You may want to double this recipe—the apple-walnut topping and whipped cream make these cakes disappear fast.


  • ¾ stick unsalted butter, (6 tablespoons) cold, cut into tablespoon pieces, plus additional for greasing
  • 3 Gala apples
  • cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (1 3/4 oz)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • Special equipment: a muffin pan with 6 (1-cup) muffin cups
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream


Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Butter muffin cups. Peel and core apples, then cut into 1/3-inch dice.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook apples, brown sugar, and lemon juice, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a glaze and apples are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in walnuts and divide apple mixture among muffin cups.

Pulse together flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps.

Whisk together egg and milk in a large bowl. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center of a cake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.

Run a paring knife around edge of each cake to loosen. Invert rack over muffin cups, then invert cakes onto rack. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream.


"Add cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg."

MacGourmet downloadApple Upside-down Cornmeal Cakes. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.