Always been too intimidated to bake a cake? Here’s the recipe to change all that. Surprisingly easy to make and decorate (it decorates itself when you flip it over!), this decadently rich, but not-too-sweet cake is truly worthy of your most special occasions. And yes, you can do it yourself!

Prep time
15 minutes
15 minutes cooling time

Cook time
60 to 70 minutes

1 9-inch cake

Cranberry Upside Down Cake hero web 3


For the topping:

3½ cups (385 g) cranberries, fresh or frozen, divided

¾ cup (163 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed

⅓ cup (75 g) butter

2 tsp (10 ml) pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp (2 g) salt

For the cake:

¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour

3 tbsp (24 g) cornstarch

1 tsp (5 g) baking powder

1½ tsp (4 g) ground cinnamon

½ tsp (2 g) baking soda

¼ tsp (1 g) ground cloves

½ cup (50 g) cocoa powder

2 tsp (2 g) espresso powder (instant)

¼ tsp (2 g) salt

¼ cup (60 ml) milk, hot

2 egg whites

⅓ cup (83 ml) sour cream

2 tbsp (12 g) orange zest, finely grated

1 tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil

2 tbsp (28 g) butter

¾ cup (163 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed

¼ cup (50 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar

2 egg yolks

Garnishes (optional):

Candied or fresh sprigs of rosemary

Orange zest


For the topping:

Step 1
Position a baking sheet onto the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).

Step 2
Press a 12-inch round of parchment into a 9-inch springform pan to create an impression of the bottom of the pan. With a pair of scissors, snip a few cuts, 1½ inch or so long, towards the outline of the base of the cake pan, about 2 inches apart all around the parchment round. This will help the sides to lay flat against the sides of the pan.

Step 3
Lightly grease the pan and line with the cut parchment. Smooth the edges of the parchment up the sides of the greased pan. Lightly grease parchment paper to “seal” the seam and help create a barrier from leaks.

Step 4
Measure out half of the cranberries (1¾ cups / 193 grams) and evenly spread onto the parchment-lined bottom of the cake pan. Set aside.

Step 5
Sprinkle the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar into a medium heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan. Add butter. Place over medium-high heat and with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon, heat until sugar and butter are completely melted. Reduce heat to medium. Stir to completely combine. Cook mixture until sugar is bubbling and thickened into a thick glaze; 2 minutes.

Step 6
Carefully add in the remaining 1¾ cup of cranberries, pure vanilla extract, and salt. Sugar glaze will seize with the addition of the cranberries but will re-melt. Stir to coat cranberries. Cook until cranberries begin to soften and glaze is completely melted; 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 7
Evenly pour the cranberry-sugar mixture into prepared cake pan over the fresh cranberries. Ensure the bottom is completely covered in cranberries. Tap the pan against the work surface to help the glaze spread evenly. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

For the cake:

Step 1
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and cloves until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

Step 2
In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, and salt until no lumps remain. Stir in the hot milk until thoroughly combined; it will form a thick paste. Set aside to cool.

Step 3
In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Whisk in the sour cream, orange zest, and pure vanilla extract until blended. Set aside.

Step 4
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine canola oil, butter, the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, and the Redpath® Granulated Sugar. Cream on low speed until just combined; scrape down sides. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until very pale in colour; 3 minutes.

Step 5
Add in the cooled cocoa mixture. Cream until well-mixed; 2 minutes.

Step 6
Add in the egg yolks. Cream on medium-high speed until fully incorporated into the mixture.

Step 7
Add half of the dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add in the egg white mixture and mix on medium-low speed until well mixed. Add in the remaining dry ingredients, start on low and then increase speed to medium-high; beat for 2 minutes.

Step 8
Transfer the batter into the springform pan. Gently spread cake batter evenly over the cranberries. Place the springform pan onto the preheated baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°F (163°C) and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let cake cool in pan; 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 9
Run a small offset spatula around the cake. Place desired serving dish over the pan and invert. Release the sides of the pan, and carefully remove the cake bottom and parchment paper.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Chef's Tips

*For ease of sliding cakes out of a springform pan, flip the removable bottom over so that the underside of the bottom is now on the inside of the pan. Proceed with recipe, as usual.

*Scrape down sides of bowl when adding additional ingredients to the bowl to ensure ingredients are well-mixed.

*Serve cake warm, with whipped cream or ice cream.

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