Monday, 30 March 2015

Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake

Earlier this week I thought I was going to have to call this Rasp-Raspberry Upside Down Cake. Then I miraculously found some frozen cranberries and thought I would have to change the name to Outrageously Expensive Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake. It was doubly miraculous since I actually couldn't identify fresh cranberries - and when I checked with the girl on the counter she didn't know either. We had to trust the label was right. I sound like a terrible hick but they're just not at all common in Australia. It's only in the last ten or so years that dried cranberries (craisins) have become common in supermarkets here. 

My cake came out looking a bit more like roadkill than the picture in the Baking Bible. It was, however, delicious, with a tart lemony berry and caramel flavour (which just has to be Rose's favourite flavour judging by the recipes we've baked so far). I served this with plain cream. To my mind the addition of Italian meringue was unnecessary and waaaay too sweet for my audience. I think Australian palates (in general) can't take that much sweetness.

[Those of you with good eyesight may be able to spot a bristle off the pastry brush which disintegrated while I was brushing on the raspberry jam.]

Apart from the cranberries the ingredients for this cake are fairly mundane. Not pictured is the sour cream (keeping cool in the fridge until I needed it) which is a more unusual inclusion in a fruit and batter cake.

I thought $22.95 worth of cranberries deserved a photo on their own. This is what they look like (Southern Hemispherans take note).

I tried not to groan when I saw we were making caramel, again. But I substituted caster sugar for the granulated sugar and added a little more lemon juice and managed not to crystallise it this time. Hooray!

My thermometer had recently bitten the dust so I had to guess when it had reached the right shade of brown (aiming for hard crack not black crack). The caramel is poured into a buttered lined cake tin.  It made a fairly thick coating.

Next, spread $5.00 worth of cranberries onto the caramel. Okay $4.59, since I know some of you are good at maths. I could have put more on to fill all the gaps but I thought I'd see where the recipe took me the first time. They're a very pretty colour, although to an untrained eye (i.e. mine) they could be taken for those poisonous berries you see on garden shrubs. 

I had seen a couple of the other Alpha Bakers comment that their cranberries floated up into the cake during baking so I pressed them into the caramel in an attempt to encourage them to stay at the bottom-soon-to-be-top of the cake.

The cake batter itself was an easy mix in the stand mixer, with the butter and sour cream added to the flour and raising agents and then eggs with a little more sour cream.

A nice smooth batter. That offset spatula is paying its way.

The cake took about forty minutes to bake. It looks a bit freckly but it was cooked through.

It was actually less gruesome-looking straight out of the oven without the raspberry jam on top. It reminds me a bit of a 1970s pineapple upside down cake decorated with glace cherries. You can see I could have put more cranberries on.

I heated some raspberry jam and strained it to get rid of the seeds, then brushed it onto the cake. This did give the cake a more uniform look. The caramel appeared to have deserted the middle of the cake.

I'm not sure if this was intended but the caramel seemed to sink through the cake so the crumb (although fully cooked) was heavy with a caramelly taste. I probably could have done with more cake to topping and if I made it again I might try it in a 20cm tin with a little less caramel and more berries. And I'll have plenty of opportunity to try it out again with my leftover 800g of frozen cranberries (yes that's $18.36 worth).

Next week is a Strawberry Shortcake Genoise (and another new cake tin).


  1. Wow, and I was complaining about spending $5.00 on a bag of frozen cranberries. Save those cranberries! Did you look back in the index to see the other cranberry things we'll be making?!
    Glad your cake was tasty.

  2. Love the aussieisms! Yikes frozen cranberries are expensive! Good tips as I head for the bench this evening...

  3. Hi Catherine! Me too. Your cranberries are so expensive. Wow, but the color of your caramel looks much better than mine! Overall, your cake looks great! Glad you enjoyed it. PS: yes more cake please.

  4. I agree with you that Americans have a much sweeter tooth. Wow, your cranberries are very expensive! And in Aussie Dollar! And I was complaining mine was $10..but I think mine was only $300g! So maybe it's about the same price as yours..LOL!

  5. Its so great to learn new things such as how cranberries are not common in certain places. Australia is a place that I have always wanted to visit, and I believe one day I will. In Israel, cranberries are a foreign name in addition to raspberries. I believe that if I were to reside in Israel, most of the recipes would require me to either not pursue, or substitute with a different fruit etc. I also pressed the cranberries, but didn't that know i did something good. I figured that I didn't want the cranberries to get mixed with the batter.

  6. Yours looks quite elegant. I think I liked the little tartness of the cranberries. Mine were frozen and was glad to find them after hearing the problems from others.

  7. Very nice post. Love your stories and your cake looks lovely