The holidays just aren’t the same without a good pumpkin dessert. Whether you’re in pie burnout or you’re creating an elaborate dessert spread, combine pumpkin and cranberries to make this ultimate upside-down cake.
I developed a variety of baked items using a creme cake base while pastry chef at Walt Disney World. One of those desserts was a cranberry upside-down cake, perfect for the holidays.
Here is the allergy-friendly version, which is as delicious as the original!
We’re using a 9-inch non stick cake pan. A springform pan is not a good choice for this dessert since the juices from the cranberries are destined to leak like a sieve. Springforms are really meant for thick heavy batters, like cheesecake or extremely thick cake batters.
Start by whisking the margarine and the brown sugar together over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture emulsifies. Pour the mixture into a greased cake pan lined with parchment paper.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of cranberries over the brown sugar mixture. If tree nut allergy is not an issue, you can sprinkle with 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped toasted pecans, if desired.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flax eggs, oil and pumpkin puree. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Carefully spread the batter over the cranberries and bake at 350-degrees F for about 35 – 40 minutes, until done.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Place a serving plate on top of the cake. Carefully flip over and invert the cake onto the plate, slowly lifting off the cake pan. Peel off the parchment paper.
You can call it quits at this step and dig in when the cake cools. However, we like the cake completely covered in cranberries.
You may wonder, why not start with more cranberries in the first place?
Since the cranberries release a lot of moisture when cooking, adding too many at the beginning will cause the juices to bubble up the sides and overflow long before the cake is done baking, creating an oven disaster.
We came up with a quick and easy solution. With the remaining cranberries, we cook them with a little sugar and water just for about 4-6 minutes, until the cranberries begin to burst. We then spread them over the cake.
It’s that easy, and we think this extra step creates a real show-stopper!
Yum…your dessert world is about to be turned upside-down!
Cranberry Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake
Yield 1 (9-inch) cake
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
Whether you're in pie burnout or you're creating an elaborate dessert spread, combine pumpkin and cranberries to make this ultimate upside-down cake.
4 tbsp dairy-free margarine, such as Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries, divided (1 1/2 cups + 2 cups)
2 tbsp flaxseed meal (see recipe notes)
6 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour blend
1 1/3 cups organic cane sugar, divided (1 cup + 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
6 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until smooth and mixture emulsifies, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the brown sugar mixture into the prepared cake pan and evenly coat the bottom. In a single layer, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups cranberries over the brown sugar mixture. Set pan aside.
- In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the flaxseed meal and 6 tbsp water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Place the flour and 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking powder. Add cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine well. Set aside.
- Return to the flaxseed mixture and whisk again. The consistency will be gelatinous. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Whisk the pumpkin and oil into the flaxseed mixture. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until combined.
- Evenly spread the batter over the cranberry topping. Place in oven and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, until done. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Place a serving plate on top of the cake. Carefully flip over and invert the cake onto the plate, slowly lifting off the cake pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Do not let the cake cool too long or it will be hard to turn out of the pan.
- You can call it quits at this step and dig in when the cake cools. However, we like the cake completely covered in cranberries. Since cranberries release a lot of moisture when cooking, adding too many at the beginning will cause the juices to bubble up the sides and overflow before the cake is done baking, creating a mess. Here's our quick and easy solution...
- Place remaining 2 cups of cranberries in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add final 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water. Stir to combine. Cook until sugar is entirely dissolved and cranberries begin to burst, about 4-6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and spread over cake.
- Let cake cool completely before serving. Enjoy.
If egg allergy is not an issue, 2 large eggs may be substituted for the flaxseed meal and water.