Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cranberry Apple Upside Down Cake

Cranberry apple upside down cake: your holiday version of a pineapple upside down cake!  It's a spice cake that is baked upside down (obviously) with apples and cranberries on the bottom, that then become the top!

I think this cake is just so pretty.  I just love the bright red cranberries with the thin slices of apple that caramelize as they bake - not to mention the butter brown sugar glaze.  Oh yes.

This cake is a winner. I've made it twice now, including for Thanksgiving.  It has the beautiful fruit topping, but the cake itself is something special too: super moist thanks to buttermilk, and flavored with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.  It has wow factor, and you know how I feel about that.

Now in full disclosure, only one piece was eaten on Thanksgiving.  It was weird - this was not a big dessert year.  People just stayed too full all night.  No one ate a single sandwich after lunch, either!  I don't know what it was, but most desserts were barely touched.  The only thing that went completely were Jess' rice krispie treats.  Who knew?!  Don't judge the cake based on its Thanksgiving dessert consumption!


cranberry apple upside down cake
from Sally's Baking Addiction
serves 8 - 10

for topping:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 heaping cup fresh or frozen cranberries
for cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature and separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup buttermilk


1) Lightly spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.  Make sure your apples are sliced and ready to go.

2) For the topping: in a small saucepan, melt butter on low heat.  When it begins to bubble, whisk in the brown sugar.  Continue to stir until smooth.  Then leave on heat for about 2 minutes until it begins to bubble.  Stir, then remove from heat and allow to briefly cook for a couple minutes.  Layer the sliced apples and cranberries into the dish and and pour the butter/sugar over the top.  Set aside.

3) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

4) Make the cake: In a medium bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger together until combined.  Set aside.

5) Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed together, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

6) With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Do not overmix.  Whisk or beat the 2 egg whites until thick and foamy, about 3 minutes.  Fold into cake batter.  The batter will be smooth, velvety and thick.

7) Spoon or pour batter over the apples and cranberries and bake for 40 - 44 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the very middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool for exactly 10 minutes before inverting onto a large serving dish or cake stand.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Leftovers keep well covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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