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that's what she said

This is where I share my kitchen mishaps and successes as I love through food. I hope you find something here that inspires you to do the same and  I'd love to hear about yours.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

For a year I've been wanting to make this cake, but there is so much to cook and so little time - you know, since I have people I'm responsible for. Finally though, I made it this year for Christmas and we can't get enough. My mom is eating it for breakfast and I snuck an extra slice the next day. This recipe is not mine, but I did have everything on hand (including a huge bag of fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving... those babies last).

*credit goes to Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes


  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Scant pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp (plus more for buttering the pan)
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter cake pan.

Make caramel topping with brown sugar and butter: In a small saucepan, place the 1/4 cup of butter and the 3/4 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. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground cloves. (I couldn't find my cinnamon, so I used allspice. And I only had whole cloves, so I ground them with the spice jar on my cutting board.) Set aside. 

Beat butter, add sugar, add eggs, stir in zest: In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light. Add the sugar and beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the orange zest.

Alternate adding sour flour mixture and sour cream, then add milk: 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. Place in the preheated oven and lower the heat from 350°F to 325°F. 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.

*I served with a spoonful of homemade whipped cream, but it didn't really need a thing.

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