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Every fall, apples take over. They’re in our salads, on our cheese boards, and baked into some of my personal favorite desserts. We even pay extra to pick them ourselves. I am a firm believer that apple mania should not end once the leaves have fallen. Plus, some sources on the internet tell me that apples are in season through December in certain climates.
I associate apples with crisp air and warm cozy meals, which leads me to one of my favorite cold-weather traditions—baking the best ever caramel apple upside down cake.
I don’t remember exactly when I came across this recipe, but I know that it was in the winter of 2020. I was cooped up in my tiny apartment and most of my holiday plans had been canceled due to COVID. My roommate invited me to her mom’s apartment a few blocks away for a rowdy 3-person Christmas Eve full of chili and board games, so I offered to bring dessert. Enter: the cake of my dreams.
I wanted to find something that would taste amazing, would look at least a little impressive, and wouldn’t result in my cramped kitchen looking like a tornado had hit. I’m not the most experienced baker and tend to implode if things get too messy and chaotic, but I am focused and detail-oriented enough to handle a five-step recipe.
Another stipulation in my recipe hunting was that I had all of the required supplies, which can be a major hold-up when you have roughly one single cabinet of kitchen storage space. I’ll admit that the first time I made this, I did not have a hand mixer and, to avoid lumps in the batter, I whisked my heart out until my hand was sore.