Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is a tasty Christmas cake made with fresh cranberries, toasty walnuts and a sweet caramel topping.

If you like Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and want a festive holiday version, you will love this Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, a deliciously simple holiday recipe. Check out all the Cake Recipes on the site, there’s all your favorites and more!

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Slice


When you hear “upside-down cake,” the first thing that comes to mind is probably pineapple. While pineapple upside-down cake is absolutely delicious, there’s another upside-down cake that is just as yummy and a perfect holiday treat.

Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake is one of those cake recipes that will be an instant hit at any family gathering this year. Whether you’re hosting or going as a guest, this gorgeous pastry will be a dessert that can double as a beautiful centerpiece.

Instead of maraschino cherries you get the beautiful red color from the fresh cranberries and instead of pineapple rings I’ve added walnuts to add a crunchy texture to the brown butter caramel that soaks into the delicious cake.

Enjoy some leftover Cranberry Upside-Down Cake with a cup of coffee the morning after your party to jumpstart you back into the holiday spirit. The natural tartness of the fresh cranberries, the sweetness of the caramel topping and a jolt of caffeine are just what you need to tackle the busyness of the Christmas season after a long night.



Cranberry Upside Down Cake on cake stand


  • Nuts: Try swapping out the walnuts for toasted almond slivers or pecans for a change of texture and flavor.
  • White Chocolate: Taking some inspiration from a coffee shop classic holiday muffin, add White Chocolate Chips to make a White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake.
  • Buttermilk: Give this cake a rich, tangy flavor that will pair nicely with the sweetness by substituting buttermilk for the sour cream.
  • Mini Coffee Cakes: Make these into cupcake sized treats perfect for giving as gifts by dividing into a greased muffin tin. You will want to reduce the baking time to 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve with: Serve slices of Cranberry Upside-Down Cake with a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream or with a dab of Homemade Whipped Cream on top.


Can you make Cranberry Upside-Down Cake in cast iron skillet? Yes, you can. You will need to keep a close eye on the cake so it doesn’t burn, since cast iron will get hotter than you’d expect.
Can you make Cranberry Upside-Down Cake gluten free? Yes, you can. Substitute almond or buckwheat flour for all purpose flour.



  • Serve: You can keep Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.
  • Store: You can keep your cake in the fridge for up to 3 days, as long as you keep it tightly covered or sealed in an airtight container that will keep moisture out.
  • Freeze: You can keep Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake for up to 1 month in the freezer. Once again, make sure to keep it tightly sealed.

Cranberry Upside Down Coffee Cake on stand

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Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake is a tasty Christmas cake made with fresh cranberries, toasty walnuts and a sweet caramel topping.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts , chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a springform pan with baking spray.
  • Wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent leaking.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl add the brown sugar and ½ cup unsalted butter and microwave for 45 seconds until melted, then stir well and microwave for another 20 seconds.
  • Add the melted butter and brown sugar mixture to the springform pan and spread, then add in the cranberries and walnuts evenly.
  • Add the remaining ½ cup butter and sugar to your stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs, vanilla and sour cream until fully combined, then add in the flour mixture until just mixed in (do not overmix the flour).
  • Carefully, slowly pour the batter over the cranberry walnut mixture.
  • Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then turn a plate/cake stand upside down over the springform pan and carefully and quickly flip over before removing the cake from the pan.


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 671IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg

Cranberry Cake

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m lacking sleep, but I re-read the recipes over and over and didn’t seem to see which step called for the 1 cup of sour cream. I poured it in the main cake batter, like I normally do with some of my cakes. Is this correct?

  2. Have never tried Cranberry Upside down, so this is very special. I make pineapple too many times. Would love to go for it soon.