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Cranberry Upside Down Cake

With a tender crumb and deliciously sweet-tangy flavor this Cranberry Upside Down Cake is the best cake for the holidays! So good one slice is not enough!
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry upside down cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 10
Author Manila Spoon


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter and 1 stick butter, room temp
  • 6 tbsp sugar plus extra 1/2 cup sugar, separate each sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 1/3 cups cranberries fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not thaw)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole or 2 % milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a round cake pan with a little oil or use a non-stick spray. Set it aside.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set it aside.
  4. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and sugar on medium heat in a small saucepan. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to the boil. Pour this evenly over the bottom of the cake pan and and top with the cranberries, smoothing the layer and pressing it down gently with your fingertips. Sprinkle the nuts. Distribute them evenly. Set aside.
  5. Using an electric mixer beat the remaining stick of butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Pour in the vanilla extract and then add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Batter will be thick.
  6. Spoon the batter over the cranberries and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. I did not use a baking sheet but found out later that the cranberry sauce bubbled over. Perhaps next time, I will place the round pan onto a sheet before baking.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cake cool down for about 15-20 minutes before you remove them from the pan. Run a blunt knife between the sides of the pan and the cake. Carefully turn the cake out onto a serving platter. If any of the berries stick to the pan – as they might – just scrape them off with a knife and return them to the cake.
  8. This reminds me of a cobbler and so like a cobbler this is perfect with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream! Better if serve warm or at least room temp and on the day it is made.