Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Baking Bible: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

A quick and easy cake this week; the cranberry upside down cake features my favorite sour cream butter cake with a caramel-cranberry topping. Nice and tart, mellowed by the raspberry jam glaze and the richly buttery cake, options for accompaniments include a raspberry italian meringue or raspberry whipped cream. I opted for the meringue, as I as was curious what it would be like to have a meringue as a side. I loved it, in fact I might like the meringue better than the cake itself.

Luckily I had a bag of cranberries stashed in the freezer, as it is really really hard to find cranberries when it isn't fall. There is a rhubarb variation which also sounds good but rhubarb won't show up for another month or so.

First up, we make a caramel. Sugar, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt go into a pot to come to a deep amber color. Rose mentioned in the FB group the lemon juice is to prevent crystallization, FYI. When it comes to temperature, it gets poured into the prepared cake pan. The caramel started to harden in the pan almost immediately so I placed the pan in the preheating oven for a few minutes.The cranberries (fresh or still frozen) and then placed upon the caramel. I had a small handful of cranberries left over after the proper amount were placed in the pan, so I crowded those in, too.

Then the cake batter is made. My favorite kind of cake batter, a sour cream butter cake. You know it will be a good cake when it looks like frosting and you have to spread it over the cranberries like it is, uh, frosting.

Did I mention this is a sour cream butter cake? Did I ever mention that I almost always substitute whole milk yogurt for sour cream when I bake? Somewhere in one of Rose's cake books she says you can do that and so I do. This time, I decided to push the envelope and used what we had in the house, whole goat's yogurt.

I'm thinking maybe I went too far as my cake is a little mushy and squat. But all the flavors are delicious and it's almost gone anyways.

The cake is turned out right away and glazed with raspberry jam. Then you make a one-egg batch of italian meringue and flavor it with more raspberry jam to serve alongside. All very lovely.


  1. This meringue was such a surprise! Your cake looks so delicious! Crowding in the extra cranberries was a good call. There was a lot of space in mine but I wanted to be "good" this week and followed the instructions. This recipe is just begging to be played with! I did not know that about yogurt. No wonder the French use it in loads of cakes.

  2. Your cranberry topping looks so pretty and red! I like the last photo where you can see the dripping cranberries and jam.

  3. Great photos! I'll have to try the yogurt idea next time. Actually I've never seen goat's yogurt.

  4. Your cake looks deliciously moist and flavourful! I would have to agree that the meringue is better than the cake, but it really enhances and softens the overall experience of the cranberries, which I found a bit harsh. I won't complain because sour cream cake is my all time favourites, especially with other fruit.

  5. Great opening shot, and I agree that the meringue added so much to the cake. I regret that I didn't make more of the meringue because it was super delicious! I love adding or replacing sour cream with yogurt; first less calories and it adds so much tang to the baked good. My favorite is making a yogurt lemon with good. I will definitely remember next time to make the cake with yogurt!

  6. gorgeous 'opening shot' - love the color! and the meringue!

  7. gorgeous