Apple Upside Down Cake (Vegan) Made in the Moment

Sometimes life doesn't always grant your wishes. Sometimes you get lost in the rain and have no choice, but to let the water wash over you until the black clouds fade to grey and then white. 

Paul McCartney once sang, 
"And when the night is cloudy
there is still a light that shines on me
shine until tomorrow
let it be."

I lie under a pool of cloudy nights desperate to see the same stars I once looked toward two, maybe three years ago. 

Back then I was someone completely different, but entirely the same. I had a lot of hope in my eyes, a lot of fears, and a lot of love. If an eye doctor looked well enough, he might tell me that the feelings located behind the waves of brown pigment were deep enough to fill an ocean. 
Today, I ask a lot more questions to the stars above. I ask if I'll spot my way out of every maze I get myself into and whether or not I will be found. 

Paul was right. Light is strong enough to travel distances and bright enough to break through the thickest of clouds. Sometimes when I squint my eyes, I find the stars I've been missing and my heart rises back up from my stomach to my chest and I know that I've been found. 

A visit from my future in-laws has taken me on a vacation far from the stress of every day life and set me down gently into a world where I knew that somehow, everything will work out.

I took a weekend and I did nothing and everything. I distanced myself from routine, and I ate tofu scrambles for breakfast instead of cereal. I slept in a different bed and I ran a new trail. I ate at three new restaurants, picked apples from over ten different trees, and stood in front of a pond and felt calm. I surrounded myself with the happiest, most positive people. We took pictures with absurdly silly faces, found our inner-child within the autumn leaves, told heartfelt stories, and made countless memories to last a lifetime.

It's a funny thing how you can be so far away from home, but feel so close when home comes to you. It's like how Edward Sharpe sings, "Home is wherever I'm with you." It's a weekend such as last that makes me recognize that home is not found on a map, but in your heart.

Sometimes life comes at you in full swing and you are able to make sense of all it's odd ways. Sometimes you get caught up in a moment of laughter and joy so much that it doesn't matter if you flip your apple upside down cake and it comes out half on the plate and half on the kitchen counter. It doesn't matter that you had to pick a few stuck apple slices out from the pan with your fingers because you forgot to line it with parchment paper. Really, you can just top it with cream and pretend it never happened. It doesn't matter if the only picture you capture happens to be a half-lit iPhone shot with heavy shadows and an undesired golden tint. I'm learning that sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders, laugh a little, and let it be

Apple Upside Down Cake (Vegan)
Yield: One 9" cake
Adapted from: veganrecipesofindia

For apple layer-
  • 2 medium peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • a few drops of lemon juice
For cake-
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar or organic cane sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apples
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8" or 9" cake pan with oil and parchment paper. 
  2. Layer sliced apples around the bottom of the pan in a double layer. Sprinkle the lined apples with a mixture of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Drop a few drops of lemon juice over the apples and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. 
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, lemon juice, melted coconut oil, and vanilla. 
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the mixed wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold and stir until almost all of the flour is combined. Add the finely diced apples to the cake batter and fold until all of the apples and flour are combined. 
  6. Carefully pour the cake batter over the apples and sugar in the cake pan taking care not to shift them.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. 
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Then, while still warm, invert onto a large plate. Serve warm with coconut cream (click here for the recipe).

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall