I had a family Christmas get together last weekend, so I baked cookies from the recipes we have lined up for our Christmas Collection and I also baked this cake. You’re supposed to use fresh cranberries, but this year I didn’t find any at the store so I decided I would use the dried variety, how bad could it be? We don’t have cranberries in Guatemala, but sometimes our local supermarket imports them.
I followed the Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe from Joy of Baking, but the baking times are way off! The recipe said to bake it for 30-40 minutes, but it was still very wobbly in the middle. I had to bake mine for 1 hour!
If you can find fresh cranberries, use them! If not, you can bake this using dried ones, they still deliver that sweet-tart taste that goes very well with whipped cream and a nice hot cup of strong coffee.
Oh, make sure to look through the pictures. Turns out that the cake is so good, my daughter couldn’t wait for me to take the photograph!
Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 9″ Cake
Recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking
5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
(2 1/4 cups) fresh cranberries (I used dried cranberries)
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pan. (I used a spring-form pan, and lined the bottom with wax paper, I recommend you line your pan, whichever you use).
- Topping: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar. Then, leave it alone! Let it caramelize on its own without moving it, or it will crystallize. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sugar starts to caramelize. Remove from heat, and pour into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle evenly with the fresh (or dried) cranberries.
- Cake Batter: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned, starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Start checking your cake at 40 minutes of its baking time.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate.
- Because of the moisture in the cranberries, and because ovens do vary, the baking time can vary significantly. If you use frozen cranberries (do not thaw) the cake will take longer to bake than if you are using fresh cranberries.
- Serve with softly whipped cream.
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