Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe

This cranberry upside-down cake is a perfect cake for the holiday season!

A long while back, I saw the most amazing recipe for a cranberry upside-down cake from David Leibovitz. I have been meaning to try it out for a really long time, but cake has never been my strong point. I’m just not a cake baker. I know many of you are though, so this year, I took the plunge and gave this clean eating skillet cranberry upside-down cake recipe a try.

Clean Eating Skillet Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe

I think what I don’t like about baking cakes is all the steps. It always seems like such a fussy process. I like to get in and get out of the kitchen and I usually prefer cooking over baking (unless we’re talking about cookies. I always enjoy making cookies!)

My mother was big on decorating cakes. She would make these large, elaborate cakes that took hours and hours to finish. She was always so intent and focused on her cake making that she would usually shoo me out of the kitchen so she could stay in “the zone”.

Clean Eating Skillet Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe Baked

On the flip side, my grandmother always baked cookies with me during the holidays. So I guess my distaste for baking cakes is simply a byproduct of my upbringing.

That being said, cranberry anything is definitely one of my weaknesses. This time of year, you will usually find me stocking up on organic cranberries and stashing them in the freezer to use whenever the mood strikes.

Clean Eating Skillet Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe Ready To Cut

I still had a bag left over after Thanksgiving, so I figured this was the year I would finally do it. I would finally make this cranberry upside-down cake!!

We all enjoyed it immensely. I think, with the clean “makeover” of this recipe, it’s probably a little denser of a cake than it was ever intended to be. But overall, it was completely perfect for the holiday season.

Clean Eating Skillet Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe Sliced



Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

Clean Eating Skillet Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe

Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe

A delicious winter cake for any celebration!
Serve this at room temp. Out of the fridge isn't as tasty.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 213kcal



  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (sliced)
  • ½ cup Sucanat (coconut sugar or monk fruit works too)
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries


  • 1 ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour (I used blanched & fine-ground)
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup Sucanat (affiliate link) (or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk – room temp)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter for the topping over low heat and stir in the Sucanat or coconut sugar. Whisk almost constantly, pausing to check for a small simmer. Once the Sucanat is dissolved into the butter almost completely, turn off the heat and set the pan aside. Low heat here is essential.
  • In a small to medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer on high speed (mine was a stand mixer – they are easiest), beat the butter. Then add the sugar and lemon zest. Beat for approximately 4 minutes. The butter should be nice and soft/fluffy when it’s done.
  • On medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Slow down the mixer to low speed and mix in the flour and milk. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally to incorporate everything well. Once everything is combined, stop mixing. Mixing this too much is not a good idea.
  • Pour the cranberries over the melted butter in the pan, making sure to spread them out enough to all be in a single layer.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the pan and spread the batter evenly over the cranberries. (A recessed spatula works great for this!)
  • Place the entire skillet into the oven for approximately 45-55 minutes. A knife should pull out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  • Run a knife or hard spatula around the edge of the cake to separate it from the sides of the pan. 
  • Cool for a few minutes and then place a platter upside down over the pan. Holding the pan and platter together with pot holders to protect your hands, flip the cake out onto the platter.
  • Serve with some homemade whipped cream.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 2.9mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 0.5mg
A slice of Skillet Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe Served on a white plate.

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this today for Sunday dinner and we all enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Tiffany, I will be making this every autumn from now on (I usually buy too many cranberries). Just a quick question, should the butter/sugar mixture for the topping caramelize or just melt? When I turned the cake over, I saw sugar crystals between the cranberries so should I have continued to heat and stir? Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cher – I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 🙂 Yes, it’s a little tricky to do, but it should melt completely. It’s tricky because you can’t always see that the sweetener has melted. Heating it for longer is the way to go. Just don’t burn it!