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five spice apple upside down cake

Five Spice Apple Upside Down Cake

A classic recipe with sticky, sweet apples and warming spices.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Chinese, Fall, Seasonal
Servings 10


  • 10 inch cake pan or skillet
  • *optional stand mixer



  • 3 large apples cored, peeled, and cut into thick slices or 2 cups
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice powder

Cake Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk preferably whole



  • In a shallow saucepan , melt butter. Then add water, brown sugar, and five spice powder. Mix well and wait for bubbling to begin. Add apples and cook until they begin to soften. Remove from heat. Pour apples and syrup into cake pan/ skillet. Arrange in a pattern if desired.


  • In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy in texture. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add to cream mixture alternately with milk.
  • Using a large spoon, dollop cake batter over the apples and syrup. Spread batter to the edges of pan until all fruit is covered. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake tester emerges clean. Immediately flip cake over onto a large plate.
Keyword apple cake, chinese five spice, old fahioned, upside down cake