Monday, October 10, 2011

In Which I Pretend To Be A Recipe Blogger

Because I am a parent, I have learned that there is a series of children's books set in a fictional New-Englandish place called Cranberryport. 

I do hope you didn't think the second half of that sentence was going to be profound.  You're reading the wrong blog for that.

Anyway, the titles are Cranberry Valentine, Cranberry Birthday, etc., and each book has a cranberry recipe on the last page.  One of those books (I no longer remember which) contains the recipe for the birthday cake we make for Larry every year, if only for the reason that he grew up next to a cranberry bog.  As stated in a prior post, we have no idea whether or not Larry actually likes this cake; it may be that he loathes it but is keeping mum in order not to ruin our hallowed birthday traditions.

The moral of this being...speak up right away if you don't like something, lest you be saddled with it for the rest of your life.

Unfortunately, I look nothing like this.
 So!  Although I am most emphatically not the Pioneer Woman (cooking-wise or photography-wise),  I am giving the recipe here (because you asked for it, people!).

Wait, I have to find it.  It's scribbled on an index card, as we discovered this cake way before I was computer-savvy (relatively speaking, of course).  Be right back.

Okay!  Got it!  And it's only 4 steps (5, if you count preheating the oven).  I'm putting all the ingredients in bold face, because I'm clever like that.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice and place 1/4 lb (one stick) (half a tub) butter or margarine in the bottom of a 13x9 pan (sometimes I just use canola oil, because I'm lazy)

Sprinkle 1 cup of walnut halves over the margarine/butter/oil.

Mix 2 cups sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2 bags of cranberries and spread it over the walnut layer.

Prepare 1 box yellow cake mix and pour it over everything in the pan.  Bake 40-50 minutes.

Whipped cream optional, but why not?

 Really, that's it.  But here's the most important part - do you see the name of the cake?  The "upside-down" part of it?  Well, I didn't.  In fact, it took me years to understand that I needed to flip the cake onto a plate when it came out of the oven. It looks much more attractive that way.  Also?  It's way easier to stick the candles in it.

[Cranberry Valentine image: Open Library]
[Pioneer Woman photo: Woman's  Day
[Cranberry cake image: My Recipes]


  1. You ought to pretend to be a food blogger more often. This cake inspires me.

  2. I can make this for any old reason (like, I'm really craving it RIGHT NOW)... right? Because I'm so grateful I could kiss you. (feed your kids some of this cake and then let them do it instead)

    Sadly, I gave away about 4 pounds of frozen cranberries when we moved. Apparently I was a cranberry hoarder. And now I have none.
    Time to go shopping!

  3. Arrgh! I hate these American recipes! I can cope with pounds and ounces, and cup measurements, but what is the precise amount in a "bag" of cranberries and how large a "box" of yellow cake mix do I need? Can I use a "bag" of cake mix or a "box" of cranberries instead? Why is it all so confusing??

    When my Grandma wen to USA a few year back she bought an Amish cookbook and gave it to me. I was expecting that, being Amish, they would give measurement in god old fashioned cups and teaspoons/tablespoons or a least in pounds and ounces, which are easily convertible. However, thre was at least one ingredient in each recipe like "a stick" of this, "a package" or "a tub" of that and it makes it hard for non-Americans to follow.

  4. Let's see...a box of cake mix makes a 9x13x2 inch cake. Does that help? And a bag of cranberries is 12 oz. And believe me, confusing as our cooking measurements are, they are nothing compared to figuring out one's brassiere size in this country.

  5. And that is 1/2 a cup of margarine/oil/butter...

  6. You didn't FLIP IT? That makes your traditional cake even awesomer.

  7. Your recipe inspired me, and I made it for the holidays. Didn't flip it yet. and probably won't. I like not conforming to the narrow stereotype of the upside-down cake.

  8. I'm definitely making it. And I remember the Cranberry books!

  9. I wonder how it would turn out if I simply poured a not-from-a-box cake batter onto it. I am definitely going to find out. Thank you! Oh, and our family's favorite, a cranberry/pecan pie bar cookie recipe is here: The pecan pie version actually has more sugar than the cranberries and pecans one; the cranberry one I think is better.