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Sugared Cranberry and Orange Upside Down Cake

Sugared Cranberry and Orange Upside Down Cake

This cake is dense and moist with a subtle orange flavor. The tart cranberries are balanced by a caramel-like brown sugar topping making for a beautiful seasonal dessert.
By Liz Harris


I first made this cake last year from Elise and I was blown away by how good it was. It’s so incredible that I made it four times.


When cranberries starting showing up last month, this was the first thing I made. Since my love for this cake is so intense I figured it was about time I shared it with you. The cake is dense and moist with a subtle orange flavor. The tart cranberries are balanced by a caramel-like brown sugar topping. And it’s about the most festive thing I can think of right now. I like to make it even more over-the-top by garnishing it with my Sparkling Sugared Cranberries, which isn’t entirely necessary, but I don’t think you should skip it either.


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Sugared Cranberry Upside Down Cake

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  • Author: Liz Harris & Elise


This cake is dense with subtle orange flavor. The tart cranberries are balanced by a caramel-like brown sugar topping making a beautiful seasonal dessert.


  • 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Powdered sugar for dusting, if desired
  • Sparkling Sugared Cranberries for garnish, if desired


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the butter over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the butter is melted and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan. Spread the cranberries on top of the brown sugar/butter mixture. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the orange zest.
  5. With your mixer on low, beat in about half of the dry ingredients. Then beat the Greek yogurt. Beat in the remaining half of the dry ingredients, followed by the milk. The batter should be smooth and thick.
  6. Pour the batter over the cranberries in the cake pan and spread it evenly. Place in your pre-heated oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake the cake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  7. Run a knife along the inside rim of the pan to loosen the cake from sides. Invert the cake pan over a serving platter and lift off the pan.
  8. Slice the cake into wedges. Dust with powdered sugar and top with sugared cranberries, if desired, before serving.
  • Category: Dessert, Baking


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