T-minus 16 days until Thanksgiving! How is your menu coming along? When I stumbled upon this cake a couple of weeks ago I immediately thought that it would make a great Thanksgiving (or Christmas, if you’re really planning ahead!) dessert; a perfect alternative to the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies. It’s festive and includes traditional flavors, but in a different form. I made a pineapple upside-down cake a couple of summers ago, and absolutely loved it. From the caramelized topping to the moist and buttery cake, I couldn’t wait to experiment with more varieties. The best part? This cake took less than 20 minutes to get into the oven, and uses very little kitchen equipment. This is a weak-in-the-knees cake. Buttery and delicious, topped with sweetly spiced, slightly tart cranberries. The perfect balance of flavors… ’tis the season!

A quick note on the recipe – my cake did stick a little bit on one side when I turned it out of the pan, so I had to push it back together. No biggie. Gives it character (and it tastes just as good!). Just be aware that because of the amount of sugar sitting on the bottom of the cake pan, even with a generous buttering, you could still experience some sticking when you turn the cake out. Embrace the imperfections :)

What are you thinking about serving for Thanksgiving dessert?

One year ago: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Two years ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti[/donotprint]

Cranberry upside down cake on a white serving tray.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

A delicious cranberry dessert
4.82 (11 ratings)


  • cups (156.25 g) all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground allspice
  • cup (175 g) fresh cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (122 ml) milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • Rub the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cake pan with 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter (it will be a really thick layer of butter). In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup of the granulated sugar with the cinnamon and allspice. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Arrange the cranberries in a single layer on top of the sugar mixture.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and ½ cup of granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, until well combined.
  • Spoon the batter over the cranberries in the pan, and smooth the top. Bake until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake; invert onto a rimmed platter. Store any leftovers at room temperature.
Calories: 298kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 142mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 415IU, Vitamin C: 2.9mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!