Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bed & Breakfast Caramel Apple Skillet Cake

I created this impressive caramel apple-upside down cake for a good friend who is the owner of a local Victorian Bed and Breakfast to serve her gluten free guests. The cake is nearly completely made from start to finish in an ovenproof skillet.

Apple Topping:  
3 Golden Delicious apples (or other variety), sliced thin
⅓ cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar, brown or raw sugar is best
½ cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
¼ cup raisins or currants, optional

Cake Batter:

½ of an additional apple, finely chopped
1½ cups sifted GF flour blend
1½ t. GF baking powder
¾ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 t. GF vanilla
1 t. minced, peeled fresh ginger or ginger paste in a jar, optional
2 large eggs
½ cup GF sour cream or plain yogurt

Topping: (optional): ½ cup butterscotch caramel sauce, warmed in microwave. (Mrs. Richardsons brand is GF)

Core the apples and cut into quarters. (I prefer to further slice the apples into thin wedges. You may choose to peel the apples; I do not.)

In a 10-14 inch skillet (cast iron or other oven proof), melt the butter over medium low heat. Add sugar and stir well to combine.

Arrange the sliced apples decoratively in the bottom of the skillet and sprinkle walnuts evenly between the apple quarters. Add raisins, if using. Cook, covered over low heat, without stirring, for 30 minutes until apples are tender and the sugar has caramelized. (All of the liquid should evaporate into the apples.)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cake Batter: Chop the remaining apple half finely and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Beat butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl with an electric mixer or hand-held whisk until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and ginger, if using, and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add sour cream or yogurt to the egg mixture, with mixer on low speed, and gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Add chopped apple to batter by folding in gently. Batter will be somewhat thick.

With skillet now off the heat, carefully spoon batter over the caramelized apple topping and spread evenly with a spatula, taking care not to disturb the apples and leaving a ½ inch border edge of the apples not covered with the batter. Bake cake in center of oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Do not over bake.

Remove skillet from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes on a rack. Slide a thin knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, place a serving plate on top of the skillet, and invert it so the cake ends up on the plate with the apples now on top.

Top with butterscotch caramel by warming it in the microwave for about 15 seconds and then drizzling it over top of cake.

Serve warm (best!) or at room temperature with (or without) whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes: Eight large wedges of skillet cake.

For more recipes, check out my cookbook: "Delicious! The Very Best of Gluten Free and Wheat Free Cooking. It is available at:

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