Apple Walnut Cake

Apples are coming into the farmer’s markets all around, and I know it’s time to bake some wonderful apple recipes.  This is a new one to me but I was intrigued because it uses my 10-inch cast iron skillet to bake it in.  These skillets are the backbone of many American kitchens–so versatile and reliable.  If you have an old one that has been passed down through your family, you are very, very lucky.  I’ve moved so often that I lost a really old one a couple of years ago and had to buy a new (but seasoned) one recently. I wonder where the old one went!  Perhaps I gave it away on one of our moves.  Oh, well!

This cake is a delicious upside-down apple cake where you caramelize the sugars and apples before you put the light cake on top and bake in the oven.  It takes a while as caramelizing takes long, slow cooking at a medium to low temperature.  But the flavor that is developed is so worth it.  So, give yourself plenty of time to make this treat for your family.  It can be served at room temperature so you can bake it early in the day, or you can serve it just warm.  Just be sure to tip it our of the skillet before it cools too much! Either way it is a wonderful recipe to start off the harvest season.  Enjoy!

Apple Walnut Cake–a Fall Favorite
  • 3½ apples--your favorite--I used Granny Smith
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ apple, finely chopped
  • 1½ cup Baking Free™ gluten-free All Purpose Flour (186 g)
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  1. Core apples and cut them into quarters. Place in large bowl of cold water with some lemon juice to keep them from browning while preparing the cast iron skillet.
  2. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or one that is oven-proof) melt the butter over medium low heat. Add sugar and stir to combine. Drain apple quarters and pat dry. Arrange over the sugar one cut side down in a neat pattern--don't forget to put some in the center. Sprinkle the walnuts between the apple pieces. Cook all this over low heat for about 30 minutes to caramelize the sugar and cook apples until tender.
  1. Just before the topping is ready, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. To make the cake batter, chop the remaining half of an apple. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, aslt and cinnamon.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix gently. With the mixer on low gradually add the flour mixture until just combines. Finally add the chopped apples and fold into the batter.
  3. With the skillet off the heat, spoon the batter over the caramelized topping. Gently spread the batter evenly. Do not disturb the apple topping and leave a ¼-inch edge of the apples uncovered (the cake will rise to cover this and it keeps the cake from spilling over the edge of the pan). Bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and place a serving plate on top of the skillet. Carefully flip the cake and skillet onto the serving plate. Gently remove the inverted skillet. The cake should slip out of the skillet easily and be rich, sweet and beautiful. Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.