Notice: Function add_theme_support( 'html5' ) was called incorrectly. You need to pass an array of types. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 3.6.1.) in /var/www/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5831
Temperature: Preheated oven 350 F, center rack
Bake Time: 35-40 minutes
You will need a 9-inch round cake pan (brush bottom and sides with melted butter)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
  • 2 ½ ounces (5 TBSP) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups fresh cranberries (enough to cover the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan in a tight single layer)
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs separated, at room temperature
  • ½ cup whole or reduced fat milk, room temperature (I used 1% fat)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar, to be mixed and whipped with egg whites
  • Mildly sweet fresh whipped cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, center rack
  2. Pick through the fresh cranberries and get rid of any soft ones.
  3. To prepare the 9-inch round cake pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave. Use a brush to generously brush the sides and bottom of the pan and set aside.
  4. THE CRANBERRY LAYER: In a small saucepan add the cubed butter and brown sugar. Heat over medium heat until the butter starts to melt. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir to mix the sugar and butter well. The sugar will start to bubble and caramelize in a couple of minutes. Do not leave the sugar unattended because from here on it goes pretty fast.
  5. Remove the pan from heat and pour into the prepared cake pan. Swirl around so it covers the entire bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the cranberries handful at a time, enough to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Next, press the palm of your hand on top of the cranberries. Fill in any empty spots with more cranberries to form a very tight layer. Set aside.
  7. MAKE THE CAKE: Whisk together and combine 1 ½ cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl and set aside.
  8. Set the electric mixer with the beater attachment. Add the softened butter to the bowl of the mixer and beat until fluffy, turn the mixer off. Add the sugar to the bowl and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  9. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and add 1 tsp vanilla extract. Add 2 egg yolks and beat only until well blended and uniformly yellow in color. Turn the mixer off and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  10. Add the flour mixture in low speed in 3 additions, alternating with milk. Start and finish with the flour mixture. After each addition of flour or milk beat the mixture on low only until blended, turn the mixer off and add the next addition. Scrape the sides down several times so there is no unmixed flour in the bottom of the bowl. Do not over mix. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.
  11. Wash and dry the bowl of the mixer very well.
  12. Attach the whisk attachment to the mixer. Add the egg whites to the clean bowl, add the cream of tartar and beat until semi stiff peaks form.
  13. Use a spatula to gently fold in the beaten egg whites to the batter in large bowl, in two additions. Combine well.
  14. Add the batter to the cake pan on top of the cranberries. Smooth the top with a spatula.
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown.
  16. The cake will be pulling away from the sides of the pan and a tooth pick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  17. Remove the pan from the oven and cool the cake in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to release the cake completely.
  18. Place the serving platter over the cake and Invert.
  19. Occasionally a few cranberries might get stock to the bottom of the pan. Lift them up and put them back on top of the cake for a pretty presentation.
  20. This cake tastes great warm or at room temperature. Any refrigerated leftovers should be brought back to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before serving.
TO FREEZE THE CRANBERRY UPSIDE DOWN CAKE: Place the cooled cake on a cardboard cake round. Place the cake and cake round inside a larger cake pan with deep sides. Cover the top of the cake pan with plastic wrap. Wrap the large cake pan securely inside a heavy duty aluminum foil and freeze for couple of weeks. Bring the cake back to room temperature before serving.
Recipe by Persian Mama at