Apple Cider Upside-Down Cake–A Mid-Century Recipe Test

Posted on Oct 12 2011 - 6:28am by RetroRuth

Okay, okay. I know. Apple cider AND desserts two weeks in a row. It’s unheard of here on the Mid-Century Menu, where everything is supposed to be scary all the time. But, it’s Apple Month, so I couldn’t help myself!  I was so disappointed with the lack of cider flavor in last week’s Cider Eggnog Pie that I had to try again this week. I mean, you understand, right? It’s all for legitimate scientific testing. I set out to find a mid-century recipe full of cider flavor, and I need to find it.

Plus, I wanted Tom to buy me more cider.

I am happy to say that I succeeded on both counts.


This is Apple Cider Upside-Down Cake. And it is delicious.

Cider Eggnog Pie002

This is another fun recipe brought to you by our friends at the Apple Kitchen Cook Book, from 1966.

What can I say? ‘Tis the season for apples!

Apple Cider Upside-Down Cake001


I have to admit though, this sucker is kind of an ugly cake. But what it lacks in good looks, it makes up for in sheer cider flavor.


I think my favorite part was when I got to cook the apples in cider for that double apple flavor that makes us all crazy.

Except I have to admit I cheated a little bit on this one, which I normally don’t do. I took the cider drained off from the apples and, instead of guzzling it down like I wanted to, I substituted it for the water in the cake mix. And I am not sorry.


Not. At. All.

Especially when it gets this kind of reaction from Tom:






The Verdict: Really yummy and very easy. Normally I don’t use cake mixes for cakes, but this one was really good with a cake mix. But you could probably sub your favorite spice cake recipe or even gingerbread….oh…wait. That was just a really good idea.  I know what I am making later this week, after we scarf our way through this whole cake. Apple Cider Upside-Down Gingerbread!

*If you make this recipe, be aware that my cake was done WAY earlier than 55 mins. It took about 40. Check your cake for doneness according to the package directions!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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7 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. ae October 12, 2011 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Love that last picture!!!!

  2. Erica October 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Sure, it’s not very pretty, but you really can’t get a better Tom reaction than that! 🙂

    Autumn is a really wonderful time for desserts.

  3. Louise October 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Ruth! I love how you added your own special flair to this “retro” Apple-Cider Upside-Down Cake. I’m sure you got that additional apple cider you requested:) I’ve never seen that cookbook either. I will be watching for it.

    Thank you so much for joining the Cookbook Party. It’s so nice to “meet” you. Good Luck!

  4. lynn October 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I came over from Louise’s cookbook party. It looks like your recipe was a real hit! I love the idea of cooking the apples with cider for extra flavor. Apple cider is so yummy, any way you ingest it. Thanks for sharing the fun recipe and pictures.

  5. Pat Davis October 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Well after all it is retro.Ha

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