Cranberry Upside Down Cake



  • ¾ lb (12 oz) bag of fresh (or thawed frozen) whole cranberries
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tbls orange juice
  • Half of the orange zest
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice


  • 1 ½ C AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbls orange juice and remaining zest
  • ½ C buttermilk (you can clabber your own with 1/2 tbls of lemon juice or white vinegar and ½ C milk for about 10-15 minutes)
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

 Whipped Cream

  • 1 C heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbls confectioner’s sugar




  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Butter a 9”-round cake pan. Put a parchment round onto the bottom of the cake pan, and butter that as well
  3. Place brown sugar, ½ stick of butter, 2 tbls of orange juice and half of the zest of one orange in a saucepan. Heat on medium until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Add cinnamon and allspice about halfway through heating.
  4. Pour the topping into the bottom of the pan, and tilt pan to ensure full coverage
  5. Sprinkle a single layer of cranberries on top of the sugar/butter mixture, packed tightly, but no more than one berry layer thick
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside
  7. Cream together the butter and sugar used for the batter. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add in the vanilla and remaining juice/zest, and mix until combined
  8. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just combined
  9. In a separate bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar, and whip with a had mixer until still peaks form
  10. Fold whites into batter by hand, and spoon onto the cranberry layer, spreading batter until even and touching all sides of the pan
  11. Place pan on a cookie sheet, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden, cake springs back, and toothpick inserted comes out clean
  12. Transfer cake pan to wire rack and cool in-pan for 15 minutes
  13. Invert onto serving plate, and let stand inverted for 5 minutes before removing the pan
  14. For the whipped cream: Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, or a hand mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form, then stir in the vanilla and sugar