Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Last year, I had a fun request from a friend. She needed help at Thanksgiving with a dessert. Her 2 requests: something with cranberry & chocolate.

It was fun trying to come up with ideas or think of something a little more outside the box… while still doing something familiar enough, the kids wouldn’t be scared!

I finally landed on an idea I had never seen before; Cranberry Upside Down Cake.

But, because of the chocolate part of the request, I was going to be making a variation of the recipes out there that didn’t have a chocolate base. And I was technically making cupcakes, so it would be ready to serve. Still, I made an extra cake for the Friendsgiving I was going to as well.


First things First:

1 1/2 c. Fresh Cranberries
1/2 c. Sugar
3/4 c. Raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 tsp. Orange Zest


In a large saucepan, stir together the cranberries & sugar.

Cook over medium heat until the cranberries burst & sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat and stir in the raspberries & orange zest.

Pour into greased cake pan or cupcake pan in an even layer, completely covering the bottom.


Now, for the cake. If you want something quick & easy, you can use a store bought cake mix & just make a few edits that will make everyone think it’s from scratch. No shame in going the box cake route if you don’t have a trusted recipe! Even some of the most famous names out there have cake from scratch recipes I’ve tried that have been terrible! Pillsbury has a new “Purely Simple” line with no colors, preservatives or artificial flavors. King Arthur has a Gluten Free mix as well.


Store Bought Chocolate Cake Mix [makes 2 8″ cakes]

In addition to what box tells you to add, add these before mixing:
1 TB. Cacao Powder
2 tsp. Cardamom


If you’re willing to do the recipe from scratch, you can find tons of chocolate cake recipes out there. I’m including a homemade “box cake” mix & a vegan recipe.
Kind of a good, better, best so you can pick the option best suited for you! πŸ˜‰

Homemade “Box Cake” Mix [makes 2 8″ cakes]

2 1/4 c. Flour
2/3 c. Cacao Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
1 2/3 c. Sugar
2 tsp. Cardamom*
1/2 c. Oil
4 Eggs
1 1/4 c. Water
1 tsp. Vanilla


Mix all dry ingredients. Store in Ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 6 months.
*Cardamom meant specifically to go with this Cranberry Upside Down Cake. Exclude for any other basic chocolate cake recipe.
Add wet ingredients, just like you would with a box cake mix.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Cake [makes 1 8″ cake]

1 c. Flour [Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour]
1/3 c. Cacao Powder
3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
1 tsp. Spirulina Powder
2 tsp. Cardamom*
1 c. Non-Dairy Milk
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 c. Sugar
1/3 c. Avocado Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Maple Syrup

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl; wet ingredients in another.
*Cardamom meant specifically to go with this Cranberry Upside Down Cake. Exclude for any other basic chocolate cake recipe.
Using hand mixer, slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Pour into greased pan & bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


Whichever way you make your cake, just put the cranberry mixture in the bottom of the pan & pour the batter on top!

After baking, wait 2-3 minutes & then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake before flipping out of the pan. Best part is the color is decoration enough & makes a pretty awesome presentation.


Dig in!!

6 thoughts on “Cranberry Upside Down Cake

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