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+ servings

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Alice Waters
The basic recipe for this cake is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. The cake is best served warm. Add mandarins that show up as hot little orange jam pockets in the reveal. Whole wheat flour is in the batter for nuttiness, and yogurt is used twice for extra tang. There’s also an optional step of stewing more cranberries for the topping; it offers peace of mind in case you flip the cake and some cranberries have sunken into the center.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Desert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • ¾ cup 165 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • cup 125 grams brown sugar
  • 8 ounces about 1¾ cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 small seedless mandarin oranges
  • ¾ cup 108 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup 65 grams whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup 180 grams sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • Flake salt

Extra Cranberry Topping (optional)

  • 2 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Brown Sugar Yogurt

  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Sea salt

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 3-inch round cake pan.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter. Add the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon water; stir until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Add the cranberries and mix to coat as well as can be — the sugar will be thick. Scrape the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Grate the zest from the mandarins with a fine grater and set aside. Peel the skin off the mandarins and separate the segments. Tuck the segments into the bottom of the prepared pan with the cranberries, pressing them as if they jumped into a children’s ball pit and sank to the bottom. The cranberries will become displaced and it will look like there’s too much fruit in the pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt and set aside. On medium speed in a standing mixer with whisk attachment, cream together remaining 8 tablespoons (110 grams) butter with the granulated sugar. Beat in the eggs, one a time, until well combined. Fold in the dry ingredients until smooth and then fold in the yogurt and mandarin zest. The result should be a thick batter that’s easy to spread.
  • Scrape the batter into the pan over the cranberries so it covers them from edge to edge. Bake until the cake is browned, the sides have started to pull away, there’s some bubbling juices and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it if needed and invert onto a platter. Generously sprinkle flake salt over the top and let cool completely before serving.

Extra Cranberry Topping (optional)

  • Add all the ingredients with a splash of water to a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar has melted and the cranberries have turned dark crimson and have deflated, about 10 minutes. Let cool and use to dress the top of the cooled cake in any blond spots.

Brown Sugar Yogurt

  • Mix together the ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with the cake.

Video

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