Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake
I love cranberries. Love, love, love them. When the fresh ones are available in stores around Thanksgiving, I buy several bags to freeze for use later in the year. On top of that, I buy dried (unsweetened) cranberries year round to eat in everything from salads to my breakfast oatmeal. Something about their sweet tartness just makes my tastebuds sing.
Unfortunately for me, I live with a cranberry hater. My husband claims to hate cranberries. He makes faces whenever I cook with them. When I told him I was making coffee cake, he was excited – until I mentioned the cranberries.
But I made the coffee cake anyway, and guess what? He liked it! And I loved it.
The cake is moist, tender, and delicate, a perfect base for the tart cranberries. It smells fantastic, looks impressive, and tastes amazing. But best of all, it doesn’t have two sticks of butter like most coffee cake! Paired with a cup of coffee, it would make the perfect ending to a Thanksgiving feast or a nice light morning-after-the-feast breakfast. Don’t drink coffee? Try it with Earl Grey Tea – the citrus flavors in the tea bring out the orange flavor in the cake.
And don’t listen to your relatives that claim to hate cranberries. This cake is good enough it might just change their minds!
Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee cake
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 8-12 servings
If you have frozen fresh cranberries, no need to defrost them before making this recipe. If you don’t have a 9-inch round pan, you can also make it in a 9-inch square pan. Without the glaze this cake is fairly tart, but with it, it’s sweet enough to appeal to just about anyone.
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened and divided
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle in about 1 tablespoon of flour and shake around to evenly coat pan.
In a small bowl, combine cranberries, walnuts, and orange zest. Set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and cinnamon. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour sugar mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the cranberry mixture. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Place 6 tablespoons of butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at medium speed until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract and egg. On low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture, until just combined. Spoon the (relatively thick) batter over the cranberry mixture in the prepared pan, and gently spread until even.
Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes (mine took 35), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5- 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, then carefully invert onto a plate or cake stand. Cool completely.
For the glaze, combine sugar, melted butter and orange juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Can be made a day ahead and stored, wrapped, at room temperature.