Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake with Apples

On a recent trip to London, I ate this delicious autumn dessert at a very trendy restaurant called Smith’s of Smithfields. The warm apples with gingerbread cake and caramel sauce was served with vanilla ice cream — yum!


  • 1 large baking apple, such as Granny Smith or Pippin, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg 1 cup unsulphered molasses
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream


To prepare the cake pan, butter a 8 or 9 inch round cake pan (should be 2 inches deep) generously. Spread the apple slices over the bottom of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.

Put the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until fluffy. Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg.

In another small bowl, mix together the molasses, baking soda and boiling water.

To prepare the cake batter, stir the molasses mixture into the butter mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. The cake is done when it is firm to the touch and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes before turning out.

To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar and water in a medium-size, heavy saucepan. Melt over gentle heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved.

Turn the heat to high and let boil, without stirring, until the mixture turns a blond color. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cream. (Be careful because the mixture will boil up especially if the cream is cold.)

Let sit for 30 minutes.

To assemble, cut the cake into wedges, and serve on individual plates, surround with a spoonful of caramel sauce. Note: You can also make this cake as individual cakes by using 8 4-inch ramekins instead of the round cake pan.