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Vegan Cranberry Upside-Down Cake


Slice of vegan cranberry cake with text that says

This pretty vegan cranberry upside-down cake has a moist, airy, tender crumb and a juicy, glossy topping of bright-red cranberries.

Slice of vegan cranberry upside down cake in plate with full cake in background.

This scrumptious vegan cranberry upside-down cake comes together in barely any time and it is gorgeous enough to make every dessert lover go “wow!”

The tart cranberries create a glistening red topping and play beautifully with the sweetness of the tender cake.

I love upside-down cakes, like this vegan rhubarb upside down cake and this vegan peach upside down cake. They are not only delicious with the nourishing goodness of fresh fruit, they are so easy to make and they look pretty with hardly any effort on your part.

Try this recipe If you’re looking for a quick, easy and seasonal dessert recipe for the holidays. Then sit back and let the compliments roll in!

Why you will love this cake

  • It’s seasonal and gorgeous. This cake is a holiday dessert to impress. Cranberries are all around this time of year and their vibrant red color makes the perfect topping for this cake.
  • It needs just a few ingredients and very little time. Apart from the cranberries, you only need a handful of pantry ingredients for the cake.
  • It is very easy to make. Upside down cakes are great for beginner bakers because there’s no complicated frosting and icing to do. That said, do follow instructions closely, especially if you are new to baking.

Ingredients

Ingredients for cranberry upside down cake in bowls.

For the cranberry topping

  • Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Pure vanilla extract

For the cake batter

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Leavening ingredients: Baking powder + baking soda
  • Sugar
  • Vegan butter. Make sure the butter is melted when you add it to the batter.
  • Non-dairy milk. I used oat milk. Use any non dairy milk of your choice.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pure vanilla extract

Vegan cranberry upside down cake on a white plate.

How to make vegan cranberry upside down cake

Springform pan lined with parchment paper and coated with butter.

1. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the sides and bottom of the pan with vegan butter or oil.

Sugar, cinnamon and vanilla mixed in small bowl with spoon.

2. Mix the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon for the cranberry topping in a small bowl.

Cranberries arranged over sugar in springform pan.

3. Spread the sugar mixture in the bottom of the cake pan. Top with the cranberries.

Oat milk mixed with apple cider vinegar in glass measuring cup.

4. Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar in a cup.

Dry ingredients for cake in glass bowl with whisk.

5. Whisk all dry ingredients for the cake batter, including the sugar, in a large bowl.

Wet ingredients added to dry in glass bowl with spatula.

6. Pour the melted butter, milk and apple cider vinegar mixture and pure vanilla extract into the bowl.

Cake batter in bowl with spatula.

7. Mix with a spatula just until the batter comes together. Don’t overmix.

Batter poured over cranberries in cake pan.

8. Place the cake pan in a baking sheet. Pour the batter over the cranberries in the cake pan.

Batter smoothed over top of cranberries in cake pan.

9. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly over the cranberries.

Baked cranberry upside down cake in springform pan.

10. Bake in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Vegan cranberry upside down cake on white plate.

11. Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen. Place a rimmed plate over the cake pan and flip quickly to unmold. Peel off the parchment paper carefully and let the cake cool on a wire rack. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

Helpful tips

  • Use a springform pan for easy unmolding. After flipping the cake all you need to do is open the clasp and lift it off. If you don’t have one a cake pan will work nicely. Make sure you line the bottom with parchment paper and run a knife along the edges to make sure nothing’s sticking.
  • Placing a baking sheet under the pan can help catch any juices that overflow, especially if you are using a springform pan, and it also keeps the cranberries from burning.
  • Don’t wait longer than 15 minutes after the cake is out of the oven to unmold it. The sugar in the cranberries will begin to stick to the sides of the pan as it cools down, so it’s crucial you unmold while the cake is still quite warm.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this cranberry upside down cake gluten-free?

For a gluten-free cranberry cake, follow the cake recipe (replace the bananas with the toppings in the “cranberry topping” section above) from this vegan banana upside down cake.

How can I make this cake healthier?

Use whole wheat pastry flour for a healthier cake that also has a light, moist crumb. You can also replace the sugar in the cake with maple syrup, or reduce the sugar to ½ cup and add ¼ cup applesauce.

Can I use other berries instead of cranberries?

Absolutely! Blueberries or strawberries would work great here.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: The cake and leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Freeze: Freeze the cake or individual slices in a freezer safe container and freeze up to four months.
  • Thaw to room temperature and warm a bit in the microwave or a toaster oven before serving.

More delicious vegan cranberry recipes

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review and a star rating below, or tag us on Instagram! Thanks!

Slice of vegan cranberry upside down cake in white plate with fork. Vegan cranberry upside down cake slice in white plate with fork.

Vegan Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

This pretty vegan cranberry upside-down cake has a moist, airy, tender crumb and a juicy, glossy topping of bright-red cranberries. It’s soy-free and nut-free and it can be gluten-free.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe Review Recipe

Course: Cake/Dessert

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 10 servings

Calories: 256kcal

Author: Vaishali · Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes

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Instructions

  • Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the sides and bottom of the pan with vegan butter or oil.

  • Mix the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon for the cranberry topping in a small bowl.

  • Spread the sugar mixture in the bottom of the cake pan. Top with the cranberries.

  • Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar in a cup.

  • Whisk all dry ingredients for the cake batter, including the sugar, in a large bowl.

  • Pour the melted butter, milk-apple cider vinegar mixture and pure vanilla extract into the bowl.

  • Mix with a spatula just until the batter comes together. Don’t overmix.

  • Place the cake pan in a baking sheet. Pour the batter over the cranberries in the cake pan.

  • Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly over the cranberries.

  • Bake in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

  • Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen. Place a rimmed plate over the cake pan and flip quickly to unmold. Peel off the parchment paper carefully and let the cake cool on a wire rack. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

Recipe notes

Helpful tips

  • Use a springform pan for easy unmolding. After flipping the cake all you need to do is open the clasp and lift it off. If you don’t have one a cake pan will work nicely. Make sure you line the bottom with parchment paper and run a knife along the edges to make sure nothing’s sticking.
  • Placing a baking sheet under the pan can help catch any juices that overflow, especially if you are using a springform pan, and it also keeps the cranberries from burning.
  • Don’t wait longer than 15 minutes after the cake is out of the oven to unmold it. The sugar in the cranberries will begin to stick to the sides of the pan as it cools down, so it’s crucial you unmold while the cake is still quite warm.
  • For a gluten-free cranberry cake, follow the cake recipe (replace the bananas with the toppings in the “cranberry topping” section above) from this vegan banana upside down cake.
  • Use whole wheat pastry flour for a healthier cake that also has a light, moist crumb. You can also replace the sugar in the cake with maple syrup, or reduce the sugar to ½ cup and add ¼ cup applesauce.

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerate: The cake and leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Freeze: Freeze the cake or individual slices in a freezer safe container and freeze up to four months.
  • Thaw to room temperature and warm a bit in the microwave or a toaster oven before serving.

 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

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