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Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • servings: 10

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Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 2 3/4 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
  • 9 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, preferably coarse
  • 1/4 cup almond paste
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; set aside. In a large skillet, heat 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add cranberries, and cook until shiny, 2 to 3 minutes. Add maple syrup and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries soften but still hold their shape, about 5 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a baking sheet to cool slightly. Set skillet with syrup aside. Arrange cranberries in the prepared pan.

  3. Step 3

    Return skillet with syrup to medium heat, and cook until syrup boils, 3 to 4 minutes; do not overcook. Immediately pour syrup over cranberries, and let cool, about 10 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Place rack in center of oven, and heat to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in cornmeal with a fork. Set aside.

  5. Step 5

    Place remaining 6 tablespoons butter in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Crumble in almond paste and, using the paddle, beat on medium speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, and beat until creamy. Add egg yolks, and beat until well combined. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add flour mixture alternately with milk in two batches. Set aside.

  6. Step 6

    In a clean bowl, use the whisk attachment to beat egg whites until foamy. Slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Whisk a third of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.

  7. Step 7

    Spread batter over cranberries, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 2 hours before inverting onto a serving plate.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 1995

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Reviews (8)

  • carmellawa 24 Nov, 2010

    I always use an 8x3 or 9x3 pan to avoid overflow (Karen Wallace). I have no idea why Hamstar's cranberries floated up. I'm guessing they were not cooked long enough prior to pouring into the bottom of the pan. Maybe that caused them to be too light and float up. I've made the cake multiple times and it looks great. I do confess that I always use extra cranberries to make sure that I end up with I complete red top. I've always worried about that. It has turned out great every time.

  • hamstar 25 Nov, 2009

    I just turned my cake over and.....there's no topping! The cranberries floated up into the batter. I'm sure it's delicious, but it looks nothing like the picture. What happened? Did this happen to anyone else?

  • KarenWallace 31 Jul, 2008

    This is super-yummy. It made too much batter, overflowed my 8x2 round cake pan, and then stuck to the sides, so when I up-ended it over a serving plate, the middle came out first, followed lazily by the sides. I billed it as "Cranberry Ugly Cake", and every crumb was consumed. Next time I'll use more cranberries -- 2.75 cups didn't produce a full layer -- and not add all of the batter.

  • GwenninSpring 18 Apr, 2008

    I made this cake while making dinner....it is that easy. I didn't have almond paste on hand but I did have almond meal in my freezer and that worked great. The texture of the cake is really neat....a little chewier than you would expect. Kind of like a sweet cornbread. The tart/sweet cranberry topping was perfect. Great recipe for family meals and would travel well due to firm texture and a well set topping. Sprinkle a few chipped walnuts on the top for deco!

  • peggyswain 20 Mar, 2008

    Once you make this cake for family and friends be prepared to be asked to make it everytime you have a get together.

  • StacyStewart 29 Feb, 2008

    Wonderful cake for family and entertaining! I used cranberries that I froze back in November. It worked perfectly! Step two took a few extra minutes and I let the syrup thicken for a bit longer too because of the added water from the frozen berries. I made it in a Nordic Ware fancy bundt pan and it looked pretty! Everything else I kept the same. A new family favorite!

  • Yorkum 21 Nov, 2007

    Nice recipe. The course ground cornmeal makes a huge difference to this cake. I specially went out to get the cornmeal and glad I did! It gives the cake a nice thicker cornbread type texture which goes well with the cranberries. Some people may not love this cake because the cranberries can be quite tart, but I like the tartness.

  • juliedesmeules 20 Nov, 2007

    I made this cake when the recipe first came out and I have been making it every year since, sometimes twice! The cornmeal and maple syrup truly make this cake unique. Looking forward to baking this cake again in a few days!