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Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake

This cake is a seasonally inspired twist on the more common pineapple version using a tangy combination of fresh cranberries and oranges. The cake itself is moist and buttery and flavored with tangy orange zest to complement the topping. The jewel tones of the cranberries make it the perfect finish for a holiday meal.

Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake

Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups cranberries, washed and cut in half
  • 2 oranges, peeled, segmented and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously grease a 9-inch square cake pan and set aside.

Combine the halved cranberries, chopped oranges (see notes) and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Combine well and set aside.

Place the sifted cake flour in a mixing bowl and add the baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter, orange zest and granulated sugar. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in the evaporated milk and orange juice and beat until well blended. Add to the flour mixture and beat until smooth and creamy.

Pour the melted butter into the prepared baking pan and tilt to distribute evenly. Spread the cranberry-orange mixture in an even layer and flatten lightly with a spatula.

Spread the batter evenly over the cranberries, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn onto a plate. Leave the pan in place on top of the cake for 5 minutes, then remove gently. Serve warm with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Recipe Notes:
When you are cutting up the oranges, be sure to remove all of the bitter white pith below the skin and slice the sections between the tough membranes. You don't want any chewy pieces in your topping. This method of cutting citrus fruit is called supreming (French).

If you work over a bowl you can catch all the juices and use them for some of the quantity you need for the cake batter.

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