small batch mini apple and almond upside down mini cakes

About These Small Batch Apple Almond Upside Down Mini Cakes

These apple almond upside down mini cakes are miniature versions of a classic upside down cake! The top of each mini cake is covered in a brown sugar, butter, and apple topping, while the cake batter is made with both almond flour and almond past for lots of nutty flavor. Each cake tastes like marzipan, with some tartness from the apple to cut through the sweetness! The best part? The recipe is small batch and makes 6 mini cakes.

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Here are all the reasons to make these apple almond upside down mini cakes:

These apple almond upside down mini cakes are a fun, seasonal twist on a classic dessert: pineapple upside down cakes!

Personally, I don’t think upside down cakes get enough attention in the baking world. They’re distinctive-looking and delicious-tasting; plus, they’re easy to make, too! What’s not to like?

Perhaps the most famous upside down cake is the pineapple upside down cake. I love pineapple, but wanted to take advantage of the apples that are currently in season. I paired the apple with an almond cake base and were pleased with the results. The apple almond upside down mini cakes taste like marzipan!

These mini cakes are a cross between SO many desserts: cakes, muffins, petit fours, and more!

Instead of making a giant 9- or 10-inch upside down cake, I decided to switch things up. I baked the cake batter in a muffin pan to make mini cakes! I love mini cakes because they are a dessert for all occasions. You can serve them as muffins for breakfast, or as petit fours and tea cakes for an afternoon snack.

The recipe is small batch.

Because I developed the recipe to be baked in a muffin pan, I was able to scale down the serving size of the cakes accordingly. The cakes go stale fairly quickly, so it’s best to only have a small amount on hand. This recipe makes 6 mini cakes, perfect for a small household of 2 to 4 people!

Small Batch Apple Almond Upside Down Mini Cakes

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make these mini cakes, here’s everything you need to make them:

Shopping List For Small Batch Apple Almond Upside Down Mini Cakes Recipe

  • almond flour
  • all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • unsalted butter
  • granulated sugar
  • almond paste
  • large eggs
  • almond extract
  • pure vanilla extract
  • dark brown sugar
  • apples

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and potential substitutions:

Common Ingredient Substitutions For The Recipe

Here are common substitutions for the ingredients in the recipe:

  • Almond Flour. To make my apple and almond mini upside down cakes, I used almond flour. Almond flour is almond meal made with blanched almonds and sifted intensely so that no almond skins remain. Using almond flour will result in white, pale cakes like mine. But in a pinch, you can use almond meal too! Your cake crumb will just be slightly darker.

  • All-Purpose Flour. Substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite 1-1 Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I like the ones by Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Baking Company) to make the recipe gluten-free!

  • Kosher Salt. You can replace the kosher salt in the recipe with half its amount in table salt.

  • Dark Brown Sugar. Brown sugar is available in two varieties: light or dark. All that means is that brown sugar contains more molasses, giving it a stronger flavor and a darker brown color.

    I suggest using dark brown sugar in this recipe because it adds more color and contrast to the upside down cake tops and really makes them pop! But if light brown sugar is all you have, don’t worry about it. Your cakes will still be tasty!

  • Apple. For this recipe, I recommend using a small baking apple. How small? When holding the apple in your palm, you should be able to wrap your fingers around at least 75% of the fruit.

    A smaller apple works best because you’ll be slicing the apple to fit into the bottom of a muffin pan cavity. It turns out that’s actually a pretty small space—most medium to large apples will need to be sliced even further to fit within it!

How To Make The Recipe

Here are the basic steps to make these mini cakes from scratch:

  1. Prep the ingredients. (Prep Time: 15 minutes)

  2. Make the mini cake batter. (Work Time: 10 minutes)

  3. Assemble the upside down cakes. (Work Time: 10 minutes)

  4. Bake the upside down cakes. (Bake Time: 25 minutes)

Best Recipe Tips

Techniques To Help You Succeed

  • Don’t slice the apple too thick. Thick slices will sink into the cake. You want something that’s around ⅛- to ¼-inch thin.

    For half of my cakes, I used a mini cookie cutter from this set to stamp out shapes from some of my apple slices. You don’t have to do this, the food stylist in me just couldn’t resist!

  • The recipe instructs you to turn out the cakes onto a wire rack while they are still warm and relatively fresh, 3 minutes after being pulled out from the oven. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS STEP. If you wait to turn out the cakes until they’ve cooled to room temperature, they’ll get stuck in the pan! You want to do it while the cakes and muffin pan are still warm.

More Small Batch Recipes

Get the Recipe: Small Batch Apple and Almond Mini Upside Down Cakes Recipe

These apple almond upside down mini cakes are the perfect baked good to serve for breakfast or with afternoon tea! Tart and crisp apple is covered in brown sugar and baked on top of a moist and flavorful almond cake. The recipe makes 6 mini cakes, perfect for a small household of 2 to 4 people! 
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For The Apple And Almond Cake Batter

  • ½ cup (1.75 ounces or 50 grams) almond flour
  • 7 Tablespoons (2 ounces or 57 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (½ stick or 2 ounces or 57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
  • cup (2.75 ounces or 78 grams) almond paste
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 Tablespoon (0.5 ounces or 14 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 small apple, cored and sliced into ⅛- to ¼-inch slices OR stamped into small shapes


  • 6-cavity OR 12-cavity muffin pan
  • 1-Tablespoon cookie dough scoop


  • First, preheat the oven. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt.
  • Cream the butter and sugar, then add the almond paste, eggs, and extracts. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.
    Reduce the mixer to low and crumble in the almond paste, then beat on medium until the paste has broken down into very small bits, another 2 to 3 minutes. 
    With the mixer on low, add the eggs one at a time, adding the next egg only after the previous one has been fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the extracts and mix until just combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Prep the muffin pan. Use the 1 Tablespoon of butter for assembly to generously butter the bottom and sides of 6 cavities in the muffin pan. 
  • Assemble the upside down cakes. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of brown sugar across the bottom of the buttered cavities. Place 3 to 4 apple slices or cutouts on top of the brown sugar. Sprinkle another ½ teaspoon of brown sugar over the apples.
    Use a 1-Tablespoon cookie dough scoop to fill each prepped cavity with 5 Tablespoons of the batter, then use an offset spatula or a mini spatula to smooth their tops.
  • Bake the upside down cakes. If using a 12-cavity muffin pan, pour warm water into the empty cavities of the muffin pan, filling them at least ⅔-rds of the way up.
    Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cakes are a pale golden yellow. When done, the top of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached.
    Cool in the muffin pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool slightly.
  • Serve and store. Serve warm or at room temperature. The upside down cakes can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container or under a cake dome at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.