There’s an abundance of apples at Abby Love’s Dripping Springs bakery during the fall. The pastry chef sources the fruit from farms across the state, and then adds the apples to sandwiches, cakes, danishes, pies, salads, and, if you can believe it, more.
“We’re using them everywhere right now,” says Love. “We work strictly with seasonal and local produce. So, from year to year, from crop to crop, from farm to farm, it’s fun to get to taste the nuances of who is growing what.”
Love’s apple upside-down spice cake is a celebration of autumn’s riches, touting usual players like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but with some surprising additions sprinkled in. “You’ll taste a lot of anise in the cake,” says Love. “It has some unique spice notes that aren’t your run-of-the-mill fall spice cake. I think anise and apples are really fun together.”
The spice cake exhibits a robustness due to the addition of einkorn flour. “Einkorn is an ancient grain,” says Love. “It’s got a cool sort of nutty flavor. It’s fun to use and does really well with fall flavors. It’s a good buddy for apples.”
She shared the recipe in hopes that home cooks, no matter their levels of baking, will produce beautiful things. “I wanted to create something that I thought people might actually try and make. And an upside-down cake is always minorly impressive. It looks like you tried.”
Apple and Einkorn Upside-down Spice Cake
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 large apples, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole grain einkorn flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground anise
¼ teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with butter or pan spray.
- To make the topping, rub butter, brown sugar, and salt together until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the pan. Arrange the sliced apples in 2 concentric circles on top of the crumble.
- For the cake, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, beating until incorporated. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. Separately whisk together flours with baking powder, salt, and spices. Add half of the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and mix 30 seconds, then add the buttermilk mixture, then the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape the sides and mix an additional 30 seconds to blend the mixture.
- Drop large spoonfuls of batter over the apples, trying to distribute it as evenly as possible (the batter will be thick). Carefully spread the batter to the edges of the pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Immediately invert your pan onto a cooling rack and carefully lift off to reveal your masterpiece.