Any firm apple will work! Apart from being able to make these ahead of time…they’re a great grab-it-when-you-want-it dessert. No slicing, plating, or mess involved. A perfect holiday treat for a busy time!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat brown sugar and ¾ stick butter in a small pot set over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Add cinnamon to the mixture and heat through. Set aside.
Slice apples and transfer them to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice to the fruit and mix through. Set aside.
Whisk (or sift) flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix ¾ stick softened butter, until creamy and smooth. Add granulated sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon orange juice and continue mixing until combined. The batter should be slightly thick but pliable.
Warm brown sugar mixture on stovetop, if needed, to loosen. Pour mixture into the bottom of a standard 9-inch cake pan. Tilt pan to spread mixture to edges. Arrange sliced apples atop brown sugar mixture, to cover. Drop mounds of batter over top of apples and carefully spread to the edge of the pan to seal the perimeter and cover apples. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden (test doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean it’s done). Transfer cake to a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. (Once the cake is transferred to the rack to cool, you can run a knife around the outside edge to loosen. This will help in removing the cake from the pan later.) Once cooled and inverted, slice and serve. Dust with powder sugar and/or chopped pecans, if preferred.
How to make
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1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (or vegan sticks), divided
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large Stemilt apples, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
chopped pecans, to top (optional)