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sugared cranberry upside-down cake

I made this one for Julia.

It was between her cranberries and Jack's Batman Beyond cupcakes.

But I still haven't figured out how to get little red Batman shapes made from red cake inside black chocolate cupcakes.

So we went with the cranberries. 

Julia's into tart stuff.

Lemony cake, lemon muffins, lemon juice. She also goes for pickles, vinegar, limes. 

She actually remembered that I had frozen a bag of cranberries last year.

So we made this together. She helped me with everything, even the egg whites.

We whipped up a very yummy chiffon cake -- the kind of snackable cake that I can eat plain.

The upside-down part is all sugary cranberries.

The sweetness perfectly balances those little cranberry pops of tartness. 

It's moist, with a sugar crisp bottom, a sweet-tart sugared cranberry top, and just a tiny bit of crunch from the walnuts. 

I loved this cake. Julia loved this cake.

We ate it for dessert, snacks and breakfast.

Jack liked it, too. But I think he still wants his chocolate Batman Beyond cupcakes.

Sugared Cranberry Upside-Down Cake 

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries (I used 1 cup, but will try 1 1/2 cups next time)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For the cranberry topping -- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9" cake pan well.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt until it forms a paste. Smear paste evenly across the bottom of the pan all the way to the edges.

Place cranberries and walnuts evenly across the sugar mixture and press down lightly.

For the cake -- In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.

Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until well-combined, about 2-3 minutes.

Beat in butter, vanilla extract and almond extract. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and milk in two batches until just combined. Do not overmix.

Carefully fold in egg whites.

Gently pour batter over cranberries in pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over top of batter.

Bake for about 28 minutes, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for two or three minutes, and then carefully invert onto serving plate.

Serve warm as is, or with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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