Cranberry Upside Down Cake

// Tangy and sweet, this is a show stopper at any holiday table.  Joy, peace, and good cheer!

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Serves 8

For the Topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ cup brown sugar

10 ounces fresh cranberries

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Juice of one orange


For the Batter:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, separated

½ cup whole milk

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter the sides of 9-inch round cake pan. Put 4 tablespoons of butter and brown sugar in pan and pop into the oven. As butter melts and the sugar dissolves, be sure to stir to integrate the ingredients.  When the sugar begins to caramelize, remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, combine cranberries, the juice of one orange (be sure to zest it first for use in the batter), and spices.  Spread berries evenly in cake pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar in an electric mixer.  Add vanilla, orange zest, and beat in one egg yolk at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with milk.  Be sure to end with the dry ingredients.  Set aside.

In an electric mixture, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.  Fold whites into batter a third at a time. Spoon batter into cake pan and spread over the cranberries.  Bake until top is browned and a toothpick comes out of the center clean, around 35-45 minutes (in my oven it was closer to 45 minutes, but be sure to check it early).  Let it cool for around 15 minutes.  Turn out onto a cake plate; use a small paring knife to be sure the cake is not sticking to the sides. Serve with whipped cream.  

Adapted slightly from Alice Waters’ recipe in the New York Times.