cranberry upside down cake

December  5, 2013
Author Notes

This recipe is something I’m really proud of. I often say that cooking is my therapy. Case in point…we had just moved our family across the Pacific to Hawaii and it was our first autumn there. Living in paradise was a dream, but I still found myself longing for a cool, crisp morning and the changing colors of fall. So I went to the kitchen and started cooking. This cake is the product of that particular therapy session. I think it’s safe to say this cake will be in heavy rotation from October to November every year. —Callie Canlas

  • Makes one 9 inch round cake
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanill
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided into 4 T and 2 T
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand up mixer with the whisk attachment (or with a hand held mixer and a large bowl) beat the eggs on high till fluffy and the color becomes light a yellow, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. When the egg mixture is ready, slowly add the sugar and continue beating on high for 5-6 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan melt 2 T butter and milk on medium high until butter is completely melted and little bubbles start to from around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
  5. Turn mixer down to low and carefully add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Slowly increase speed to medium and mix until combined. Add the milk mixture and vanilla and mix for another 30 seconds or so until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Set aside.
  6. Combine 4 T of butter, brown sugar and orange zest in a small saucepan. Melt together on medium heat and whisk till combined. Make sure all the lumps are gone and that the mixture becomes homogenous (it might take a bit for the sugar to absorb all the butter). Pour into a 9-inch round cake pan. Spread out into an even layer and pour cranberries on top. Spread cranberries into a single layer and lightly press them into the butter and sugar mixture.
  7. Scrape the botton of the bowl with the whisk attachment very well to incorporate everything from the bottom. Pour cake batter over cranberries and bake for 30-35 minutes until the middle is set and firm.
  8. Remove the cake from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Wash and dry the mixing bowl and whisk. Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. (I like to clean up while the cake is baking and the bowl is chilling.)
  10. Wash and dry the mixing bowl and whisk. Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. (I like to clean up while the cake is baking and the bowl is chilling.)
  11. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto desired serving platter. Carefully remove the cake pan. The cake is easier to slice if it cools for an hour or so (but you don’t have to wait if you don’t want to). Serve each slice of cake with a dollop of whip cream on top.
  12. notes: Measuring out ingredients before you begin a recipe (especially when baking) makes for a less hectic experience and a better end result. Pressing the cranberries into the butter and sugar mixture ensures that the cranberries won’t rise to the top during baking. Cold cream and a cold mixing bowl make for the best whip cream. Keep the cream in the fridge until it’s time to whip it up. If you’d like even more of a citrus kick, add the zest of another orange to the cream before mixing. The cake can also be baked in a 9x9 square pan. This is great if you need to portion it into smaller pieces to serve a bigger crowd. But baking time may decrease by a few minutes or so and you’ll need to add ¼ cup more cranberries.

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