Tuesday, December 25, 2012 0 comments

Cranberry Upside-down Cake

There's so much goodness in this cake, I don't even know where to begin. I first had this cake four years ago in Boston. A dear friend and chef had made it for one of our Bible study dinners and I fell in love with the combination of rich sweetness plus the tartness of the berries.

I never did get her exact recipe, so I scouted around online and cobbled together this version. I made it yesterday for a Christmas Eve dinner and it's all gone today. I got heavy cream, intending to make whipped cream for the cake but forgot to bring it to our dinner and you know what? We didn't miss it one bit.



1/2 C sugar
At least 2 T butter, softened
2 C fresh or frozen cranberries, not canned -- if using fresh, wash and sort; if using frozen, thaw and drain


1 1/3 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick butter), softened
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 t fresh lemon zest
2/3 C milk


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Generously coat the inside of a 9-inch cake pan with the 2+ T softened butter
  • Put the 1/2 C sugar in the cake pan and coat the entire pan with sugar (bottom and sides); there will be a lot of sugar remaining. Make sure it's evenly spread on the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the cranberries in the bottom of the cake pan and make sure they're evenly distributed. Set the cake pan aside.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until the mixture is pea-sized or smaller.
  • Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Add in the flour mixture and milk and beat at a low speed until just blended, or use a wooden spoon to blend.
  • Carefully put the batter on top of the cranberries in the cake pan, making sure to cover the berries evenly. I used a spatula and dropped the batter onto the cranberries, almost like biscuits. Then I used the spatula to gently spread the batter around and cover the berries.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle cleanly and the top of the cake has started to brown slightly. With my current oven, the cake baked for 45 minutes and I didn't use the toothpick.
  • Let the cake sit for 10 minutes, then use a knife to carefully loosen the cake from the pan.
  • Invert the cake onto a cake plate (you may need to tap the cake pan) and let cool completely.
  • Enjoy!