This cake from Food and Drink is a perfect dessert for brunch or a casual holiday dinner. And it can be made ahead, which is a bonus at this time of year. Spread melted butter, honey and brown sugar over the bottom of a cake pan and sprinkle cranberries over. Make the cake batter and smooth over the cranberries. Bake, let the cake rest for five minutes, invert it onto a plate and either serve right away or refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving with whipped cream or ice cream. You can also freeze the cake.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the butter contains only cream and has no colour added. Check the ground spices for colour and anti-caking agents. Use natural vanilla extract.

Placed melted butter, honey and brown sugar in bottom of pan and top with berries

Make cake batter

Spread batter over berries

Let baked cake rest in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto plate

Festive upside-down cake


3 tbsp (45 ml) melted butter, divided

2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) honey

2 cups (500 ml) fresh cranberries

1½ cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour

2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder

2 tsp (10 ml) ground ginger

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

½ cup (125 ml) room-temperature butter

¾ cup (175 ml) granulated sugar

3 eggs

½ tsp (2 ml) vanilla

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk

Whipped cream or ice cream


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Use 1 tbsp (15 ml) melted butter to coat bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan. Whisk remaining 2 tbsp (30 ml) melted butter, brown sugar and honey together. Spread over pan bottom as best you can. It won’t completely cover. Scatter cranberries over sugar mixture so the entire bottom is covered. There should be a single layer of berries with no gaps, so you may have to add a few more or remove some. Gently press down.

In a medium-size bowl, using a fork, stir flour with baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high, beat ½ cup (125 ml) room-temperature butter until creamy. Gradually beat in granulated sugar, then beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in vanilla.

Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in one-third of flour mixture, then half of milk. Repeat additions, ending with flour mixture, beating each time just until blended. Spoon over berries. Gently smooth batter to cover berries.

Bake in centre of oven until cake edge begins to pull away from side of pan and cake springs back when lightly touched in centre, from 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around outside edge of cake. Invert onto a large cake plate. If making more than 1 day ahead, cover with a tent of foil, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving, topped with whipped cream. Serves 12.

From Food and Drink