Upside Down Apple Skillet Cake
From The Cake Mix Doctor
1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 medium apples, such as Jonathans or Golden Delicious, peeled,
cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick (3 cups sliced)
1 (18.25-ounce) package plain spice cake mix
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 F.
prepare topping: Place butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet
that is at least 2 inches deep and has an ovenproof handle (see
"Cake Doctor" tip that follows) and heat the skillet over low
heat to melt the butter.
Remove the skillet from the heat, and
with a fork stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Using the fork,
spread the mixture out evenly in the bottom of the skillet. Arrange
the apple slices over the bottom of the skillet.
prepare batter: Place the cake mix, melted butter, corn syrup,
eggs and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric
mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape
down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the
mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping the
sides down again if needed. The batter should look creamy and
the batter on top of the apples in the skillet, smoothing it
out with the rubber spatula. Place the skillet in the oven.
Bake the cake until it rises high in the skillet and springs
back when lightly pressed with your finger, 43 to 47 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven and run a long, sharp knife
around the edges. Carefully invert the skillet onto a heatproof
serving plate. The cake should release itself from the skillet.
If it does not, simply run the knife around the side of the pan
one more time and let the skillet rest on the plate until the
cake releases. Lift off the skillet. This cake is best served
warm, therefore, serve immediately. Good with vanilla ice cream
or whipped cream. Yields 16 servings.
Note: If serving the cake later in the day, let it cool on a platter
and cover it with plastic wrap. For longer storage, wrap it in
plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Slice and serve it at room temperature or reheat it, uncovered,
in a microwave oven on high power for about 30 seconds.
Doctor tip: "To bake skillet cakes, or cornbread, or biscuits
in a cast-iron skillet, the pan needs to be cared for properly
so the food doesn't stick and, in the case of skillet cakes,
so they release from the pan without a struggle. You want the
pores of the skillet so oil-saturated they create their own natural
I know some folks who are deeply religious about their cast iron.
They fry bacon in them each day and never, ever, wash them with
anything but hot water and a stiff brush. I think it's fine to
use a little mild dishwashing soap, as long as you scrub gently.
Then, rinse the skillet, dry it with a towel, and let it rest
on top of the stove for several hours before storing in the cabinet.
Cast-iron pans are happiest when they're left out on the stove
or are hanging overhead for ready use. There's an old saying:
Smile at your cast-iron skillet and it should smile back."
Coconut Sour Cream Cake
(Updated: 10/30/08 SN)