Apple Upside Down Cake

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This Apple Upside Down Cake is the ideal dessert for the holiday dessert buffet.  This cinnamon roll cake is perfect for any apple lover. Delicious crescent rolls with apple filling cake topped with a caramel sauce is an amazing dessert idea.  Make this as that showpiece for your holiday meals!

This caramel apple bread pudding is another delicious apple dessert your family will love!

Up close picture of an apple upside down cake on a white plate

Apple Upside Down Cake

If you have never tasted this homemade apple upside down cake, you are missing out. Once you try this cake, it is going to become one of your favorites. This is one of the most asked for cakes that I make.

While this recipe takes a bit more work and attention to detail than others, it is well worth the effort.  Semi-homemade ingredients make this a much easier recipe to manage, and the end result is not just delicious but beautiful.

What are the Best Apples for This Cake?

When making any kind of apple dessert, like this apple cake, you want to use apples that are good for baking. I also prefer a tart apple when I making desserts. I use gala apples in this recipe but you can also use granny smith apples. Make sure whatever apples you use are baking apples because otherwise the apples will either not soften or will soften too much.

Can I Use Homemade Crescent Dough for this Cinnamon Roll Cake?

If you have a recipe for homemade crescent dough that you want to make to use in this recipe you can. Most people prefer the convenience of using the premade packaged crescent dough.

A cinnamon roll apple upside down cake on a white serving platter with apples in the background

Ingredients for Apple Upside Down Cake

  • refrigerator crescent sheets
  • unsalted butter
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • cream cheese
  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • brown sugar
  • light corn syrup
  • heavy cream
  • Gala apples

Other Things You Will Need

  • Cookie sheet
  • 9 x 2 in round cake pan
  • baking spray
  • parchment paper
  • sauce pan
  • 2-small bowls
  • electric mixer
  • pizza cutter
  • measuring spoons
  • whisk
  • foil
  • Serving plate

How to Make an Easy Apple Upside Down Cake

You will begin by preparing your pan with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.  Set the pan aside, and preheat your oven as directed.
Next, you will make the caramel by cooking down your heavy cream, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vanilla on the stovetop as directed.  Once the sauce is ready, you will pour half of it directly into the cake pan.
Slice your apples, and arrange over the caramel sauce on the bottom of the cake pan.  It doesn’t have to be done perfectly, but taking the time to arrange them will result in a nicer display after cooked.

Layering apples and sauce at bottom of pan for apple upside down cake recipe

In one bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and set aside.  In another bowl, you will create the cinnamon sugar blend.
Next, you will spread out your crescent dough, then add the cream cheese mixture to the first layer of dough.  Spread another layer of crescent roll dough over the top of the firs tone, and then brush with butter.  Sprinkle the top of this dough with cinnamon sugar, and then cut into strips to then roll and place inside the cake pan.
Cut this into strips that you will then place in the cake pan.  These will go in a circle around the pan loosely connecting.
Bake as directed, then flip over onto a plate so the apple topping is showing.

Up close picture of a baked apple upside down cinnamon roll cake

Apple Upside Down Cake

Homemade Apple Upside Down Cake

Looking for an apple upside down cake recipe? This cinnamon roll cake is perfect for any apple lover. Delicious crescent rolls with apple filling cake topped with a caramel sauce is an amazing dessert idea. 
Servings: 8
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1 hr 15 mins


Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 8oz tubes refrigerator crescent sheets
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter melted but slightly cooled
  • 1/3 C brown sugar light
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Caramel Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C sweet cream unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 2-3 Gala apples peeled/ cut in 1/4 in slices


  • Prep cake pan with baking spray. Cut the parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Before putting it in the bottom of the pan apply the baking spray. The baking spray will seal it in place. Set aside.

Caramel Directions:

  • Melt the sweet cream unsalted butter in the saucepan on medium heat, Slowly add the heavy cream. Stir in the sugar, salt, corn syrup, and vanilla. Continue to stir until the sugar dissolves. Allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes. (Or until it begins to thicken) Pour half of the caramel sauce in the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside the remaining half for later.
  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Cake Directions:

  • Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
  • Whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Using the electric mixer combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Place the apple slices in the caramel sauce lined bottom of the cake pan.
  • Start working with the crescent dough sheet. Lightly dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Carefully spread 1 crescent dough sheet on the dusted parchment paper. Seal the perforation (separated lines) on the crescent sheet making a large rectangle. Repeat this step with the second crescent dough sheet.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture on the first prepared crescent dough rectangle.
  • Begin to layer with the second prepared crescent dough rectangle on top of the first. Brush the melted butter on the second layer of crescent dough. Sprinkle this with cinnamon sugar mixture. Using your hands gently tap the dough to make sure that the cinnamon sugar sticks to the dough. Cut the prepared layers of dough into 1-inch wide stripes with a pizza cuter.
  • Start to build the cake by rolling the first strip in a spiral placing it in the center of the pan. Carefully lift the second strip of crescent dough wrapping it around the center piece. Repeat this process by loosely adding the new strip where the previous one ended.
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the cake pan on the lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes.(Or until the center has baked completely.) Make sure that the cake doesn't brown too much by covering the top of the cake with a tent made out of foil.
  • When the cake is done allow it to cool (in the pan) for about 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate to cool completely.
  • Reheat the rest of the caramel sauce and drizzle it on top of the cake prior to serving.


  • cookie sheet
  • 9 x 2 in round cake pan
  • Baking spray
  • sauce pan
  • 2-small bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • pizza cutter
  • measuring spoons
  • Foil
  • Serving plate


Calories: 430.92kcal | Carbohydrates: 53.38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23.28g | Saturated Fat: 14.66g | Cholesterol: 66.87mg | Sodium: 509.64mg | Potassium: 186.95mg | Fiber: 1.36g | Sugar: 50.14g | Vitamin A: 768.21IU | Vitamin C: 2.09mg | Calcium: 147.62mg | Iron: 0.41mg


Homemade Apple Upside Down Cake

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