Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
The basic recipe is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches, plums or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. Just arrange the fruit in the skillet before you pour the batter over it.
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, divided
- 1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries (about 3 cups) 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk, at room temperature
- Whipped cream for garnish
- Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure tender baked goods
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons orange juice in a large (12-inch) cast-iron or regular skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the mixture starts to bubble. Let cool. Coat the sides of the skillet with cooking spray.
Bring the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and cranberries to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring often, until about half the cranberries have popped. Pour evenly over the cooled brown sugar mixture in the skillet.
Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
Separate egg whites and yolks. Place the yolks in a large bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, oil, granulated sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with milk, using a rubber spatula, starting and ending with the flour. Stir just until the flour is incorporated. Beat the egg whites in a clean dry mixing bowl with clean dry beaters on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest until almost no white streaks remain. Spread the batter over the cranberries.
Bake until the top is golden brown and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool for at least 30 minutes more before serving. Serve warm or room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.