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Cast-Iron Apple Cake with Maple Brown Butter


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Rate this recipe 4.5/5 (13 Votes)


  • Makes one 10-inch cake
  • 1 lb. red-skinned baking apples (2 to 3), like Jonagold, Braeburn, Rome Beauty and Stayman
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B Cake
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup apple cider, at room temperature


Preparation time 10mins
Cooking time 50mins


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350° F.
FOR THE TOPPING, do not peel the apples. Cut into quarters, core and cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Meanwhile, in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue heating for 4 to 5 minutes, gently tipping the pan back and forth, until the butter smells toasty and has turned a medium shade of amber. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles, tightly overlapping the slices to fit as many as possible. Set aside.

FOR THE CAKE, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Mix in the eggs one at a time. With the mixer running, add the milk slowly and mix well. In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. Then mix in the apple cider. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Pour the batter on top of the apples and smooth it evenly to the edges.

Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are lightly browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool until it’s no longer hot to the touch. If you’re strong, invert the cake onto a serving plate by setting the plate over the top of the skillet, holding firmly together, and flipping. Or bring the skillet to the table and slice the cake, inverting each piece onto a plate, apple-side up. Serve warm.

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