Saturday, August 14, 2010

Heavenly Golden Apple-licious Upside-down Cake

Since my last fateful encounter with Golden Delicious Apples, I have not had any chance to see these precious gems in the supermarket. Do not confuse these apples with the Red Delicious variety. While the name may be similar, the taste and texture are vastly different. Golden Delicious Apples have a semi-crisp bite and are juicy sweet with a very slight hint of tartness. On the other hand, Red Delicious Apples are my least favourite variety, and its been so long since I ate one that I have forgotten the taste of it.

While I was keeping a lookout for Golden Delicious Apples at Jurong Point Ntuc Extra, I was pleasantly surprised to see two batches of green apples lying in the same area. Immediately, I recognized the familiar yellow-green colour of the Golden Delicious Apples. Elated with my find, I grabbed close to a dozen apples and made my way to the counter for payment. 

With my newly bought apples, a few baked goods came to mind - an apple upside-down cake and an french apple tart. Few weeks earlier, I baked an apple upside-down cake using one of my favourite cakebook: Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Sadly, I did not have my camera on hand then and hence missed the opportunity to blog about it. After that incident, I swear that I will bake this cake again soon, simply because this cake is too heavenly for me to get it off my mind.

When I first prepared the caramel, the sugar burnt due to the high heat. On the second attempt, I made sure the flame was kept to a minimum. Thankfully, the caramel turned out smoothly. I did not wait for the caramel to turn deep amber and poured it into the lined cake tin.

After the caramel cooled, arranging the apples was much less worrying. I arranged the apples in a circular fashion in the middle of the tin and left a small uncovered circular patch. The arrangement continued to the outer perimeter until the whole tin was filled. Finally, the left over few pieces were used to cover the circular bald patch in the center.

The last time I baked this cake, I substituted a whole egg for an egg yolk and used the conventional butter creaming method. The resultant cake ended up with giant holes. This time round, I followed the recipe exactly, except omitting the walnuts. While the cake was rising, I noticed big bubbles in the batter just like the last time. Notice the bumps on the surface of the cake? These were caused by the big bubbles. When the cake was done, it deflated slightly. Most butter cakes I baked do not experience this.

My analytical mind tells me that the cause of the big bubbles is probably due to the baking soda. There might be too much leavening, causing big bubbles to form when the batter is rising in the oven. When there is too much big bubbles, the bubbles collide into one another and may cause the cake to collapse.

The recipe asked for 1/4 tsp of baking soda which is almost equivalent to 1 tsp baking powder ( This is according to Shirley O Corriher in Bakewise. From what I recall, she mentioned that baking soda has aboout 4 times the leavening power of baking powder). Another 3/4 tsp baking powder is required and that would make an equivalent of  1 & 3/4 tsp baking powder, which is quite alot for the amount of batter in my humble opinion. Based on observations, a smaller amount of leavening agent would be sufficient.  

Luckily, there are no big holes present this time. The cake is so tender and moist that it gives the impression that the cake crumbs are melting in the mouth. The combination of butter, sourcream and vanilla hits off harmiously to give a rich dairy buttery flavour, something that would not be achieved without the addition of sourcream. As the cake is overly tender, it is rather challenging to slice it neatly without causing the cake to fall apart.


  1. Zhouyuan, I think my elder daughter will love this. She loves any apple desert, fact. Apple pies, apple pop tarts, apple pancakes and yes, apple cake. Your cake looks pillow soft! btw, I have the exact same book too, Rose's Heavenly cakes, however i had only attempted one recipe out of it so far. So this is from her too?

  2. Looks really good.
    Wonder when will I try this.
    I love any bakes with apples.

  3. Finally, the cake made it here without getting wiped out first! LOL! It looks rather short though ... If I'm not wrong, Rose's (as pictured in the book) is about the same!? (The book isn't with me now ...)

    Now, setting aside the leavener issue, that means when you follow Rose's instructions exactly, you won't get big holes within the final product, which is unlike your first attempt? On the other hand, it's sad to see big humps all over the cake ...

    Hey, thank you for the baking soda vs. baking powder tips! Will keep that in mind.

    Ooi, great minds think alike! Just as we talked about apple varieties the other day, I caught eight large Golden Delicious at Tesco just this afternoon. (No Tesco in SG if not wrong.) As an impulsive, indecisive shopper that I've always been, I wanted to buy all eight. Later, I decided to get only four. LOL! I have the options to make apple bread/cake/butter cake, apple pie cheesecake, or French apple tart. Then, my mom has been pestering me to get rid of the remaining pate sucree dough tucked in the freezer. It's now being thawed away in the fridge. Guess what I'm gonna make next ... Haha! Plus, I still have oodles of mini Granny Smiths.

    Btw, Red Delicious are usually sweet, only. So, not a cooking/baking apple variety. When eaten together with the peel, it tastes slightly bitter. (I take my apples with the peels on.)

  4. Hi Bee Bee,

    I am an apple lover too, hee... Thanks! The recipe is from Rose's book. This is the 2nd recipe I tried.


    Hi Wendy,

    I think you will love this rich apple cake. I love to eat and bake with apples =]


    Hey Pei-Lin,

    Ya its very short!!. Hers looks short too.. The amount of batter is more suited for 8 inch round pan. But the recipe specifies 9 inch. Anyway, upside-down cakes should'nt be tall. There would be a higher chance that the cake will dome. At least thats what I think.

    Yup, no holes when following Rose's instructions. I got it previously cos I tweaked the recipe and used the creaming method. The humps dont really affect much since the cake is flipped upside-down.

    The book (bakewise)is darn good when it comes to baking science! I was taught how to spot bad recipes by looking at the proportion of flour, sugar, eggs and butter. But the downside is that it is seriously DRY... Almost no pictures.. =[

    Yup, there's no TESCO in SG. Just follow your heart and buy them! I bought 10 apples because it is so difficult to find them in SG nowadays... This is only my 2nd encounter with golden delicious. The varieties available here are few, namely: granny smith, golden delicious (rare),cripps pink, jazz, china fuji (great for eating), fuji, royal gala, red delicious, pacific rose and probably 2 or 3 more I might have left out.

    Let me guess..I bet you will be doing an granny smith apple tart for sure... French apple tart maybe? Look forward to your post on it. I might do a french apple tart soon too. The last time I did, I only took pictures of it on my phone, which was not good enough to be blogged.

    I hate eating red delicious with the peel. Thats the reason why its my least favourite. Its all the peel's fault!

  5. This looks great!! It definitely looks super moist!! Love the apple layering on top!

  6. My elder boy likes green apples, he will ask me to buy when we go ntuc. I usually decline as the rest of us don't like it! He loves apple pies too, and I have been wanting to bake him an apple crumbles dessert, apple tart and even contemplating making apple pies with ready made frozen filo puff pastry. So far I have yet to keep my promise, bad mummy! I will tell him there is this talented 'kor kor' who loves baking with apples, he can satisfy himself just reading your blog :D

  7. ZY, I think this looks very good. I always welcome some of form of tartness in the pastry I take. I have never tried making an upside down cake before - maybe I should give this a go.

  8. That's a lovely apple cake! I like the cake low as with each bite you get to bite into the apples too.

  9. My good friend LOVES apple tarts and anything apple related.

    I havent come across a to-die-for apple recipe and this came in handy! She's been bugging me to bake apple pie/tart/cake for the longest time. Seems like she's in for a treat!

    Nice write-up on the baking soda VS baking powder. I know baking soda is more "potent" than baking powder, though I'm under the impression the baking soda is usually used when there are acidic ingredients like chocolate, cocoa powder. Never knew it was FOUR times more potent! I learnt something new =p

    Thanks for sharing! I'm gonna get my hands on the book noww!! haha!

  10. Hi AJC,

    Thanks for the kind words!


    Hi HHB,

    I am becoming an apple lover these days. Before I discovered Golden Delicious, I had the impression all green apples are tart. But after eating these sweet yellow green Golden Delicious, I realise not all green apples are made equal. Have you tried these Golden Delicious apples? I think it would be friendly for the whole family to consume. It is totally different from Granny Smith apples.

    Thanks, it would be my pleasure that he visits my blog,haha. He might even crave for more baked apple goods afterwards. If you find it too much of a hassle, maybe you can do baked apples instead? usually calls for simple ingredients like raisins and walnuts and some sugar. I am thinking of doing baked apples soon myself.


    Hi Shirley,

    thanks! If you like tartness, you may want to use Granny Smith apples for baking. These apples work wonderfully in apple tarts.

  11. Hi Busygran,

    Thanks =]. the low height certainly helps that the apples go along with the cake with every bite.


    Hi Youfei,

    your good friend will probably love this then. The cake is uber rich and ultra soft even though it looks dense and has tight crumbs. It uses all egg yolks and no egg white. Not to forget the rich taste is enhanced by the sourcream and the caramel layer on top of the apples. Sinful!

    Thanks! All along I only know that baking soda is used with acidic ingredients too. The book is very TECHNICAL and dry. you might want to browse through the book before buying and see if you will like it. Probably borrow it from NLB.

    Apart from all the teeny weeny details of food science, it also teaches u how to tweak recipes. For example, how to make cakes come out moist, add richness by subtituting an egg yolk for a whole egg etc.. Shirley O Corriher does this by listing out the original recipe to be tweaked and she gives u the new recipe to work on. The book also talks about the ideal proportion of main ingredients in cakes: flour, sugar, eggs and butter.

  12. This cake looks delicious. I've never heard of an apple upside down cake. I thought that was just a pineapple thing... shows how much I know! I'll definitely be trying this sometime.

  13. I like these golden apple. It's unique taste which is red apple don't have. That's a good choice to use it for apple pie or this kind of upside down cake. I always love to eat this kind of cakes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream :P

  14. Did u give the pan a tap or 2 before sending it into the oven? Could be air bubbles that u accidentally incorporated while folding in the flour... BUT! it still looks great bubbles or not.

    Would love to have a slice of this with vanilla bean ice cream ;)

  15. this looks great especially with the caramised apples, may b I shd try this since I ve apples at home :)

  16. Hi Bakertan,
    Huh, you've been utilising this book regularly, very good. I've only baked once from this book. :p I love baked apples. You made this looked simple! But I know it's not. And it looks so yummy too! Hmm...tempting me to try baking this too! And thanks for your analysis! :)

  17. Would love to have a slice of this cake. Looks very delicious.

  18. Hi Kerry,

    Thanks for dropping by and the kind words =].There are quite a few upside-down fruit cakes like mango, apple, peach etc.


    Hi Grace,

    I only discovered these apples recently. Definitely a good choice to use for baking =]


    Hi Cherie,

    I did not give the pan a tap. The batter was almost bubbling at the surface during baking, which I believe is the leavening agent at work. First time this happened to me. Thanks. I am sure it will go well with ice cream =]

  19. Hi Jess,

    Thanks! You should give it a try if you have the book =]


    Hi Jane,

    This is my 2nd cake and 3rd bake using the book. Trying to convince myself to use it more often with every bake. Actually it does take some effort to peel and slice the apples. The rest is quite ok. Thanks and you're welcome!


    Hi Yummy Koh

    Thanks! Its definitely a good recipe

  20. Oh wow Bakertan!

    You are so going to be my baking sifu!!! Thank you so much and really really really appreciate your time and generous advice in helping me! I'm going to update your points into my list (cos I'm going to refer to it for my shopping later)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  21. This looks super delicious! Never tried making or tasting this before and would love to have a slice! Yum :)

  22. ZY, I have this book but still left unopen. You are motivating me.

  23. Hi full-time mummy,

    you're welcome, welcome, welcome!! haha. look forward to good news from you


    Hi Allie,

    This is a very good book. Must have for cake lovers. Check out my gateau breton. its from the same book too. Heavenly!


    Hi Edith,

    you should use it soon! dont wait anymore.. haha


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