Clementine Cranberry Upside Down Cake

This bright tender cake is all the best of winter baking. Citrus and bright pink cranberries balance the rich buttermilk cake to create an extremely snackable cake. Elevate your dessert with a dollop of boozy, orange liqueur whipped cream.

Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes


For the Cake:

  • 4 clementines, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 clementines
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Orange Liqueur Whipped Cream:

  • 1⁄4 cup cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


Prep your pan:

  1.  Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling. Pour this mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake pan.
  3. Arrange the clementine slices across brown sugar mixture and covering the entire pan, Fill in any open spots with the cranberries, and scatter them all over the tops of the clementine slices.

For the Cake:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2.  In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the granulated sugar and the clementine zest. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar, or paddle them in the stand mixer together. This infuses the sugar and helps to express the oils in the zest.
  3. Add the softened butter and cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla extract.
  5. Gradually add in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.


  1.  Pour the batter over the fruit in the cake pan, spreading it out to cover the fruit evenly.
  2.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  3.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a large plate over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Carefully lift off the pan. If not serving immediately, leave cake in the pan. Warm in a 300oF oven for 15 minutes before serving, then invert onto a plate.

For the Orange Liquor Whipped Cream:

  1.  Combine the orange liqueur, sugar, and water in a small sauce pan. Simmer until some of the alcohol has cooked off and the mixture has a syrupy
    consistency, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until starting to thicken, about 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle in the orange liqueur syrup while continuing to whip, until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes more. Serve alongside warm Clementine Cranberry Upside Down Cake!