Cranberry upside down cake

Photograph by Adeline Borra

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the traditional pumpkin pie is an obvious dinner finale. Those looking for something different should consider this stunning cranberry upside down cake, which combines fresh cranberries and raspberry jam and can be made the night before.

Ingredients for cranberry topping

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 ounces fresh cranberries, about 3 cups (you can also use frozen cranberries)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp raspberry jam (preferably homemade)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almonds meal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large organic eggs, separated
Pinch of cream of tartar

Instructions for the topping

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan, line with parchment paper, grease parchment paper, and then lightly flour the pan.

Melt butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cranberries, sugar, jam and cook until the cranberries are just softened, about 4 minutes. Strain cranberry mixture over a bowl, reserving juices and keeping the berries.

Return the strained juices to the skillet and simmer over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Arrange strained berries in a single layer in the prepared pan lined with parchment paper. Pour the juice mixture over the berries and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Instructions for the cake

In a stand mixer or food processor, combine the all-purpose flour, the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Transfer and set aside.

Whisk the milk and vanilla and almond extracts together in a liquid measuring cup. Using the stand mixer again fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with two additions of milk mixture. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.

Using a dry, clean bowl, and whisk attachment, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk one third of whipped whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.

Pour the batter over the chilled cranberry mixture in the 9-inch pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool on a rack for 10 minutes then run a paring knife around the edges of the cake. Place a serving plate, face down, on the pan and invert so that the cranberry side comes out on top.

Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cake can be held at room temperature for up to 6 hours before serving.

Adeline’s tip
If you don’t have time to make the entire cranberry cake, you can bake the cake and serve it with cranberry sauce on top. For the sauce, bring 1 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, and 1 Tbsp grated orange zest to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in one 12-ounce bag of cranberries and simmer until thickened and most of the berries have popped open, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp of Grand Marnier. Cover and refrigerate until chilled about 30 minutes.

About the Author
Adeline Borra is a private French chef and culinary instructor at Cook’s Warehouse. Born in Montpellier, France, and raised in the wine region of Burgundy, she’s trained in high-profile kitchens across France. After spending three years in Torino, Italy, she and her family moved to Atlanta in 2006. Learn more on her website.