do you love cranberries? I think I love cranberries. I’ve always been a fan of cranberry sauce, cranberry muffins, cranberry scones. Really that’s all the cranberry things I really remember eating a lot of. Then I found a recipe for cranberry upside down cake. And I realized I had every single ingredient it called for. In my house. already. (We bought a costco size bag of cranberries for thanksgiving and they were still in our freezer. and still delicious.) I didn’t have to buy anything. If that’s not enough of a reason to bake something, then I just don’t know what is.
So I made it. And I will probably make it again and again. The cake itself was just sweet enough to work with the super tart cranberries (especially if you slap a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream on top..mm..) and it was moist and yellow and yummy. I wish I were actually knowledgeable in food and food terms so that I could describe this cake “properly”. It was great. I feel like that’s enough.
Not enough for you? Try it. You’ll see. You’ll put that fork in your mouth and just say “mmmm. that’s good.”
Cranberry Upside Down Cake (adapted slightly from smitten kitchen)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (3/4 cup)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar (white)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large room temperature eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt (the recipe called for sour cream and again, I had none, and I think I decided I like plain yogurt better.)
- 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (cranberries freeze so dang well! Its worth it to buy the giant bag when they’re in season so you can make this all year long)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (if for some ridiculous reason you don’t like almond, like, if you’re crazy, you could use 1/2 tsp vanilla instead. or skip both. but the almond is NUTS! [get it?] meaning delicious)
- unsalted butter for greasing the pan
- plenty o’ whipped cream for the top
- preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9 (I think mine might be 10?) inch round cake pan with butter and cover the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
- In a small-to-medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) of the melted butter, the honey and 1/4 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Stir well and pour into prepared pan. Set aside. (This will be the gooey top to your cake)
- sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and yogurt together at medium speed until smooth. Add almond (or vanilla) , scrape down the bowl and add remaining butter (1/2 cup) and beat until combined.
- Add in flour mixture and beat smooth. Set aside (just for a second)
- Rinse the cranberries and add them to the prepared pan (which has your caramel-y topping in it). Press the fruit gently into an even layer.
- Pour the batter evenly on top and use a spatula to gently smooth out the top without moving the cranberries underneath.
- Bake on center rack until golden and a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. The recipe says this will take 45 minutes, on smittenkitchen it only took 30, and in my oven it took about 50-55. So check yours early and often.
- remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then invert your pan onto a large(er-than-your-cake) plate or platter. Remove parchment paper if it sticks; mine stayed in the pan.
- Serve with a huge dollop of homemade whipped cream. It’s fantastic warm, and has fruit in it so you can eat it for breakfast the next day too. It’s totally allowed.