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apple blackberry upside down cake via

Apple Blackberry Upside Down Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: one 9-inch cake 1x
  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A sweet and flavorful apple blackberry upside down cake with a jammy, brown sugar caramel fruit topping and moist and tender-crumbed cake below. Not overly sweet, this everyday cake is easily adaptable and takes advantage of just about any seasonal fruit or berry. Best served with a dusting of powdered sugar or whipped cream alongside morning coffee or an an afternoon cup of tea.



apple blackberry topping:

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room-temperature
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and thinly sliced ¹
  • 1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen ²

upside down cake base:

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, such as Diamond Crystal
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room-temperature
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional: 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan (with at least 2-inch-tall sides) generously with butter, being especially generous with the base of the pan. Set aside.
  2. Prep the topping: Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the base of the pan, then arrange the fruit on top in a tight, even layer.
  3. Make the cake batter: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, melted butter, applesauce, milk, lemon juice and zest (if using), and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Use a spatula to gently fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just mixed. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is evenly combined, but be careful not to overmix.
  6. Use a large cookie scoop to add the batter over the fruit topping, being careful not to disturb the fruit. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to gently spread the top into an even layer. It will be very thick.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire baking rack for about 15 minutes. Place a large baking rack or cake plate over the top of the pan and turn it upside down to invert the cake. Let cool completely before slicing. Serve with a dusting of confectioners sugar or fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!!


¹ Look for a tart, firm apple that you’d use in an apple pie. I used Honeycrisp here, but I also like Pink Lady and Granny Smith for this recipe.

² You can use fresh or frozen blackberries. If using frozen, don’t defrost before adding to the cake pan. Slice large berries in half or quarters, and place cut side up.