Technically, this moist and delicious apple cake is served upside down so maybe I shouldn’t call it “ALMOST-Upside-Down Cake.” The flavor is divine and the apples and maple almost taste like a stack of pancakes so this recipe is definitely a keeper, but things just didn’t work out right with the specific directions I chose to follow from Food & Wine. In fact, I actually made the cake twice to be sure I didn’t make any minor mistakes along the way that would lead to the apples floating in the cake instead of remaining flat on the bottom. Both attempts were an upside-down failure. But hey, if you’re looking for an incredible apple cake recipe for Rosh Hashanah, this one is for you! Maybe yours will work out better than mine.

Maple-Apple Upside-Down Cake Ingredients

1 cup pure maple syrup

3 Granny Smith apples

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk (homemade parve: 3/4 cup soy milk + 2 tsp lemon juice)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 sticks unsalted margarine, softened

1 1/3 cup sugar

I prepared a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set it aside. In a small saucepan, I brought the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmered over low heat until very thick, around 20 minutes.

I poured the thickened syrup into the cake pan. I then cut the apples in to thin slices, leaving the peel on for added flavor and texture, and arranged them in the pan in two circles, overlapping slightly. So sad that it looked so pretty but didn’t keep its shape after cooked. I set the pan aside.

In a bowl, I whisked the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Separately, I whisked the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla. In a standing mixer, I beat the margarine and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, around 3 minutes. I beat in the dry and wet ingredients in alternating batches until the batter was smooth. I poured the mixture over the apples and spread it in an even layer.

If you can tell me where I want wrong, I will love you forever! It just seems like every step of this recipe was done correctly and yet, as the cake cooked at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, the apples all rose and cooked throughout the batter. No apples were left on the bottom of the cake pan! On the plus side, the maple infused the entire cake with it’s caramelized flavor.

I let the cake cool for 45 minutes and when I flipped it, placing a plate on top of the cake and inverting it, I saw no apples on the bottom. My upside-down cake was just a regular apple cake with a sweet injection of maple and cinnamon.

Since Rosh Hashanah isn’t for another week, I am attempting to freeze this cake. In fact, I now have two Maple-Apple Almost-Upside-Down cakes in my freezer and I hope they defrost well! I will keep you updated.