Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.com

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake.Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.comDisclosure: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. However, I have partnered with Ocean Spray in the past on paid project work, including a recent RD Cranberry Harvest Tour. I also am a part of the Cranberry Bog Blogger network, where I occasionally receive cranberry related goodies in the mail. This post and Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake recipe includes cranberries because I love them – as do most of of you!

It’s cranberry season here on the Cape (yay!), which means those tart and gorgeous ruby red gems have been harvested from the local cranberry bogs and are now ready for blending, chopping, roasting, boiling and baking. And they’re ready to be drizzled in cranberry honey, covered with spiced pumpkin batter and baked in this Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake.

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.comIf you love the tartness of cranberries and the earthiness of pumpkin, you’ll love this pretty, festive dessert. Make it for Thanksgiving or “Friendsgiving” this year and serve with homemade whipped cream, vanilla Greek yogurt (as we did here) or vanilla ice cream.

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.comThis recipe makes 2 9-inch cakes and easily serves 16 (depending on the size of your slices). To keep the recipe simple and quick (that’s what we all need this holiday season, right?!), I used a boxed organic vanilla cake mix (Organics), but if you have a great homemade vanilla cake or pumpkin cake recipe, I’m sure it would work just as well.

This is not a “light” dessert (though it’s certainly not heavy), but does have some nutritional benefits, due to a couple powerhouse ingredients:

  • 100% pumpkin puree provides immune-system and eye health supporting Vitamin A and digestive health supporting and hunger satisfying fiber
  • Fresh cranberries are rich in health-promoting proanthocyanidins (these “PACs” help prevent bad bacteria from sticking in the urinary and digestive tract), rich in immune-system supporting Vitamin C and digestive health supporting and hunger satisfying fiber

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.com

Because the cranberries are very tart (that’s what makes them so good!) and just slightly sweet, they are drizzled with my new favorite honey – Cranberry Honey from Sid Wainer & Son.

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.com

Give this Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake a place on your harvest table this year. And let me know how you like it!

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.comHere’s how to make this Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake.

Note: this recipe makes 2 separate cakes – one for your family and one to share! It’s not intended to be a double layer cake.

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 separate cakes (not a layer cake) / Serves 16

Serving Size: 1/16th

Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

  • • 12+ oz bag cranberries (enough to fill the bottom of the 2 pans), picked over and washed
  • • ¼ cup cranberry honey (or regular honey)
  • • 1 box organic vanilla cake mix (mix only; not prepared)
  • • 1 stick salted butter, melted
  • • 2 eggs
  • • 1 15oz can organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • • 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease (with butter or cooking spray) the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Place the cranberries evenly on the bottom of each pan. Drizzle honey evenly over pans of cranberries. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, butter, eggs, pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with a handheld mixer on low until well combined. Pour batter equally between the two pans, overtop the cranberries. Bake for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. Once cool, run a knife along the outer edges of the cakes. To remove the cakes, place a large plate overtop the cake and flip it over. Tap the bottom of each pan lightly then remove pan. If a few cranberries stick to the pan, replace onto the cake with your fingers. Serve with vanilla Greek yogurt, homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. If not enjoying right away, store in the refrigerator.
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Cranberry Pumpkin Upside Down Cake via JennySheaRawn.com

{ 52 comments… add one }
  • Serena November 7, 2016, 6:04 pm

    I just tried to make a cranberry walnut upside down cake…and it was NOT even close to this gorgeous. In fact it totally fell apart. These pics are just gorgeous!

    • Jenny Rawn November 7, 2016, 8:57 pm

      @Serena, no way?! Great minds! Bummer about it falling apart. Are you going to try again? Sounds like the best combo … cranberries and walnuts. LMK if you perfect the recipe!

  • Jessica @ Nutritioulicious November 7, 2016, 8:14 pm

    Jenny, this is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot get over how easy it actually is to make! Looks like it would be so much more involved! We’re away for Thanksgiving this year, so I must find another occasion to make this!

    • Jenny Rawn November 7, 2016, 8:56 pm

      @Jessica, awww thank you so much! It is SO easy to make – esp with a cake mix. Love when recipes are so simple but turn out so well. LMK if you try at some point this holiday (and cranberry) season! xo

  • Lauren OConnor November 8, 2016, 3:16 pm

    This is a gorgeous dessert made with two of my fall faves – cranberry and pumpkin!! What a treat!

    • Jenny Rawn November 10, 2016, 2:57 pm

      @Lauren, thank you! It’s my new fave dessert!

  • Bethany @ athletic avocado November 8, 2016, 5:19 pm

    Such a gorgeous cake! I love the cranberry pumpkin combo, so festive!

    • Jenny Rawn November 10, 2016, 2:56 pm

      @Bethany, thanks so much! Love the pump/cran combo too!

  • Meme from Living Well Kitchen November 9, 2016, 9:00 pm

    Can we please go back to a cranberry bog?! What a fun trip 🙂
    And now I absolutely MUST have this cake!!!

    • Jenny Rawn November 10, 2016, 2:56 pm

      @Meme, yes please! Such a fun trip to was! Sending you a slice of cake cross country (virtually ;))!

  • Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen November 11, 2016, 9:15 am

    This looks incredible! This is definitely a party pleaser! I have to make it for the holiday season!

    • Jenny Rawn November 14, 2016, 1:30 pm

      @Julie, thank you! Hope you try – so easy and SO good!

  • Brittany November 17, 2016, 2:43 pm

    What a beautiful dessert!

  • shahzadi devje November 17, 2016, 3:23 pm

    All my fave ingredients! YUM! Thanks.

  • Roxana November 18, 2016, 11:22 am

    That is a great fall flavor combination. Looks yum.

    • Jenny Rawn November 19, 2016, 8:40 pm

      @Roxana, thank you!

  • Shirley November 19, 2016, 12:26 pm

    I was wondering if you could do this in a 9X13 pan instead of 2 round ones?

    • Jenny Rawn November 19, 2016, 8:39 pm

      @Shirley, great question and one that another reader Rose asked. If you go with a larger rectangular pan adjust the timing accordingly, as one cake will need to bake longer than two. Also, a larger rectangular pan will likely have more difficulty separating from the cranberries when you flip the cake over than the smaller round pans. Make sure you tap lightly so that the cranberries fall from the bottom of the pan and slowly separate the cake from the pan. You may have a few more cranberries sticking to the pan after you flip it, but just remove with a knife or your (clean) finger and replace. Hope this helps – please do let me know if you try it and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Georgene November 19, 2016, 4:01 pm

    All these comments and absolutely none on what it tasted like!! Did anyone actually make this, or did everyone just look at the pictures? Is it any good??

    • Jenny Rawn November 19, 2016, 8:38 pm

      @Georgene, yes, quite a few have tried it! But, you be the judge. Hope you try – and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Rose November 19, 2016, 8:00 pm

    Love the idea of cran/pumpkin. Will this recipe work well in a 9 x 13 pan? It is difficult to carry 2 cakes and a 9 x 13 is perfect to bring for a festive dessert.

    • Jenny Rawn November 19, 2016, 8:37 pm

      @Rose – you could, but adjust the timing accordingly, as one cake will need to bake longer than two. Also, a larger rectangular pan will likely have more difficulty separating from the cranberries when you flip the cake over than the smaller round pans. Make sure you tap lightly so that the cranberries fall from the bottom of the pan and slowly separate the cake from the pan. You may have a few more cranberries sticking to the pan after you flip it, but just remove with a knife or your (clean) finger and replace. Hope this helps and let me know if you try it!

  • Patti November 20, 2016, 9:56 am

    Could you make this into a layer cake, using vanilla pudding as the filler?

    • Jenny Rawn November 20, 2016, 2:25 pm

      @Patti – that sounds like it would be wonderful! I haven’t tried it, but am sure it would taste delicious. The cake is very moist though, so the top cake may split in the center. Let me know if you try it – would love to see how it turns out! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Kris November 20, 2016, 11:40 am

    This is a silly question but if I am understanding what I read, this makes 2 cakes? You do not put one on top of the other (like you normally do when making 2, 9-inch round cakes)? If so, can I freeze one cake?

    • Jenny Rawn November 20, 2016, 2:28 pm

      @Kris – you are correct – this makes 2 cakes and you do not put them on top of each other (but you could try!). I haven’t tried freezing them, but I bet it would freeze just fine. Another option would be to halve the recipe (one box of cake mix makes 2 9 inch cakes, which is why this recipe makes 2 as well) – or give one of the cakes away to your neighbors! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Liz D November 20, 2016, 12:28 pm

    Jenny, this may be a silly question, but in using two cake pans, you never mention placing one on top of the other after removing from the pan. Should I assume that’s what you do? In the picture it doesn’t look like they’re stacked.

    • Jenny Rawn November 20, 2016, 2:23 pm

      @Liz D – the recipe makes two separate cakes. I didn’t place them on top of each other, but served them separately. It’s also a great opportunity to keep one cake for your family and give away the second :). Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Gina November 23, 2016, 10:17 am

    Can I make this the day before? Will the cranberries make the cake soggy if it sits overnight? Should I refrigerate overnight? I’d like to make today for tomorrow… Thanks!

  • Kim S November 23, 2016, 11:59 am

    This looks beautiful. Could you use a white cake mix and add vanilla extract instead of a vanilla cake mix?

    • Jenny Rawn November 23, 2016, 5:37 pm

      @Kim, yes absolutely. Just add pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp. Let me know if you make it!

  • Ashlynn November 23, 2016, 4:43 pm

    I made this today, the day before Thanksgiving, do I store it in the ‘fridge or on the counter?
    Thanks! Looks great so far!

    • Jenny Rawn November 23, 2016, 5:36 pm

      @Ashlynn, I’d recommend storing in the fridge until tomorrow. Hope you enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Nick. November 23, 2016, 6:24 pm

    Does this need to be stored in the refrigerated?

    Thank you.

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:49 pm

      @Nick, yes please store in the fridge until a few minutes prior to serving.

  • Emily November 23, 2016, 7:21 pm

    I just made this in a 9.5 inch spring form pan, worked well for getting the cake out. But the cranberries did leak out of the bottom. So maybe not next time. can’t wait to try it though!

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:49 pm

      @Emily, was curious how a spring pan would work. Hope you enjoyed the cake even though some of the juices were lost!

  • TishC November 24, 2016, 1:43 pm

    So, I just made this to bring to a Thanksgiving feast at my friend’s. Of course I had to try it before bringing it, so thank goodness it makes two!
    The cake is really really good! Not too sweet, which is great!
    Here are a couple things I did.. First, I had two 8.5 inch pans which used the 12oz bag perfectly. I think you’ll definitely need more cranberries if you have the 9 inch pans. I added a few tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk and a tablespoon of (non flavored) coconut oil for moisture as the batter was extremely dense. Even though I figured the cranberries would add moisture, I just had a feeling a bit more was needed. I think I was right as the cake turned out moist and not too heavy. You may add a bit of unsweetened apple sauce as well I suppose, and wished I had thought of it, but the bit of milk and coconut oil worked very well.
    Last thing I did was add all of 20 60% cacao chocolate chips to the batter of each pan. I placed them around the pan so that every piece should get at least one, but not too many per slice to overtake the pumpkin flavor.. I pressed them into the batter a bit and covered them. I think the bit of chocolate adds a depth of flavor that keeps the cake from being too one demential. This cake is so darned easy to make and I am excited for everyone to try it!! Thank you Jenny!!

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:48 pm

      @TishC – love all of your ideas! Will try them next time – esp love the chocolate chip addition, bet it was so delicious. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your love for the cake and your fresh ideas!

  • Timea November 25, 2016, 11:58 am

    I have made this cake yesterday for Thanksgiving. Absolutely beautiful and very delicious. I love the tartness and sweetness combination that leaves you crave for another piece. I am making this cake as part of future Thansgiving tradition. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:47 pm

      @Timea, wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it and it could be part of your Thanksgiving. So appreciate you letting me know.

  • Jenifer November 25, 2016, 10:05 pm

    My new go to holiday cake! Fantastic. Deceptively easy & absolutely delicious!

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:46 pm

      @Jenifer, fabulous! So glad you enjoyed – and thanks for letting me know!

  • Darcie November 26, 2016, 1:43 am

    Delicious! I’m not a honey fan so I substituted a traditional butter/brown sugar topping and it tasted great. The pumpkin spice cake had tons of flavor. I think the cranberry topping can go well with a variety of cake based so I am looking forward to experimenting. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:46 pm

      @Darcie, oh fantastic! So glad you enjoyed! I will try next time with a butter/brown sugar topping – great idea.

  • Carol November 26, 2016, 10:29 pm

    Absolutely fantastic tasting cake. Had to leave the cape where I live and go to my daughter’s in upstate N.Y. to experience it. She made it for Thanksgiving and it was so successful (addictively so) that she made another batch today.

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:45 pm

      @Carol, oh so great to hear! So glad you and your daughter enjoyed it! Thanks so much for letting me know.

  • Chester Goad November 27, 2016, 10:08 pm

    My wife made this for me for my birthday. It incorporates all my favorite things. Thanks for sharing. It’s perfection.

    • Jenny Rawn December 9, 2016, 2:44 pm

      @Chester, oh wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for letting me know. Happy Belated Birthday!

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