Cranberry Upside Down Cake

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This upside-down cranberry cake is the perfect fall cake, with caramelized tart cranberries melting into a vanilla white chocolate cake. Turn your baking world upside down with this easy Cranberry upside-down Down cake.

And if you think upside down cakes are all about the pineapple, wait until you try it with the holiday flavor of cranberries. This cake sounds fancy and decadent, but I use a simple white cake mix with added white chocolate pudding as a base.

This baking hack makes for a gorgeous cake that is still relatively simple. Once baked, you flip this moist cake upside down to reveal that gorgeous red layer of caramelized topping. Even if you’re a beginner baker, I promise this recipe is as easy as pie… or should I say cake?

Garnish it with sugared cranberries for a fantastic dessert on your Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert table. Or make this delicious cake for a fall family dessert. Either way, it will taste fantastic!

This post covers everything you need to know to whip up this festive delight in your home kitchen. From the tangy cranberry topping (which, ironically, goes on the bottom) to the sweet, tender cake that makes up the “right-side-up” part, we’ll go through it all step-by-step.

Like upside down cakes? Me too! Try my blueberry upside down cake, apple upside down cake, or peach upside down cake for delicious desserts.

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🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Unsalted butter
  • Fresh Cranberries: Frozen ones will work in a pinch.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cranberry Jello mix: Or raspberry or cherry if you can’t find cranberry.
  • Orange zest
  • White cake mix: Yellow cake works fine, too.
  • White chocolate instant pudding: Or use vanilla pudding mix.
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Oil
Labeled ingredient photo for cranberry upside down cake.

🥣How to Make Upside Down Cranberry Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure the ends extend over the sides, making the cake easy to flip later.
  2. Next, spread your softened butter on the parchment paper.
  3. Toss your cranberries with the sugar, dry Jello mix, and orange zest in a medium bowl. Pour this delightful mixture into the pan, creating a vibrant red layer that will be the top of the cake.
  4. Combine the cake mix, dry white chocolate pudding mix, eggs, water, and oil in a separate bowl. Stir until it’s all mixed up, then pour this batter over the cranberries.
  5. Pop it in the oven for 40-45 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before the big reveal. Place your cake plate on top of the cake and flip it upside down, carefully removing the parchment paper. You’ll have a beautiful cranberry layer sitting on top of your cake.
Mixing the cranberries with sugar.
Mixing the cranberries and sugar
Adding the cranberries to the bottom of the cake pan.
Adding cranberries to cake pan
Making the cake batter.
Make cake batter
Flipping the cake over.
Cake ready to be flipped

🍴Serving Ideas

Now, let’s get to the fun part – serving this lip-smacking cranberry upside down cake. I love this part because it’s where my creativity shines, and let’s be honest, it’s also where I get to eat!

  • Garnish cake with white chocolate curls and sugared cranberries.
  • Add whipped cream. This is my family’s favorite way to serve this cake. The contrast of the tart cake with the sweet cream is amazing.
  • Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cold ice cream melting into the slices of cake is a sensory treat.
  • If you’re in a rush or have been indulging a little too much this holiday season, this cake is perfectly wonderful served on its own. The caramelized cranberries on top provide a beautiful presentation without any added effort.
Top view of a cranberry upside down cake with whipped cream.

💭How to Store

If you plan to eat the cake within a couple of days, place it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for 3-4 days.

If you want to keep it longer you can freeze it. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil, and keep it in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bring it to room temperature before serving.

Cranberry upside down cake on a platter.

❓Can I Use Frozen Cranberries?

Oh, how I wish cranberries were in season all year round! But since they aren’t, feel free to use frozen cranberries. Just remember to thaw them and pat them dry before using them.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Cranberry Jello isn’t always available, so you can substitute cherry or raspberry Jello.
  • When you’re laying your cranberries in the pan, try to spread them out evenly. It’s the difference between each slice having a balanced tart-sweet ratio and some slices making your mouth pucker!
  • If you have leftover sugared cranberries, they make a delicious snack.

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Cranberry upside down cake on a platter.
5 from 2 votes

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Published By Anne
Turn your cranberries into a delightful dessert with a Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe. The cranberries make a beautiful topping over a delicious cake, perfect for the holidays.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings: 16
Print Save Rate Pin

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 envelope cranberry Jello mix 3 ounces
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 box white cake mix 15.25 ounces
  • 1 envelope white chocolate instant pudding 3.4 ounces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil

For Serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, letting the ends of the parchment paper extend over the sides.
  • Spread the butter all over the parchment paper on the bottom of the pan.
    1/4 cup butter
  • Toss the cranberries with the granulated sugar, dry jello mix, and orange zest in a medium bowl.
    4 cups fresh cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 envelope cranberry Jello mix, Zest of one orange
  • Pour the cranberries sugar mixture into the prepared pan. Spread them out to cover the baking dish with a single layer of cranberries.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, water, and oil and stir until mixed.
    1 box white cake mix, 1 envelope white chocolate instant pudding, 2 eggs, 1-1/3 cups water, 2 tablespoons oil
  • Pour the cake batter over the cranberry layer.
  • Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.
  • Place your serving dish on top of the cake and flip it upside down, inverting it onto the plate.
  • Gently remove the parchment paper.
  • Garnish with white chocolate curls, sugared cranberries, and whipped cream.

Notes

  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Cranberry jello can sometimes be hard to find, so substitute cherry or raspberry jello.
  • Frozen cranberries will work fine in this recipe; just make sure to thaw and dry them first.
  • You can use yellow cake mix if you want.
  • You can use vanilla pudding mix if you prefer.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Nutrition Information

Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Cranberry upside down cake on a white platter.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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