Cranberry Orange Upside-Down Cake
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This simple cranberry orange upside-down cake is a must make. Made with fresh cranberries that are cooked down into a syrupy sweet jam for the topping and a soft buttery orange cake, this is one fabulous dessert.
Cranberry Orange Upside-Down Cake
Upside-down cakes are the easiest cake you can make. They don’t require frosting and you can enjoy them while they are warm and the topping is gooey. One of my favorite versions of this cake is my spiced apple upside-down cake. Try it if you get a chance.
It’s the time of year where we put cranberries in all the things like cranberry orange sweet rolls, cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies, and cranberry gingersnap cookie butter. So why not put them in cake as well?
The cake begins with butter, brown sugar, and fresh cranberries. Butter is melted in down with brown sugar in a shallow pan then poured over fresh cranberries. As the cake bakes the cranberries will cook down with sugar syrup to form a thick layer of jam.
On top of the cranberries goes a luscious orange cake batter. The cake is flavored with orange zest and fresh orange juice. The orange juice acts much like buttermilk in making the cake super moist.
I’m certain you have made some version of an upside-down cake before. The first one I ever made was a classic pineapple upside-down cake. It used to be my favorite. The only cake I would eat for my birthday.
But now that I have a food blog, I enjoy experimenting with different versions. This cranberry orange upside-down cake is up there with the front-runner.
The topping reminds me of candied cranberries. It’s sweet but not overly sweet and there’s a slight tartness from the cranberries.
I went a little light on the sugar. But I like the tartness of fresh cranberries. Feel free to add more sugar if you want it sweeter.
The cake is splendid. It’s light, airy, sweet, with intense orange flavor. You can use fresh or packaged orange juice, but don’t leave out the zest. It’s a necessity.
The eggs are separated and mixed in at different stages. The yolks go in when you normally add the eggs to the cake batter. Then the whites are whipped up into stiff peaks and folded into the batter at the very end.
This is a little tip I picked up from Cook’s Country. The whipped egg whites produce a tender yet sturdy cake.
When it comes to inverting the cake, don’t wait for it to cool completely before doing so. But don’t do it right out of the oven either.
It will be hot and you risk burning yourself with the fruit layer. Wait for about 10 minutes. That seems to be the perfect amount of time for the topping to set but still release easily from the pan.
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Adapted from Cook’s Country.
This is the third year I have made this delicious cake. It is a favorite of my expanded family. This cake is quick easy and not overly sweet – perfect! Makes a great gift!
That’s fantastic to hear! Thank you so much for making my recipes!
I made this last night for some friends of mine. Everyone loved it. It was perfectly bitter and sweet, thick but light, etc. The only thing I changed was I sliced oranges and put them with the cranberries.
That looks like a wonderful cake and so versatile! Bet it’ll go great with any other fruit too!
I imagine it would be as well.
Love this upside down cake, Jen! It looks delicious and I love the gorgeous color! The cranberry and orange combo sounds just perfect!
Thanks, Kelly! Aren’t they the best?
This is just so creative! Cranberry and orange is my favorite fall combo!
It’s such a classic flavor combo. Thanks, Annie!
Such pretty pictures Jen!! Just as Manali said, Pineapple upside down is my favorite also! Double yayy for cranberry season..:)
I think pineapple is the best also! But it’s good to try something new once in a while. Thank you for the kind words!
Lovely pictures Jen. You bake such good looking cakes always!! And double yayy for cranberry season..:)
You’re so kind, Remya! Thank you.
I absolutely love upside down cakes, I think they are the best. Pineapple is my favorite but this sounds fantastic as well! lovely flavors!
Thanks Manali! I love pineapple too, but I’m always up for trying something different.
I haven’t ever made an upside down cake though I’ve eaten a ton of them but, I’ve never seen one with as gorgeous a topping as this has! Love the cranberries and juice as the topping and the orange zest in the cake!
Thanks, Shashi! They are so, so easy! You should give it a try.
Orange and cranberries are a match made in heaven. What a great recipe. And the cranberry red is such a beautiful color. Very tempting!
Thank you for the kind compliment, Amanda!