Desserts,  Life,  Recipes

Apple Cider Upside Down Cake (Perfection is Overrated :))

The title of this post might seem a little bit unusual, not the apple cider upside down cake part, but the part concerning perfection.   The whole topic of perfection was on my mind with this last bake.  So I thought I would have a little discussion about it, followed with the recipe that brought this all about.

No one is perfect, however people seem to be always trying to achieve perfection.  That’s especially evident on social media.  Most times all you see are the perfected final results of a recipe, the pretty pictures of staged food preparations and the perfect parts of a persons life.   But behind the scenes of these perfected pictures there are probably mishaps that happen, recipes which don’t turn out right and other disappointments.  However you don’t see the mishaps.  And maybe there’s a reason for that I mean it would be pretty depressing to constantly see Instagram pics of disappointments and failures all the time, that’s what the news is for.

But what happens is we start to compare our lives with what we think are people living perfect lives, achieving perfect outcomes with no problems.  We all love to see beautiful finished products so we can aspire to create the same thing but there’s also beauty in seeing imperfections.  There’s beauty in a lopsided frosted cake, a too browned cookie or a project that didn’t come out right.   The beauty is in the process.  It’s also in learning.  Learning to roll with the punches even if the end result doesn’t come out to your expectations.

This all came to mind when I was removing my apple cider upside down cake from the pan.  When turning it upside down to remove it, half the cake stuck to the pan.  My heart basically dropped to my feet.  The picture I wanted for my Instagram cake shot was not going to be that perfect shot.   There was a time when I would have had a little temper tantrum.  I would have stressed and beat myself up verbally and mentally calling myself stupid for not immediately turning the cake over on the platter after taking if from the oven (which caused this below to happen).  But I’ve changed.

A Recovering Perfectionist

You see I’m a recovering perfectionist, my struggle with perfection has been real (my south node in Virgo).   It has held me back from putting myself out there and being vulnerable.   It’s made me mentally and verbally abuse myself many, many times because of mistakes made.  My sickness of being a perfectionist was so bad that not only did I have very high expectations for myself but those high expectations extended to others as well.  And when things didn’t work out according to what I envisioned, I would get extremely stressed and anxious.  It took a while for me to realize that me being a perfectionist was actually me trying to control outcomes, people, things, basically life.  And we all know you cannot control life.  So a lot of times I was walking around just filled with anxiety.

It took me a while to learn that trying to be perfect all the time was no fun and stressful!  Tapping more into my spirituality ( North Node in Pisces) helped me to get pass my perfectionist nature.  Meditating when I started feeling that controlling anxiety worked wonders for me.  And when upsetting things would happen, I looked at the positive of the situation, because there’s always a positive in every situation.

I still have my meticulous ways which works extremely well when it comes to baking and cooking but it’s not coming from a controlling, anxiety filled, perfectionist nature.

Imperfection is Perfection

Looking at half the cake in the pan and the other half of the cake on the board.  I felt a calmness come over me.  Yes I was upset at first but I knew I could still get a least a picture showing a slice of the cake.   And then the calmness turned into excitement after I sampled a piece of the cake.  It was amazing!  It came out better than I imagined.  This was a recipe I had thought about for days and it was so good to see it come together.

I sliced a piece of the cake so  I could take a picture for Instagram.  But something told me, why not take a picture of the entire cake, the messed up part too.  Let people see the flaws, that not everything always come out perfect.  And that’s what I did.   It’s not the most beautiful cake picture I’ve ever taken, but this flawed upside down apple cider cake reminded me of three things.  (1) There’s beauty in imperfections. (2) It’s all small stuff.  And (3) That I’ve come a long way baby!

The Recipe

Now to this glorious, delicious, stupendous cake recipe.  The whole intent on creating this recipe was to keep it easy to digest, plant based and refined sugar free.  I was inspired by lovingitvegan’s pineapple upside down recipe I really liked her format for her cake recipe.   So I used her format as the foundation however I changed lots of things to make it my own.

Einkorn flour is my go to flour now so that was used for its great nutrition, flavor and easy digestibility.  To find out more about einkorn click here.   For the cake I brought jaggery back into the mix as the sweetener.  It worked out so well with these tea biscuits I wanted to use it again for this cake.  I also used homemade brazil nut milk to provide richness and moistness to the cake.  And the star ingredient besides the granny smith apples used is Trader Joes Fuji Apple Spiced Cider.   The apple cider not only provided additional natural sweetness it provided a nice blend of spices to give the cake that additional kick.

The cake is amazing on it’s own.  It can also be served with  non dairy or dairy ice cream, whipped topping or yogurt.  Even though I made the cake non-dairy, I paired a slice of the cake with Green Valley lactose free organic grass fed dairy yogurt.  The tang of the yogurt paired with the sweet/tart flavor of the apples and the sweetness of the cake is heaven!

Recipe Notes

  • You can substitute the 13 x 9 inch pan for two round pans.  Just be mindful of the baking times.  Start with a baking time of 25 minutes.
  • Jaggery sugar can be used instead of the maple syrup in the apple mixture.
  • Almond milk can be used instead of brazil nut milk.
  • Pink lady apples can be substituted for the granny smith apples.
  • The olive oil I used for this cake is a 100% unfiltered extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil. Carapelli – Unfiltered Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Apple Cider Upside Down Cake

 

AuthorDesireeCategory, DifficultyIntermediate

This cake has a rich and moist flavor without the calories and unnecessary amounts of sugar. It's moist and favorable with the perfect amount of spices. The cake is like a lighter version of a Jewish Apple cake.

Prep Time25 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time55 mins

Dry Ingredients
 2 cups einkorn flour
 ½ cup grated or finely processed jaggery
 1 tsp baking soda
 ½ tsp cinnamon
 ¼ tsp sea salt
Liquid Ingredients
 ½ cup non dairy milk ( I used homemade brazil nut milk- just brazil nuts and filtered water)
 ½ cup Trader Joes Cold Pressed Fuji Apple Spiced Cider
  cup olive oil -I use this
 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 2 tsp vanilla extract
Apple Mixture
 4 cups granny smith apples (equivilant to 4 small to med apples)
 5 tbsp maple syrup
 2 tsp olive oil
 ½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
1

Place two teaspoons of olive oil in a sauté pan or fry pan on medium heat. Peel and slice 4 small to medium size apples and place in the pan with the olive oil. Sauté the apples for a few minutes then add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Continue to saute the apples till they soften. Then remove from heat.

2

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients together with a whisk. Flour, baking soda, jaggery, salt and cinnamon.

3

In a smaller bowl mix all liquid ingredients together. Non-dairy milk, apple cider, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract.

4

Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture. and mix with a whisk till everything is combined.

5

Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with a little avocado oil or olive oil. Pour the apple mixture into the pan.

6

Pour the cake batter on top of the apple mixture, spreading the cake batter evenly.

7

Place in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. You can tell it's done because the cake will be nice and golden brown. Also a cake tester or toothpick after inserted will come out clean.

8

After the cake comes out of the oven take a heat proof board, rack, plate or platter and place upside down on top of the cake. Turn the heat proof platter with the cake pan over so that the top of the cake is on the platter or board. Leave the pan upside down on the platter for a few minutes so that the apple maple syrup mixture drizzles down over the cake.

*Right before you flip the cake you might want to slide a knife around the cake between the cake and pan to help loosen it a little before placing the platter over the cake to turn it upside down.

9

Now hopefully your cake will turn out better than this one did. 🙂 I'm showing this pic to show that basically shit happens. 🙂 If this happens to you, don't worry about it! Just patch the pieces together. And you can also cut the cake into squares and no one will be the wiser.

*My mistake was not flipping the cake immediately after taking it from the oven. I let it sit before flipping it over. You definitely want to flip it as soon as it comes out of the oven to prevent sticking.

10

The cake can be stored in an air tight container and will last for 3 to 4 days.

11

It's amazing with a dollop of yogurt! It makes a nice breakfast treat. 🙂

12

Look how moist this cake is!!!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients
 2 cups einkorn flour
 ½ cup grated or finely processed jaggery
 1 tsp baking soda
 ½ tsp cinnamon
 ¼ tsp sea salt
Liquid Ingredients
 ½ cup non dairy milk ( I used homemade brazil nut milk- just brazil nuts and filtered water)
 ½ cup Trader Joes Cold Pressed Fuji Apple Spiced Cider
  cup olive oil -I use this
 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 2 tsp vanilla extract
Apple Mixture
 4 cups granny smith apples (equivilant to 4 small to med apples)
 5 tbsp maple syrup
 2 tsp olive oil
 ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
1

Place two teaspoons of olive oil in a sauté pan or fry pan on medium heat. Peel and slice 4 small to medium size apples and place in the pan with the olive oil. Sauté the apples for a few minutes then add the cinnamon and maple syrup. Continue to saute the apples till they soften. Then remove from heat.

2

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients together with a whisk. Flour, baking soda, jaggery, salt and cinnamon.

3

In a smaller bowl mix all liquid ingredients together. Non-dairy milk, apple cider, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract.

4

Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture. and mix with a whisk till everything is combined.

5

Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with a little avocado oil or olive oil. Pour the apple mixture into the pan.

6

Pour the cake batter on top of the apple mixture, spreading the cake batter evenly.

7

Place in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. You can tell it's done because the cake will be nice and golden brown. Also a cake tester or toothpick after inserted will come out clean.

8

After the cake comes out of the oven take a heat proof board, rack, plate or platter and place upside down on top of the cake. Turn the heat proof platter with the cake pan over so that the top of the cake is on the platter or board. Leave the pan upside down on the platter for a few minutes so that the apple maple syrup mixture drizzles down over the cake.

*Right before you flip the cake you might want to slide a knife around the cake between the cake and pan to help loosen it a little before placing the platter over the cake to turn it upside down.

9

Now hopefully your cake will turn out better than this one did. 🙂 I'm showing this pic to show that basically shit happens. 🙂 If this happens to you, don't worry about it! Just patch the pieces together. And you can also cut the cake into squares and no one will be the wiser.

*My mistake was not flipping the cake immediately after taking it from the oven. I let it sit before flipping it over. You definitely want to flip it as soon as it comes out of the oven to prevent sticking.

10

The cake can be stored in an air tight container and will last for 3 to 4 days.

11

It's amazing with a dollop of yogurt! It makes a nice breakfast treat. 🙂

12

Look how moist this cake is!!!

Apple Cider Upside Down Cake

 

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