Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

Posted by on May 12, 2021 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, cake | 0 comments

This Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake is as delicious as it is beautiful!

Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

This cake does take a little extra effort. You have to give some thought to placing the apple slices instead of just mixing in the apples. It also dirties a lot of dishes.

Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

But the end result? The cake crumb is reminiscent of a dense, moist gingerbread cake–which goes perfectly with the apples. The combo is sheer bliss.

Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

So, what kind of apples are best? Three medium baking apples! You can always Google that subject for a wide range of recommendations. I can recommend Granny Smiths, Galas, and Pink Lady.

Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

The resulting cake is great warm, recently from the oven. It’s also good cold from the fridge. And reheated, warmed just a touch in the microwave or toaster oven. But not reheated to be super-hot–that actually makes the apples go too soft.

Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside-Down Cake

This cake is also great to slice into blocks, wrap in plastic, and freeze for later. It keeps wonderfully that way! Thaw and enjoy at your leisure.

Modified from Bake from Scratch September/October 2019.

Bready or Not: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake

This beautiful apple cake takes some extra labor to arrange, but wow is the presentation pretty--and the cake is delicious, too! The dense crumb tastes like gingerbread and is a perfect complement to the slices apples. Modified from Bake from Scratch September/October 2019.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: apple, cake, gingerbread
Author: Beth Cato


  • 9x9 square pan
  • offset spatula


  • 1 2/3 cups light brown sugar packed, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter half stick, melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons molasses divided
  • 3 large baking apples about 450 grams after being peeled, cored, and thinly sliced; Granny Smith, Gala, and Pink Lady work well
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter softened
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup whole milk


  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Cut a square of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of a 9x9 square pan. Grease pan with butter or nonstick spray. Place parchment, and grease paper as well. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup brown sugar, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons molasses. Pour into prepared pan. Arrange apple slices in groups of 5 in alternating patterns on top of sugar mixture.
  • In a big mixing bowl, beat softened butter and remaining 1 cup brown sugar until fluffy. This will be about 3 to 4 minutes in a stand mixer. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  • Beat in remaining 1/2 cup molasses until no streaks remain. One at a time, add the eggs and egg yolk followed by the vanilla.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Gradually mix the dry ingredients into butter mixture alternately with the milk. Beat until just smooth. Pour batter over apples, smoothing with an offset spatula.
  • Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan to release sides of cake, if needed. Carefully invert onto a flat serving plate or small cutting board.
  • The cake is fantastic eaten fresh, cold, or just warmed. It can also be cut into squares and frozen for later enjoyment.


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