Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cranberry Ginger Upside Down Cake

I have a few holiday traditions that I look forward to. Such as writing holiday cards. Not just signing my name to them, but writing messages to the recipient and personalizing the card. Then there's the tree decorating. I've been collecting ornaments since I was a child and every year I enjoy unwrapping each ornament and remembering the special memory connected with it. There's also all the baking. So much baking. But it's fun, knowing I'll be able to give out homemade treats to friends and family, and maybe even eat a few myself.

And then there are the cranberries. I buy them in bulk and hoard them in my freezer to use throughout the year. Did you know they freeze well, and can be kept frozen for about a year? And that when you use them, you don't even need to thaw them, you just measure out what you need and use them frozen. When you love cranberries as much as I do (this is the girl who made her mom ship canned cranberry sauce to her in Mexico, if that gives you any kind of idea...) stocking up on cranberries now means hello homemade cranberry sauce in July! And now, it also means cranberry ginger upside down cake whenever I want it, which will be often.

I made this the other night to take to book club, because we just finished reading a murder mystery - and I won't tell you which murder mystery it was because I'm going to spoil it and tell you that the person was killed with a meat bullet! A hunk of meat, shaped like a bullet, shot out of a gun. Amazing. I can think of no better accompaniment to mayhem - or holiday gatherings - OR Mexican siestas! - than cranberries.

Hurry and go buy them - before I do!

Cranberry Ginger Upside Down Cake
from Cooking Light

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 tablespoons grated, peeled fresh ginger
3 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Heat a 9-inch round cake pan over medium heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter to pan, stirring until melted. Stir in ginger; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; arrange cranberries on top of brown sugar mixture.

3) Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter and granulated sugar; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

4) Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with a mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter over cranberries in prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5) Cool in pan for 15 minutes; run a knife around the outside edge, place plate or serving platter upside down on top of cake pan; invert cake onto plate.

6) Eat while guarding your stash of frozen cranberries.


  1. I completely agree that there's something wonderful about the ritual of traditional holiday activities. I love your description of writing the cards and enjoying the ornaments. Good to know cranberries can be used frozen. This recipe looks delicious!

  2. As a book club member and fellow cranberry devotee, I can vouch for this cake. It's ACES.