giving it a try.

  3. looks delicious, can you cook on the stove on the top and then put in a baking dish? I am not sure if my fry pans have handles that can go into the oven. I am looking forward to trying this.

    1. I think that it would work fine to make the sugar sauce on the top of the stove, then remove from the heat and stir in the apple slices. Pour it into a baking dish–then add the cake batter and bake.

      1. We used to do it every year when the kids were small. They’re 13 and 10 now, but this fall has been crisp and cool with a lot of sun and early color, so it’s almost begging us to go! =D

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