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Cranberry Upside Down Cake

A super flavorful and festive cake with cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon and ginger. This is a bit on the tart side so offer whipped cream on the side if you're so inclined.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 10
Calories: 340kcal
Author: Good Dinner Mom


For the Topping:

  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons ¼ cup or ½ stick unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

For the Cake:

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Scant pinch ground cloves
  • ½ cup 1 stick butter, softened plus more for buttering the pan
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice, from fresh orange
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • ¼ cup of milk

Special Equipment:

  • 9- inch cake pan with at least 2-inch high sides. If you're pan is more shallow than this, just leave out about ¾ cup batter.

Cook's Note:

  • I like the orange zest to really show up in the cake so I grate as much as I can with a cheese grater and then finish the rest in a zester.


  • Preheat oven to 350F.*
  • Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter cake pan with 3" sides. (If using a spring form pan or other size cake pan, see notes below.)
  • In a small saucepan, place the ¼ cup of butter and the ¾ cups of packed brown sugar. On medium high heat, stir the sugar as the butter melts. Once the butter is melted and mixed in well with the sugar, stop stirring and let the mixture simmer for 15 seconds or so.
  • Pour the brown sugar butter mixture into the prepared cake pan. Spread the cranberries on top of the sugar-butter mixture.
  • In a medium bowl vigorously whisk together the 1 ¾ cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, ½ a teaspoon of salt, ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger, ¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of ground cloves.
  • In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the ½ a cup of melted butter until light. Add the 1 ½ cups of sugar and beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the 3 eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of orange zest and 1 teaspoon of orange juice.
  • Mix a third of the dry ingredients into the mixture. Beat in half of the sour cream. Mix in another third of the dry ingredients. Mix in the remaining sour cream. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the milk.
  • Pour batter over the cranberries in the cake pan, and smooth the surface. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 55 minutes to an hour. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the inside rim of the cake pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then turn the cake out onto a platter.

Cook's Note:

  • Preheating and baking temperatures for this recipe are for a light colored pan. If you are using a dark colored non-stick pan, decrease temperature by 25 degrees, and check cake after baking for approximately 45 minutes.

If using a spring form pan:

  • If you want, you can bake this in a spring form pan, however, the butter/brown sugar will start to seep out the seam of the pan so either wrap in foil before baking or place a baking sheet under the pan to catch any leaks.
  • If you're using a pan that's smaller or more shallow than the 9-inch pan with 3" sides, pour enough batter to leave at least 1" in the pan to allow for the batter to rise and discard the rest.


  1. Use a 9-inch cake pan with sides at least 2-inches high. If your cake pan is shallow, you may leave out 3/4 cup of the batter when pouring into the pan.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1.5mg