Upside-Down Apple Polenta Cake

Photo by Beatriz Da Costa
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  • Nutritional Information

    Nutritional Information

    Per Serving

    • Calories 393 calories
    • Calories 36 calories from fat
    • Fat 16 g
    • Sat Fat 10 g
    • Cholesterol 91 mg
    • Sodium 203 mg
    • Protein 5 mg
    • Carbohydrate 59 g
    • Fiber 2 g
    • Iron 2 mg
    • Calcium 62 mg


  1. Check 2 large unpeeled Gala or Golden Delicious apples, quartered and cored
  2. Check 10tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. Check 2/3cup brown sugar
  4. Check 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. Check 1 1/4cups all-purpose flour
  6. Check 1/2teaspoon baking soda
  7. Check 1/4teaspoon salt
  8. Check 1/2cup sugar
  9. Check 1tablespoon lemon juice
  10. Check 2 eggs
  11. Check 1tablespoon vanilla extract
  12. Check 3/4cup buttermilk
  13. Check 1/3cup cornmeal
  14. Check lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)


  1. Cut each apple quarter lengthwise into 3 wedges. In a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet, over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and add the apples, gently stirring to coat. 
  2. Return the pan to medium heat; cover and cook 5 minutes. Turn the apple slices over and cook 5 minutes more, uncovered; set aside.
  3. With a fork, arrange the apple slices in a spoke design in the sugar mixture, filling in the center with remaining slices. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk in the buttermilk and cornmeal. Add the flour mixture and stir gently with the whisk until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter over the apple slices. Bake about 35 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed.
  5. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen the cake. Immediately cover the pan with a heatproof plate and carefully invert the two. Wait 1 minute before lifting off the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream (if desired).