With cranberries abundant and at such a great price right now, it’s a shame not to put these beautiful and festive berries to good use. How can anyone go wrong with an upside down cake topped with fruit and nuts? This isn’t your traditional fruitcake…this is an upside downer cake! This recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours cookbook, couldn’t be more delicious and appropriate on the table for the following months of entertaining and cranberry season. The vibrant colors of these seasonal cranberries washed over and glazed with red currant jelly makes this an edible decoration and enticing table centerpiece.
I initially thought to skip the red currant jelly altogether, but so glad I didn’t, because the sweetness offsets the tart cranberries. I’ve doubled the amount of walnuts called for in the recipe, but it can easily be omitted altogether if you have reservation about using nuts.
- Increased walnuts to 1/2 cup.
- Used low-fat vs the original recipe’s whole milk.
- Don’t skip the red currant jelly. The sweetness from the jelly beautifully offsets the tart cranberries.
source slightly modified from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (do not thaw if frozen)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/3 – 1/2 cup red currant jelly, for glazing cake
Set oven rack to center and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place an 8×2-inch round cake pan on a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly spray sides of the round cake pan with non-stick spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Add the 6 tablespoons of sugar and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour the butter/sugar mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Evenly distribute the chopped nuts and top with cranberries. Arrange cranberries so that they are one layer and evenly dispersed around the pan.
Prepare Cake Batter
Beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter in a stand mixer, fitted with paddle, on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue beating until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute each and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until incorporated. Add the milk and then the rest of the dry ingredients until incorporated. Spoon and smooth the batter over the cranberry/walnut topping, using a rubber spatula.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the cake is golden and a knife inserted into center test comes out clean. Remove from oven and run a blunt spatula or knife along the sides of the pan and the cake. Turn cake out on a serving platter. If any berries or nuts stay behind in the pan, gently remove from the pan and place on the cake.
Warm the red currant jelly in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds. Using a pastry or silicon brush, brush the jelly glaze over the warm cake.
Cover leftovers and store at room temperature. Freezing this cake is not advised.