Apple Crumble Upside Down Cake and a Fall Giveaway

It’s a cake, that’s a pie, that’s a crisp– light, moist cake underneath a generous layer of sweet apple chunks and cranberries, sprinkled with the crunchy and buttery cornmeal streusel.

I’ll tell you one of my guilty obsessions this past summer: Rachel Zoe. [I know. Heehee.] For the past two hours, instead of writing up the recipe for this Apple Crumble Upside Down Cake, I had to fix this website due to my BIG mistake of upgrading WordPress (my blogging platform). Yup, it screwed up the layout. All I could mutter was one of Rachel’s infamous phrases: I DIE. Thankfully, I was able to fix everything back to normal, and I still have enough time to give you a recipe and other fun stuff. Yay.

Remember the Quick Apple Crumble with Cranberries from a couple of days ago? You can make it into something else…something even more wonderful that it already is:
Apple Crumble Upside Down Cake

Apple Crumble Upside Down Cake

Four taste-testers don’t lie: this is some heavenly combination! A layer of light and moist cake underneath a generous overlay of sweet apple chunks and plumped up dried cranberries, then the coating of  crunchy, buttery cornmeal streusel… I mean, could it get any better than that?

All it took was a bite...

All it took was a bite...

When you think about it, it’s a cake, that’s a pie, that’s a crisp! Haha. Oh, and  just one of the many ways to enjoy the gifts of the Fall season that I so love.

Speaking of Fall...we’re excited to collaborate with Vault Communications and Aloutte Cheese for a fantastic Fall Wine and Cheese Party Giveaway! It’s been a while since we’ve thrown a contest, oh dear. But check it out!

Gourmet Fall Cheese Tasting Party Giveaway

  • Mariposa Gourmet Two-Toned  Wooden Cheese Board w/ Wine & Cheese Access. (Board is made of Natural Wood.)
  • Cheese Markers
  • Customized Cheese Rating Cards w/ Pens (Party of 10) – customized with your name and date/year of party.
  • Alouette recipe cards for entertaining
  • Alouette coupons for Baby Brie, Spreadable and Crumbles
  • Slow Down & Savour Tips

Let's Slow Down & Savour Life Wine & Cheese Giveaway

Let's Slow Down & Savour Life Wine & Cheese Giveaway

That’s right, you’ll get all of these lovely items (a $150 value). Wine, wine glass and fruits not included. ** IMPORTANT: PRIZES CAN ONLY BE SHIPPED IN THE U.S. **

To enter, just answer this question in the comments section:

How do you slow down and savour life’s moments?

If you tweet about it, let us know in the comments. Each legitimate and unique comment to this post qualify as one entry.

Contest ends October 29, at 12 noon. Good luck!

[Contest disclosure: We have received the same items from Alouette Cheese, c/o Vault Communications. We have no advertising/sponsorship commitments with either company.]

Oh, and here’s the recipe:

Apple Crumble Upside Down Cake

It’s a cake, that’s a pie, that’s a crisp– light, moiDownload the print-ready PDF recipe for Apple Crumble Upside Down Cakest cake underneath a generous layer of sweet apple chunks and cranberries, sprinkled with the crunchy and buttery cornmeal streusel.

Ingredients [Serves 8]

Apple Filling

  • 3 medium-sized apples, peeled, quartered, chopped into ¼ x ½  x ½ -inch chunks and fills about 5 cups. Use what you have on hand or your preferred variety. (I used Okanagan Fuji apples.)
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon triple sec liqueur (optional)

Crumble/Streusel topping

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Place the rack in the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch round, 2-inch-deep nonstick cake pan; set aside.

3. For the apple filling

  • Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Toss the apple chunks in it.
  • Melt butter over high heat on a Dutch oven until it begins to turn amber in color and the milky froth from the butter has almost cleared (don’t allow it to burn).
  • Add the apples into the pot and reduce heat to medium-high. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cranberries and stir. Cover for another 5 minutes or until the apples begin to soften and break down in the steam. Juice will collect on the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and pour over a strainer with a large bowl underneath to catch the juice.
  • Pour the juice back into the Dutch oven over high heat and mix it with heavy cream and triple sec liqueur (if used). Stir until the mixture is reduced and thickened. It’s done when you drag your wooden spoon on the bottom of the pan and it leaves a trailing line. Turn off the heat and toss the apples and cranberries in it.
  • Transfer the fruits and any remaining liquid into the prepared cake pan. Lightly press into an even layer. Set aside.

4. For the crumble/streusel topping:

  • Mix flour, brown sugar and cornmeal in a medium bowl with a fork. Drizzle melted butter while continuing to mix it until it forms pea-sized chunks.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the streusel mixture evenly on top of it.
  • Bake it in the pre-heated 425°F oven for 5 minutes. Watch closely once you hit the 4-min mark. It might start to burn depending on your baking sheet.
  • Take it out of the oven and set aside to cool on a trivet for 5 minutes. Toss the crumble with a small spoon to prevent it from burning if it is already getting dark. Set aside.

5. Decrease oven temperature to 350°F with the rack in the same position.

6. For the cake:

  • Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat the brown sugar and eggs in a large bowl until thick and homogenous, for about 45 seconds.
  • Slowly beat in butter until thoroughly combined. Add heavy cream and vanilla and continue to mix. Pour flour mixture and blend until just combined.
  • Pour batter into the cake pan and spread evenly over fruit.
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven until cake is golden grown, about 35 to 40 minutes. When you insert a toothpick into the center it will come out clean.
  • Cool pan on wire rack for 20 minutes before running a knife around the sides of the cake pan.
  • Carefully invert cake pan onto a large plate, and allow the cake to cool for another 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped crème or crème fraîche on top.

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  • October 22, 2009 4:20 am

    Definitely making this, as soon as I work out what cornmeal is.

  • October 22, 2009 12:26 pm

    This looks unbelievably good – I might have to attempt it this weekend!
    .-= maris´s last blog ..Worknight Dinner Recipe: Pumpkin Penne =-.

  • October 22, 2009 12:38 pm

    I love this cake. I get up early every morning to make sure I have time to workout. It starts my day off right.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Black Bean and Sweet Corn Soup with Cilantro and Lime =-.

  • October 22, 2009 12:57 pm

    sounds yummy! Eating a piece of this would be my idea of slowing down and enjoying the moment.
    .-= The Food Hunter´s last blog ..Fall Recipes and a New Cooking Video =-.

  • October 22, 2009 12:58 pm

    I take pictures of everything to really capture the little things in life


  • October 22, 2009 2:50 pm

    mmmm this is beautiful and i love all the flavours. so autumnal :)
    .-= diva´s last blog ..Getting Hearty and Chunky at The Diner =-.

    • July 4, 2011 3:28 pm

      Hi, Did I miss where the topping goes????? Is it added after the apples and cake come out of the oven.
      Thanks D.

      • joy
        August 10, 2011 3:09 pm

        Dana, yes, just sprinkle it over the cake after you turn it over a plate. Sorry about that!

  • Nikki
    October 22, 2009 3:49 pm

    I wake up early enough to watch the sunrise transform the landscape. I love this time of the day – especially when the dogs and husband are still snoozing.

  • October 22, 2009 5:19 pm

    Savor the moment with hot drinks on cold nights. Make sure there’s pie next to that drink!
    .-= The Duo Dishes´s last blog ..The Results are In! =-.

  • October 22, 2009 5:56 pm

    T relax and savr the moment I load some Beethoven CD’s in the player, pour myself a glass of white wine and curl up with a good book.
    .-= Carole Resnick´s last blog ..AND THE WINNER IS =-.

  • Kristen J
    October 22, 2009 6:59 pm

    I slow down and savour life by drinking a nice glass of wine, sometimes munching on an appetizer, while sitting out on my back porch and watching nature do it’s thing in my semi-wooded backyard. I savour life to the fullest when I’m with my family and friends, and especially on holidays.

  • October 22, 2009 8:32 pm

    OOooh how fun! A cheese tasting party might just be the best entertaining idea ever. Lately, I’ve been needing to do a lot of slowing down and savoring, and I do it in the kitchen as I enjoy cooking or baking after a long day!

  • October 23, 2009 4:03 am

    Now, this a divine dessert for me!!

    Georgous & very impressive & fab looking!!

    MMMMMMMM,…just lovely, isn’t it???
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Sophie’s maple scones with pecans & cranberries, served with Maple’s Butter =-.

  • October 23, 2009 6:21 am

    Just GORGEOUS!!Enjoy lifes moments by finding twitter time, catching up with friends for giggles…& finding beautiful posts like this! WOW, wish I’d found it 2 hours ago. No problem, this will be my next cake! I LOVE IT!!
    .-= deeba´s last blog ..ROASTED PLUM & BROWN SUGAR CAKES…delicious dessert! =-.

  • October 23, 2009 6:22 am

    Don’t you hate it when the so call important updates end up screwing up everything? That’s why I am so wary of them and they are out so often is so annoying! blah!

    But that cake looks divine! I bet that after just one bite all your problems go away (at least until you have to face the scale! LOL)

    This is being bookmarked right now :)
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Potato and Poblano Soup =-.

  • October 23, 2009 6:30 am

    Oh my gosh, the apple cake is fabulous! Great giveaway, too. You don’t need to enter me, since I had a very similar giveaway on my blog, and I’m not supposed to eat cheese, anyway, hehe.

    Good luck to the entrants! :)
    .-= Elle´s last blog ..Sushi, are you mocking me? =-.

  • October 23, 2009 7:17 am

    This cake screams Fall to me :-)as for the the question, spending quality time with my hubby and two lovely kids,feeling the wind in my hair as i ride my cycle and enjoying nature, at times capturing it with the camera, and of course, with friends!
    .-= Sunita´s last blog ..Getting down to the nitty gritty with some aloo-bean bhaaji-‚Äô‚Äôsimply‚Äù delightful! =-.

  • Laura
    October 24, 2009 8:45 pm

    I want to savour that cake!!! It looks delish!

    Savouring life is as easy as counting all blessings, big and small, all while enjoying the wind in my hair, my friends company, a great glass of wine or a phenomenal piece of chocolate.

  • October 25, 2009 9:51 am

    This sounds so good! I keep making apple dishes but I’m still craving apple. Love apple anything!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Mexican Rice ***WOW*** =-.

  • October 25, 2009 12:18 pm

    That look great. great apple recipe. Will have to try it.
    .-= AuntieE´s last blog ..Aloha Friday -outdoor fun. =-.

  • October 25, 2009 12:55 pm

    First off, the crumble cake sounds delicious. Secondly, just last night when my pizza party was winding down I was saying that my next party will be a wine and cheese party. Last of all, that question is hard for me to answer right now. I’ve been go go go lately and really need to slow down and savour life. I’ve been enjoying it full steam. I savour life by going hiking in the mountains and going diving in the ocean. Both places you are isolated from the the hustle bustle and crowds of evryday life.
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..{sms} devil‚Äôs food cake and peanut butter frosting =-.

  • October 26, 2009 12:44 am

    A cake, pie, and a crisp? You have got me sold. This is for all those who fall in the middle of the cake-pie debate! (Plus, I love apples!)
    .-= Manggy´s last blog ..Tartine’s Goug√®res =-.

  • October 27, 2009 9:21 am

    This may be the perfect apple dish that we are looking for for Thanksgiving! Sounds and looks …. delicious!!

  • October 27, 2009 9:28 am

    How do I slow down and savour life‚Äôs moments? I like getting together with friends and laughing. Being busy usually can mean being isolated and doing one’s own thing. Spending time with friends or family renergizes me, especially over a cup of coffee and yummy dessert.

  • October 27, 2009 9:30 am

    I also forgot to mention I tweeted this blog post. @singerinkitchen
    .-= NOelle´s last blog ..Eggplant-Mushroom Lasagna =-.

  • October 27, 2009 9:49 am

    I slow down & savour life by drinking hot chocolate on a city bench & people watching. Alone.

    (@divinacomms from twitter!)

  • October 27, 2009 9:55 am

    I too am a closet RZ fan, it’s like, unbelievable! Your cake is “just beyond, beyond”. I have 5 little apples waiting for their debut is something yummy, I may try your recipe today!

    How I slow down and savor life’s moments is to sit at the window in my dining nook and have a glass of something or tea and watch the cityscape out there. Living in the city one tends to try to ignore the urbanness of it all most of the time, a self protection device. But sometimes to relax I just look at what is there, and I always see something new, and feel renewed myself!

    Good luck with your contest!
    .-= Heather in SF´s last blog ..Beef Stew with a Twist =-.

  • Wendy
    October 27, 2009 11:16 am

    Joy, I love how you write your recipes–they’re SO clear and thorough without being didactic or condescending. I don’t write my own recipes much, but from reading so many food blogs, it seems like that’s a difficult balance to find!

    To slow down–something I know I don’t do enough–all I need to do is step outside my house and look at the unbelievable scenery of NY state. We’re very lucky to live where we do, and too often I see its gorgeousness through a car window on the way to work, wherever work happens to be that day. Oh: silence. Spending so much of my life around music makes me really, really appreciate complete quiet.

  • Wendy
    October 27, 2009 11:20 am

    …and tweeted :-)

    Check out @gourmeted’s site for an awesome giveaway and some great pics (+ a recipe I must try NOW):¬†

  • Lisa Cain
    October 27, 2009 3:26 pm

    Somehow just the smell of my son’s head jolt’s me into the moment and I slow down. He is 3 and he smells really good.

  • Sharon
    October 28, 2009 7:34 am

    I like to take a nice long walk on a beautiful peaceful trail near my home to relax and unwind.

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