Gluten Free Apple Upside Down Cake with Pomegranate Syrup from 'Nosh on This'

'No cookie, strudel, brownie, pie, cake, tart, or treat left behind' with gluten free baking from a Jewish-American kitchen offered in Nosh on This (The Experiment Publishing, September 2013) by Lisa Stander-Horel of Gluten Free Canteen and Tim Horel is about.

Fall is apple season so we'll start in the apple orchard.

Apple Upside-Down Cake with Honey Pomegranate Syrup

One of the strongest symbolic traditions celebrating Rosh Hashanah is dipping apples in honey. It symbolizes hope and optimism for the coming Jewish New Year. Apple upside-down cake made with honey is a wonderful way to honor that tradition. Adding pomegranate syrup to the cake makes it a perfect dessert for the second night of the holiday, when tradition says to introduce another new fruit in celebration of the upcoming year. Be sure to use pomegranate concentrate (100 percent pomegranate) and not pomegranate molasses, which contains additional ingredients. Flip the cake out of the pan when it is piping hot, because that is how you get the apples to stay with the cake and not the pan. Don’t forget to use those pot holders. 

Makes 8 servings

Baking time: 40 to 45 minutes

Dairy-free option available 

Nonstick spray, for greasing

Tart apples: Pippin, Gala, McIntosh, or Granny Smith

2 medium

fresh lemon juice

1 to 2 teaspoons

brown sugar

40 grams | 3 tablespoons


42 grams | 2 tablespoons

pomegranate concentrate

2 teaspoons

Nosh AP GF flour

200 grams | 1½ cups

baking powder

1 teaspoon

baking soda

¼ teaspoon

kosher salt

¼ teaspoon

unsalted butter, slightly softened

130 grams | 9 tablespoons or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon



96 grams | 8 tablespoons or ½ cup

granulated sugar

200 grams | 1 cup


120 grams | 2 extra-large

vanilla extract

1 teaspoon

water or milk

115 grams | ½ cup

lemon zest, freshly grated

5 grams | 1 tablespoon


honey, orange blossom preferred

100 grams | ½ cup

pomegranate concentrate

3 tablespoons

dark rum or rum flavoring

1 teaspoon

Nosh on This.Apple Upside-Down Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease one 8-inch round pan with nonstick spray.

  1. Peel and core the apples. Cut the apples in half. With the cut side down, slice several ½-inch-wide wedges—enough to form a ring in the bottom of the pan. Cut the remaining apples into ¼-inch cubes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice over the cubed apples and set them aside. Place the apple wedges in a concentric circle in the bottom of the prepared pan with the points facing upward (remember— it’s an upside-down cake). Sprinkle with the brown sugar, honey, and pomegranate concentrate.

  2. In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt just until combined. In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, combine the butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, water, and lemon zest and beat to combine. Stir into the dry ingredients and beat for a minute until the batter is shiny and smooth. Add the apple cubes and fold gently with a spatula to combine. Pour or scoop the batter over the apple wedges. Rap the pan on the countertop to remove any air bubbles.

  3. Bake the cake for 25 minutes and rotate the pan for even baking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until a toothpickcomes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the cake and get your serving plate ready. Using pot holders (unless you have fingers of steel), place the cake plate over the pan and in one smooth motion flip it over. Wait until you hear the sound of the cake plop onto the plate and then tap the top of the inverted pan with a butter knife. Carefully lift the pan and if any apple bits are stuck in the pan, you can place them back on the cake while it is hot. This only works while it is hot. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Store, covered loosely, at room temperature.

Simmer the honey and pomegranate concentrate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until beginning to boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, carefully add the rum, and give it a minute to thicken. Pour over the cake and serve, or slice the cake and pour over each serving.

(Recipe from Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen copyright © Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel, 2013. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.)
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