Vicki from Madison, WI (2018 Week 1: Cakes)




Madison, WI

Baking Challenge

Upside Down Cake

Give your cake a name based on the ingredients and decoration – and tell us about the origin of your recipe.

Bourbon Old Fashioned Upside Down Cake and Granny Smith Old Fashioned Upside Down Cake with Oranges and Bada Bing Cherries

Tell us about your proudest moment – or humble failure – in this week’s baking challenge.

My proudest moment was when my husband tasted both cakes and loved both of them.

Describe how you added a Wisconsin twist to your creation.

I loved this challenge. I had forgotten how easy, beautiful and deliciously scrumptious an upside down cake is. To give this challenge a Wisconsin twist, I was inspired by the Old Fashioned cocktail, a Wisconsin Supper Club favorite. Typically, Old Fashioned cocktails are made with brandy or whiskey spirits. However, my favorite Old Fashioned cocktail, the Granny Smith Old Fashioned, is from the Driftless Glen Distillery in Baraboo, WI (my hometown). Ironically, this craft cocktail is not made with granny smith apples, but the distillery’s own Rivershine apple pie moonshine and a red apple balsamic vinegar. Not long ago, I was visiting the distillery for happy hour and dinner with family and decided to purchase the Rivershine and vinegar to make this cocktail at home. When the first week of the Wisconsin Baking Challenge came up, I thought it might be possible to adapt this cocktail recipe to a similar Old Fashioned Upside Down Cake recipe. Indeed, I found a recipe on and adapted the Granny Smith Old Fashioned cocktail recipe to it. My plan was to change the original recipe from a 9×13 cake pan to two 8 inch round cake pans making one bourbon and the other apple moonshine for comparison sake. Before attempting to make the cake, I decided to first make the Old Fashioned Hot Butter Sauce recipe – using some of the Granny Smith cocktail ingredients (apple moonshine, red apple balsamic vinegar and dash of bourbon barrel aged bitters) – cutting the sauce recipe in half, in case it failed my husband’s taste test. Not surprisingly, the hot butter granny smith sauce tasted delicious. In that moment, I knew this cake could be a contender against the original bourbon recipe.

How did you do?

Absolutely lovely.