This Upside Down Cake with Cranberries combines a tender yellow cake with a sweet cranberry topping. The beautiful red berries are a delightful contrast to the light cake.
My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in August. I can barely believe we've been married 15 years and have 5 children. I love him more now than then and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. As a newlywed, in 2003, I was pretty new to cooking on a regular basis. We got married right out of college and although I lived with girlfriends my last year I don't remember doing too much cooking. I'm sure I ate a lot of ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese. But as a new bride, I was determined to cook for my husband.
Back then, I enjoyed Martha Stewart's magazines and cookbooks. When she came out with a small recipe book called Everyday Food I eagerly subscribed. Recipes for 'everyday food' were exactly what I needed. In the December 2003 edition, there was a beautiful Cranberry Upside Down Cake on the cover with juicy cranberries soaking into the yellow cake. I make it that winter and have made it again and again since then.
When I began my low carb and Trim Healthy Mama journey this was one of the recipes I knew I had to convert. It took me a few years to get to it because life with 5 kids can be a bit crazy, but I'm thrilled to finally add an Upside Down Cake with Cranberries to my repertoire here at Joy Filled Eats.
My Upside Down Cake with Cranberries is based loosely off of that recipe. I switched in my natural sweetener for the sugar and used the base of my Coffee Cake Muffins for the cake batter. As it bakes the butter, sweetener, cinnamon, and cranberries basically form a sugar free cranberry sauce which soaks into the cake.
If you are new to a sugar-free way of eating it can hard to navigate all the different sweetener options out there. After trying just about all of them I came up with my own blend that I use for everything. It is similar to the Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet sweetener which has xylitol, erythritol, and stevia. By using a combination of the three I am able to avoid the bitterness that can be associated with stevia and the tummy troubles that can be associated with sugar alcohols.
By adding stevia to sugar alcohols you also save a bundle. A little stevia goes a long way. Instead of using a sweetener that is 1:1 for sugar and costs $8-10 a pound you can make my sweetener for about $5-6 a pound and only need half the amount! See more information on my natural sweetener by clicking here.
How to make an Upside Down Cake
Upside Down Cakes have the topping in the bottom. For this Cranberry Upside Down Cake, I line the cake pan with parchment paper, spread some softened butter in it, sprinkle sweetener and cinnamon on top of the butter, and then put a layer of fresh cranberries.
Once that is done I mix together the cake ingredients, and spread the batter on top of the cranberry topping. As it baked the cranberries cook in the sweetener to make a sweet topping for the cinnamon cake.
Other types of Upside Down Cake
You could swap the cranberries for another berry and omit the cinnamon. I love lemon with blueberries and raspberries so I would add some lemon extract to the upside down cake recipe. If using raspberries I think frozen would work better. They are so delicate that you will end up with more of a raspberry sauce. Since cranberries are firmer you do get the bite of the cranberry even after cooking.
I want to work on a chocolate upside down cake that has a marbled chocolate top when you invert it. Doesn't that sound good? It's on my recipe idea list for this fall.
Adding pineapple to make a classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake would make this a crossover for my Trim Healthy Mama readers. Crossovers are still on plan so if you are craving a sticky, sweet Pineapple Upside Down Cake give it a try! For that, I would skip the cinnamon and mix the sweetener used for the topping with 1 tsp of molasses for a brown sugar taste.
What is your favorite type of upside down cake?
If you love cranberries as much as I do make sure to try my other Cranberry Recipes: Cranberry Bliss Bars, Cranberry Cake with Walnut Crumb Topping, Cranberry Baked Brie, Cranberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing, and the classic turkey day favorite Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce.
- 3 tbsp butter softened
- ¼ cup Joy Filled Eats Sweetener (or see alternatives in recipe notes)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- Spread the three tablespoons softened butter in the bottom of the lined cake pan. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sweetener. Put the cranberries in a single layer on top.
- Add all the cake ingredients to a large bowl and mix until smooth. Gently spread over the cranberries in the cake pan.
- Bake on middle rack for 30-35 min until the center is set and the top is golden. Cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan and then invert into a serving platter. Carefully peel off the parchment. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.