Our Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is a seasonally inspired twist on the traditional pineapple version. The cake is moist and buttery, and the ruby-red topping of cranberries and oranges makes it a beautiful addition to a holiday feast.
Ingredients for Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
In addition to pantry staples like white and brown sugar, baking powder, eggs, and butter, you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand to make this cake:
- Fresh cranberries: When shopping for cranberries, check the bag over carefully. Avoid packages with soft, mushy berries or a lot of accumulated moisture.
- Fresh oranges: Choose firm fruits about 3 to 3-1/2-inches in diameter.
- Cake flour: Using cake flour instead of all-purpose gives the cake its moist, tender texture and fine crumb.
- Evaporated milk: Evaporated milk (not condensed) adds a subtle caramel-like sweetness to the cake and also enhances the texture.
- Orange juice: You only need 1/4 cup for this recipe, so you might want to pick up an extra orange for juicing, reserve what you need and enjoy the rest.
Tips for Success
Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is a pretty simple dessert to prepare, particularly if you follow these few helpful tips.
- Dry your cranberries thoroughly after washing: Spread them out on a kitchen towel, pat them gently and let them sit for a few minutes to air dry.
- Peeling the oranges: Zest one of the oranges first, then use a sharp paring knife to peel them, making sure to remove all of the bitter white pith below the skin.
- Cutting the oranges: Once the peel has been removed, use your paring knife to slice and remove the sections in between the tough membranes.
- Work over a bowl to catch the orange juice: Cutting the orange sections in this manner releases a good deal of juice and if you work over a bowl, they won’t go to waste!
More Fresh Cranberry Recipes:
- Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Cider Sauce
- Fresh Cranberry-Orange Sauce
- Spiced Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce
Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups cranberries, washed, dried and cut in half
- 2 oranges, peeled, segmented and chopped (see notes below)
- 1-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- Zest of 1 orange
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously grease a 9-inch square cake pan and set aside.
- Add the halved cranberries, chopped oranges (see notes) and brown sugar to a small bowl. Combine well and set aside.
- Sift the cake flour into a separate mixing bowl and add the baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter, orange zest, and granulated sugar.
- Add the egg and beat the mixture until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the evaporated milk and orange juice and beat until well blended.
- Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the melted butter into the prepared baking pan and tilt to distribute evenly. Spread the cranberry-orange mixture in an even layer and flatten lightly with a spatula.
- Spread the batter evenly over the cranberries, smoothing with a spatula.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn onto a plate. Leave the pan in place on top of the cake for 5 minutes, then remove gently.
How to prepare the oranges for this recipe:
- Zest one of the oranges into a small bowl, then trim away 1/2-inch from each end. You want to be able to see the orange flesh.
- Using a sharp paring knife, follow the curve of the orange and carefully cut away the remaining peel down to the bright orange flesh.
- Trim away any stray bits of the white pith that remain.
- Carefully slice along both sides of each white membrane toward the center of the orange to remove the segments one by one.