Instead of pumpkin pie for the holidays, make cranberries the star of the meal and serve this deliciously tender cake, topped with crunchy candied nuts.
Prepare the caramel in a pan, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Immediately pour into a deep-sided, buttered pan that also has a buttered piece of parchment in the bottom (this will ensure nothing sticks when you invert the cake).
Quickly spread caramel out into an even layer before it starts to harden. Complete the topping layer by adding in the nuts and berries, spreading out into an even layer.
When preparing the cake batter, be sure to add in the flour/milk in 2 separate additions. Why does it matter? By starting with flour and ending with the liquid (in 2 separate additions), this helps build the batter so it can absorb the liquid without curdling (which is also why you beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well before adding the next).
Gently spread the batter over the topping, smoothing the top of the batter flat with a wet spatula, then bake until golden brown and internal temperature reads 200°F. After 10 minutes of cooling time, run a knife around the pan, place a plate over top and invert.
Cranberry & Almond Upside-Down Cake
- 3 Tbsp butter or margarine
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg white or bit of oil
- For the topping, melt butter in a small saucepan then stir in the sugar until dissolved. Pour into a buttered 9” round baking pan (with sides at least 3” high, also use a butter circle of parchment on the bottom), spreading out evenly. Sprinkle over the almonds, then the cranberries in an even layer. Set aside.
- For the cake, combine the dry ingredients together. In another bowl beat together the butter, almond paste and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add in a third of the flour mixture, blend well followed by half of the buttermilk. Continue alternating until everything is incorporated. Beat for another 2 minutes.
- Allow batter to sit for 20 minutes before baking to help hydrate the flour. Then bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until center of cake reaches 200°F using an instant read thermometer. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then run a knife along the pan edge to loosen, then invert onto a serving platter.
- If desired, garnish with some candied almonds - toss nuts with a bit of egg white, just enough to moisten, then toss with sugar. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 300°F for 10 minutes, or until sugar crusts (you don't want nuts to brown).
- To serve, dust with powdered sugar and candied almonds.