Wednesday, November 9, 2011


After a relatively warm December, January has shown that winter is indeed here. Nothing brings on warmth and comfort like the aroma of gingerbread. More importantly, its spicy scent covers the smell of roasted chicken, which is especially good when you live in a super tiny apartment that is wreaking of smoke (if you have ever used Zuni's recipe then you know exactly what I'm talking about).

As the frosty weather continues on and my comfort food cooking cravings intensify, more homey and comforting goods will be baked. Thank you, gingerbread, for making the cold nights more bearable and thank you for being the perfect thing to make one's apartment smell less poultry-like!

Gingerbread Apple Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from
Smitten Kitchen via Karen Bates at the Philo Apple Farm via the New York Times

Serves 12

4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 apples (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges

1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Very softly whipped cream

Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, four minutes, then swirl in salt. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of your cake pan. Make circles of overlapping apple slices on top of the caramel. Chop any remaining slices and place them in the gaps.

Make the batter: Using a mixer, blend 1/2 cup butter and the sugar on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to high and cream until light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, honey and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Alternate mixing the flour and molasses mixtures into the butter mixture, adding the next once the last has been incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at least 45 to 50 minutes (thanks to commenter klp for reminding me this took a bit longer) or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a platter (one that will catch spills, unlike what you see in the pictures above).

Serve warm or cool with very softly whipped cream.


  1. I love the smell of gingerbread and they look delicious can't wait to try it!

  2. Just want to say thank you for your suggestions on what to do in NYC on my post a while back, we have been referencing it a lot! Such a huge help!

    Also, this looks insane! Love your recipes.

  3. These look delicious, perfect for the holiday season!

    x karen
    the chic & damned