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Cranberry Upside Down Cake


A super flavorful and festive cake with cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon and ginger. This is a bit on the tart side so offer whipped cream on the side if you’re so inclined.

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  • Topping:
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons
  • (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Cake:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Scant pinch ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened plus more for buttering the pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest Cook’s note: I like the orange zest to really show up in the cake, so I grate as much as I can with a cheese grater and then finish the rest in a zester.
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice from fresh orange
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of milk


Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350F.

Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter cake pan.

In a small saucepan, place the ¼ cup of butter and the ¾ cups of packed brown sugar. On medium high heat, stir the sugar as the butter melts. Once the butter is melted and mixed in well with the sugar, stop stirring and let the mixture simmer for 15 seconds or so.

Pour the brown sugar butter mixture into the prepared cake pan. 9-inch cake pan with at least 2-inch high sides. If you’re pan is more shallow than this, just leave out about ¾ cup batter.Spread the cranberries on top of the sugar-butter mixture.

In a medium bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light. Add the sugar and beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the orange zest.

Mix a third of the dry ingredients into the mixture. Beat in half of the sour cream. Mix in another third of the dry ingredients. Mix in the remaining sour cream. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the milk.

Pour batter over the cranberries in the cake pan, and smooth the surface. Place in the preheated oven and lower the heat from 350°F to 325°F. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 55 minutes to an hour. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the inside rim of the cake pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then turn the cake out onto a platter.

*Preheating and baking temperatures for this recipe are for a light colored pan. If you are using a dark colored non-stick pan, decrease temperature by 25 degrees, and check cake after baking for approximately 45 minutes.

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