Apple Upside-Down Cake

Warm apple cider cinnamon sugar caramelized apple slices adorn the upside-down top of a light and airy vanilla cake. 

It was a very very busy weekend around my house this weekend. Nonstop action. I woke up and went straight to work with party prep for my third annual argyle party. All of Saturday was spent in the kitchen, or the grocery store (with a car that was finally dug out of the snow!).  Now, last Saturday waking up and baking a cake didn't go so well. My judgement making an apple butter cinnamon coffee cake was not at it's best. This weekend I avenged myself and made some better choices.....such as waking up completely before sticking a cake in the oven. Funny how much that can help the baking process!!! 

So this was my first experiment baking with my apple cider sugar. Complete success. I love the extra X factor that using a flavored sugar adds to an upside down cake. Instead of a basic buttery sugar goodness, this was complex. It tasted of caramelized buttery apple cider on top of the average goodness. The slight hint of cinnamon was the perfect addition. I don't think I can go back to making upside down cakes with....well....BORING sugar again. I'm over it. Sugar shouldn't just be sugar. Sugar can be so much more! And it will be. From now on. No more boring sugar. New edict. Decision made. Have I mentioned how much I am loving condiment year? Best theme year yet. 

Apple Cider Sugar Upside-Down Cake

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon butter melted and cooled
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 granny smith apple
3 eggs
1 cup all purpose four
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350. Put the 1/3 cup butter in a 9 or 10 inch round cake pan** with a minimum three inch side. Place in the oven to melt for about 5 minutes. Add the apple cider sugar. Stir into melted butter and bake for another 5 minutes. Thinly slice the apple. Arrange apple slices on top of the butter apple cider sugar mixture. 

Separate the eggs, putting the white into a stand mixer bowl on a medium speed and the yolks into a small bowl. Whisk the melted butter into the egg yolks. In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside. 

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in the remaining sugars into the egg whites, then fold in the egg yolk mixture, and finally fold in the flour mixture gradually. Pour batter over the apple slices to cover evenly. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, roughly 40 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen the cake and invert onto a serving plate. 

Serve warm, cut into wedges.

**Do not use a springform pan! The butter will run out the sides and be a horrid mess. To make a 9x13 cake double the apples, butter and apple cider sugar, and then make one and a half times the cake batter.