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Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

If you like not overly sweet cakes, this Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is for you. This dessert is perfect for fall and winter, especially when cranberries are in season.

cranberry upside down cake on a white platter

Cranberry upside-down cake made with buttermilk

I found this recipe to be a winner in my book. It is not the most beautiful dessert I have ever made, but it is delicious and great to share.

This cake is moist, a little bit tart from the cranberries, but sweet enough to be pleasant next to a cup of coffee. It is a humble dessert made with fresh or frozen cranberries.

A few words about cranberries:

Cranberries in a bowl

Cranberries are the so-called “superfood.” They are packed with antioxidants and nutritious value. Native to North America, cranberries are a staple on the Thanksgiving dinner and during the holidays season.

If you live in the US, dry cranberries are available wildly in the stores all year round, while the fresh ones are available mainly in the fall around Thanksgiving.

For this reason, I tend to buy and freeze cranberries for later use. There is nothing better than making recipes with this fantastic little fruit that can last in the freezer for up to a year.

This recipe uses buttermilk:

This recipe differs from other recipes out there because it uses buttermilk instead of regular milk.

If you like baking, you already know that buttermilk makes baked goods moist and delicious, so that we will use it in this recipe.

cranberry upside down cake- slice of cake on a black plate with fork with cake on platter in the background

What kind of ingredients you will need for cranberry upside-down cake:

For the Cranberry Mixture that goes on the bottom of the cake pan:

Unsalted butter

You need melted butter.

Brown sugar

Use light brown sugar. Pack it inside the cup when you measure it. If you do not have it, use dark brown sugar. The cookies will be darker.

Fresh or frozen cranberries

Both are perfect for the recipe. Use what you have available. I sometimes freeze cranberries when they are in season to bake with them later in the year.

For the Cake Batter:

Unsalted butter

This butter needs to be at room temperature(if you are in a hurry, place the butter in the microwave and warm it up in 10-second increments until soft but not melted)

Granulated sugar


Use large eggs

Vanilla extract

All-purpose flour

Do not use self-rising flour as we already have baking powder in the recipe. We do not want to disturb the balance of the recipe.

Baking powder





Buy it or make your own.


  • Milk and lemon juice or vinegar– mix 8fl oz whole milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar and let it stand for 5-10 minutes until it is slightly curdled. It will look disgusting, but congratulations, you are now the proud owner of some sour milk, which you can use in any recipe that calls for sour milk or buttermilk.
  • Natural yogurt– make up a 3:1 mixture of yogurt and water(and also try this recipe of cheese pie if you have leftovers)
  • Sour cream– make up a 3:1 mixture of sour cream and water
  • Kefir– thin the kefir with water or milk until it has the consistency of buttermilk
  • Buttermilk powder- follow the instructions on the package
cranberry upside down cake - on platter

How to make this Cranberry Coffee Cake recipe:

Step 1- Gather and measure the ingredients:

Over the years, I learned to read recipe instructions all the way through just to make sure I understood exactly what I needed to do.

Some recipes are easier, but some might be more complicated or require multitasking.

Reading to understand the process is very important.

I also check, gather, and measure all my ingredients before working on the recipe.

There is nothing more annoying than mixing some of the ingredients to discover that you do not have enough flour, eggs, or other essential items. This can definitely ruin all the fun in the kitchen.

Step 2- Preheat the oven

You will thank me later for this one. The oven needs to be prepared when ready to put the cake inside. Cold oven= Unsuccessful cake

I am a fan of parchment paper, especially for cakes like this one. The first time I made the cake, the cranberries and part of the cake got stuck to the pan, and I was super disappointed.

However, I think it is pretty normal. With all the amount of sugar and butter on the bottom of the pan, it is impossible not to have parts of the cake sticking to the bottom.

As much as I wanted the cake to be perfect so you can enjoy beautiful pictures of the dish, I had to admit that imperfections need to be embraced.

Step 3- Start with the cranberry mixture:

Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9-inch springform baking pan. Mix brown sugar with cranberries and arrange them in a single layer over the butter. Set aside.

Step 4- Make the cake batter:

In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with granulated sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix.

Separately, in a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and add them to the creamed butter, alternating with buttermilk.

Pour batter evenly over cranberries and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert cake onto a serving plate.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Looking for more recipes for the holidays?

Whiskey Flavored Pumpkin Pie

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Sweet and Savory Cranberry Recipes

Cranberry Custard Pie with Cream Cheese Crust

cranberry upside down cake -slice of cake on black plate with fork

Pretty easy recipe, right? Serve it with dollops of whipped cream and a Turkish coffee if you want to be really fancy.

How to make the whipped cream:

Use 1 cup of cold heavy cream and 2-3 teaspoons of sugar. Grab a metal bowl and the metal whisks from the mixer and place them in the freezer for 20 minutes. Take them out and put the sugar and heavy cream in the bowl.

Beat the heavy cream until you obtain stiff peaks. Don’t over mix unless you want butter instead of whipped cream.

It happened to me, you know, and while it was the best butter I ever ate, it was not what I intended to do with that heavy cream.

Serve the whipped cream with your dessert. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about four days.

Tools I used:

Parchment paper rounds– Perfect for lining the pan, so the cake comes out easily.

Cake pans – I love those- easy to clean and use.

Hand mixer- a lifesaver in the kitchen

For more tools and fun stuff, go here. (Affiliate link)

Yield: 8 servings

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

cranberry upside down cake- square picture

If you like cakes that are not overly sweet, this Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is for you. This dessert is perfect for fall and winter, especially when cranberries are in season.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • Cranberry mixture:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Cake batter:
  • 1/2 cup/1 stick butter unsalted and softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 teaspoon all spice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cranberry mixture:
  3. Pour the melted butter in the bottom of a 9inch springform baking pan.
  4. In a bowl, mix brown sugar with cranberries. Try to arrange them in a single layer over the butter. Set aside.
  5. Cake batter:
  6. In a large bowl beat the softened butter with 1 cup granulated sugar until well blended.
  7. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix.
  8. Separately, mix the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice.
  9. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter alternating with the buttermilk.
  10. Spoon batter evenly over cranberries.
  11. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert cake onto a serving plate.
  12. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 5g

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