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Upside-down cranberry cake with vanilla ice cream

Upside-Down Cranberry Cake

  • Author: Michal Martinek
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 68 1x


Sweet-sour sponge cake scented with vanilla, lemon zest and cinnamon, and filled with cranberries


  • Topping ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
  • Cake ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulted sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch ovenproof skillet or a 9-inch cake pan (round or square).
  2. To make the topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and cranberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the melted butter over it and toss to incorporate the butter.
  4. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the skillet or cake pan in an even layer. Set aside.
  5. To make the cake batter, beat the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until pale and increased in volume, about 6 minutes. Stir in the vegetable oil or melted butter and the vanilla extract.
  6. Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt directly into the bowl with the batter, and use a wooden spoon to fold it in. Make sure there are no lumps and visible flour.
  7. Pour the batter over the cranberries making sure it evenly spreads.
  8. Bake in the oven until puffed and golden on top, about 35–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a tip of a knife around the sides of the skillet to loosen it.
  9. Place a plate on top of the skillet or cake pan, and flip it over to release the cake. (Because the sugar caramelizes during baking, some of the fruit might get stuck to the bottom. Just scrape it and place it back on top of the cake).
  10. Let cool, slice into wedges, and serve.