3 Layer Upside Down Apple Pecan Breakfast Cake

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on November 22, 2010

Good morning!

I spent the entire weekend working on my Challenge #8 post for Project Food Blog. I’m happy to have most of the baking and shooting done as tiring as this weekend was. I also have about 50% of my draft post written up. I was hoping to finish the entire thing this weekend, but that was wishful thinking…I always underestimate how much time my ideas will take!

It is a gloom and doom weather day here in my neck of the woods. I woke up to dark skies and rain and it doesn’t look like it is leaving any time soon. I was feeling pretty ‘blah’ this morning (thank you PMS and gloomy weather!) and I knew if I started the day off on the right foot with a workout it would make all the difference.

After a lot of debate and trying to talk myself out of it, I finally got on the treadmill and had a mood-boosting 4 mile interval workout.

I did 1/4 mile intervals switching between 7.0 mph and 2% incline and 6.0 mph and 4% incline. I pause my workout after each mile for a quick, mini break and water replenishment. Breaking up the workout into 1/4 mile intervals and 1 mile spurts makes it so much more manageable! I say to myself, ‘Just 1/4 mile to go’ and ‘only 1 mile left’ instead of ‘I have 4 miles to run in a row’.

Huge mental difference even though the physical distance is the same. Of course, I felt great afterwards.

For breakfast, I didn’t feel like pancakes, VOO, cereal, a Green Monster, or hot oatmeal.

Nope, I was thinking about making a breakfast cake.

I made this 3-layer apple pecan breakfast cake that was a breeze to throw together and adds a fun twist to common hot breakfasts. The best part about this recipe is that you will have leftovers all week to enjoy to make for really quick breakfasts on the go. This cake would also make a fun afternoon snack!



3 Layer Upside Down Apple Pecan Breakfast Cake

This hearty and comforting breakfast cake will be a reason to get up on those cold and gloomy Winter mornings. Have fun playing around with the flours, fruit, and nuts!


  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (other flours probably work)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon + more for garnish
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance (or butter), melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup + 1 tbsp, divided
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce


Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Peel and chop the apples. Grease a small casserole dish and then spread 1 tbsp of maple syrup on the bottom of dish. Now, spread a layer of chopped apples followed by a layer of pecans on the bottom of dish. Use just less than half of both the apples and pecans. In a large bowl, mix the following dry ingredients (whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon). Whisk together. In a small bowl mix the wet ingredients (applesauce, 1/2 cup maple syrup, vanilla, and 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance (or butter). Mix.

Add the wet to the dry and mix well. Now spread on a layer of this batter over top of the apples and pecans. Use about half of the batter.

Now spread a layer of apples and pecans again, making sure to leave at least 2-3 tbsp of each for the top of the cake. Follow this by a final layer of the cake batter (use all of it up). Spread as evenly as possible.

Now sprinkle on the remaining apples and pecans. Add on a sprinkle of cinnamon and place in the oven for 55 mins at 350F. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6.


Gather up the dry ingredients…


and the wet…


And let’s make magic.

Peel and chop 2 granny smith apples (or other baking apple).


In a small casserole dish, add 1 tbsp of maple syrup.


Add a layer of apples and pecans on the bottom of the dish. Use just less than half of each.


In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon) . In a small bowl mix the wet ingredients (maple syrup, vanilla, applesauce, and Earth Balance/butter).

Add wet to dry and mix well.


Add a layer (about half) of the batter on top of the apple and pecans.


Now add on another layer of apples and pecans reserving about 2-3 tbsp of each.


Now add on the rest of the cake batter.


And finally the last of the apples and pecans. Garnish with cinnamon.


Bake for 55 minutes at 350F.


Allow to cool for 15 minutes.


Now run a knife along the sides of the cake and flip onto a cake stand or plate.

20101122-IMG_2747 20101122-IMG_2748

Carefully tap the bottom of the dish and slowly lift up.



A few of the apples stuck to the bottom of the dish, but you could probably prevent this by using a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the casserole dish before you add your ingredients.


The result was a chunky, delightful breakfast cake.


I really wasn’t sure how this breakfast cake was going to turn out, but I was quite pleasantly surprised!

It has a hint of maple and cinnamon and a comforting and gooey apple pecan crunch. It is lined with earthy and wholesome cake layers that are a bit undercooked in the middle, but add to the cake’s appeal.


I give it two breakfast thumbs up. :) Oh and by the way, it also is incredible with Banana Soft Serve…


Have a great one!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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Cherine November 23, 2010 at 10:58 am

This cake is fabulous!!


Anne November 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

I made this last night. OH EM GEE. I cannot stop eating it!! So good!! Unfortunately, mine did not turn out NEARLY as pretty as yours (I missed the memo about waiting 15 minutes… the smell was driving me WILD), but it was DELICIOUS! Next time I just may skip the layering steps and just mix it all together and dump it into a pan. I’ll be able do dig in sooner ;)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

that is a GREAT idea about mixing everything together!!


Alaina November 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I cannot get over how much I love your creations!! :-) Everything is mouth watering.


Gwen~healthymamma November 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

made this yesterday. my wet batter was waaaaaay thicker than your pic, did you add any water at all?


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 20, 2010 at 11:15 am

hmm not that I recall! If I remember correctly my batter was very thick


Caroline December 20, 2010 at 11:12 am

Hi Angela!

I just recently (2 days ago) discovered your page and I am SO happy that I did :) I’ve so far tried 2 recipes here. First the “Vegan peanut butter muffins bomb” wich was DELICIOUS!! And just half an hour ago I made the “Healthy Peanut Butter Coconut Swirl Pancakes”. I made the hole too big in my plastic bag so the “swirls” were to big haha. But they tasted good. I don’t know what it is but I could only eat 2 of them and then I was FULL (??) Phew, but they were so good!
I’m a vegetarian so I like the fact that many of the recipes are vegan and even if they’re not you can always adjust them.

This cake also looks delicious :) You are now an owner of a bakery, or did I misunderstood?

Best regards,
Caroline from Sweden.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

Glad you enjoy the blog and recipes :) Yes I own http://www.globakery.com/Cart


Jen Noel January 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Do you think you could use coconut oil instead of the earth balance?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

I cant see why not :)


Kristeen February 11, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Fantastic recipe!


Vegan Radhika Sarohia February 20, 2013 at 4:15 am

This looks awesome


Disha July 11, 2013 at 10:25 am

Wonderful recipe
I wanted to know can i add teff flour or sorghum flour rather than wheat flour
And is there any substitue for apple sauce ?


Katherine December 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I have made this twice in the last month. I was looking for a breakfast treat when I didn’t have any eggs. Instead of applesauce I substituted pumpkin butter and increased the amount since it is thicker than applesauce. It was delicious.


janine March 5, 2015 at 9:38 am

this sounds delicious! can i use oil instead of butter? dont eat eggs or butter!


Susan Shields March 16, 2015 at 7:37 am

Has it been done with any gluten free flours such as Pamelas? If so, do you have to adjust anything?


Lilan November 1, 2015 at 8:25 am

This looks so yummy!! Is the recipe enough for a loaf pan?


debbie December 21, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I love the looks of this recipe. Do you have the Nutrition information for it?


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