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New England Cranberry Duff


To make this Northeastern interpretation of an old-fashioned upside-down cake, cranberries and toasted pecans are topped with buttery batter, and then baked and inverted. The cranberries soften in the oven but the pecans stay crunchy, lending a textural flourish.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2005


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and halfway up sides of an 8-inch square glass baking dish using 2 tablespoons butter. Spread cranberries evenly over bottom of dish. Sprinkle pecans on top, then sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar; set aside.

  2. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; set aside. Put egg and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and thick, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually beat in flour, and then salt. Pour in melted butter in a slow, steady stream, beating until smooth.

  3. Slowly pour batter into pan to cover cranberries. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen, and invert to unmold onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10489148
    9 JAN, 2016
    Just made this recipe with frozen cranberries and tasted delicious. It seemed as though there was not enough batter, and it was quite thick, so i couldn't 'pour' it over cranberries. Also, because of this, i could not turn cake upside down, so i has to scoop pieces out with a spoon.... I would suggest doubling the batter or even 1.5 times and it should turn out better.
  • MS12342017
    15 MAR, 2014
    I just made this recipe and I love, love, love it. I added some grated orange zest which added a burst of freshness. I plan on trying this recipe using strawberry, rhubarb or blueberry and peach with lemon zest.
  • CHRISM12
    6 JAN, 2013
    I made this today, having to convert US to UK measures. So far this looks absolutely fabulous in the 9 x 5 inch loaf tin which I lined with parchment.I hardly dare tell you but I used salted peanuts as thats all I had in my cupboard.Other than that I stuck to the recipe / temperature etc. Excellent !! North East England.UK
  • Jessistewart
    14 OCT, 2012
    I just finished making this recipe and it looks exactly like the picture. I used a 8x8 inch silicone pan. I doubled the recipe! I waited five minutes after I took it out of the oven before I cut around the edges. I waited five more minutes before flipping it over. Came out easily!!! Looks perfect!
  • DaveTO74
    4 OCT, 2010
    I made this for the first time tonight, and it turned out perfect! I added orange rind and doubled the batter as well. I used the knife to cut around the edge after 5 minutes, then flipped it over after 5 more...and it came out without issue! I also used a 6x9.5 inch pan. It is pretty tart which is nice, but I added an icing sugar and milk drizzle!
  • Karen524
    30 MAY, 2010
    I have made this twice. My husband LOVES it. I did, however, double the cake portion of the recipe as others have suggested. I still had trouble getting it out of the baking dish. Next time I'm going to try the buttered parchment paper as someone suggested. Since I can't get cranberries this time of year, I'm going to bake this cake with blueberries that we will be picking next weekend. We'll see how that turns out.
  • NicoPony
    25 NOV, 2009
    Total failure. There is not nearly enough batter to hold this thing together. It ends up a syrupy mess. In fact, the photo is laughable. I'd like to show you what mine looks like. This one needs to go back to the test kitchen.
  • criminy
    13 JAN, 2009
    This was excellent and my guest loved it, but it was very hard to get out of the pan without breaking.
  • jogs
    18 DEC, 2008
    I tried this and it's delicious. Textures are wonderful but love the orange zest with it. Thanks for another recipe that works for the family!
  • stephaneff
    27 NOV, 2008
    I had trouble with this sticking even after reading the comments and using a little extra butter on the bottom. It was easy to repair and you couldn't even tell it was broken. Tasty!