Cranberry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

Cranberry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
When it comes to Fall produce, I find cranberries significantly more exciting than pumpkin. I love pumpkins for the color and decorative quality, but I'm not a huge fan of eating them or even cooking with them. But cranberries? Cranberries I absolutely love!

cranberry upside down cake
I was shopping a few weeks ago, when I spotted the first cranberries of the season at the market, and made sure to snatch up a couple bags. I had something clear in mind for them, and couldn't wait to try it out. A sweet and tart upside-down cake with a slightly crumbly cornmeal base, and a crunchy brown sugar topping with just a hint of cinnamon.

Or basically: everything I ever want in an autumn dessert.

fresh cranberry cake
This cake comes together quickly, simply prep the pan by coating it with melted butter and crunchy raw sugar (something like this turbinado sugar works best here), then whip up the cake batter.

A quick 30 minutes in the oven, followed by a flip out onto a serving board, and you have yourself an elegant dessert that looks as gorgeous as it tastes.

Cranberry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
I love enjoying this one while it's still a little bit warm--no need to wait that long after it comes out of the oven.

Here I served it plain, but I also love it with some softly whipped cream.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
And just so you know, the leftovers ARE fantastic with coffee in the morning.

Love Always Order Dessert?
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Cranberry Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Yields about 8 servings

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (or "sugar in the raw")
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups cranberries
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup half & half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 2 tablespoons from the butter and melt in the microwave or on a stovetop. Pour into an 8" or 9" round baking pan, and swirl to coat well. Add the turbinado sugar and tilt the pan until it forms an even crust on the bottom. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and add the cranberries in a single flat layer.

In the base of an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and the granulated sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes), then beat in the egg for an additional 2 minutes, followed by the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, and then add to the creamed butter along with the half & half. Mix just until combined.

Spoon batter over the cranberries, and spread out evenly with the back of a wet spoon.

Bake 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, before running a knife along the sides, and flipping out onto a serving dish. Replace any cranberries that stick to the pan, and serve slightly warm.

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