The Virgin Stove

Making everything for the first time

Upside-Down Cranberry-Banana Cake

As with the previous post, this was made and photographed during the night when my “good” camera was out of commission. But no matter how great the camera, I was reassured that most cranberry upside-down cakes really look awful on pictures so I suppose my cellphone cam could only ruin visuals so far.

I had about a cup and a half of cranberry that I was saving. I didn’t know what to do with them and considered making muffins. But since me and my friends decided to have dinner, I thought about using them for an upside down cake.

I considered using a chiffon cake for the base or perhaps a sturdier mocha. But when my friend Jovett told me that she had 3 extremely ripe bananas in her apartment – so ripe that they looked a little sorry and ignored – I finally had the answer. Why not a classic banana cake?

For this cake, I used two of Deb’s recipes and combined them (I really should use other sources but SK is such a wonderful reference for baking). I was afraid of how it would turn out since I’m not really sure about mixing cranberry and banana flavors. The cake turned out to be a hit and I was asked to bake the same thing for a bridal shower the week after.

Tip:  A lot of people have trouble turning an upside down cake without the middle sticking on the pan. Use wax paper or foil to cover the bottom of the pan so when you flip it over, the whole cake comes out foil and all. If the berries stick to the foil, stick the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes before peeling it off.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipes (1 & 2)

2/3 cup (5 oz or 142 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tbsp, 1/2 stick or 50 g) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon pure honey
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, do not defrost)

1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
3 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat pan to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pan with extra virgin olive oil or butter and cover the bottom with wax paper.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, honey and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir well until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour into prepared cake pan and set aside.

Sift or whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars in large bowl until blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients in two additions just until combined.

Scatter the cranberries evenly on the pan on top of the caramel mixture. Spoon cake batter into pan, taking care not to displace the berries underneath. Even it out with a spatula. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.

Separate the sides of the cake from the pan with a thin knife. Place platter over pan – make sure the platter is bigger than the pan in case of drippings. Holding pan and platter together, turn over then gently lift off pan. Remove wax paper.

Serve warm.


4 responses to “Upside-Down Cranberry-Banana Cake

  1. Pingback: A Fruity Dinner « Karma & Apollo

  2. Babygirl 27 November 2010 at 6:49 am

    This is a very unique recipe.. nice

  3. Pingback: Banana Muffins « The Virgin Stove

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