Rose’s Alpha baker: ‘Cran-Raspberry Upside-Down Cake’ P.9

This was the first cake that I baked after receiving The Baking Bible. There’s something exciting about upside down cakes. It always makes you wounder how it will come out, and when it does, a big smile…well not quiet in my case.
Cake number one, I used gluten-free flour for the first attempted cake. Aside from that, I followed all the instructions, at least so I thought…Oh what a mess, the cake was totally burnt on top and there was nothing there to resemble anything that of a cranberry flavor, not even raspberry. Oddly enough the same week, Rose Levy Beranbaum had posted a blog about Hector experimenting with gluten-free flour and was baking the same cake. So I took the opportunity to ask Rose via the blog what I had done wrong? Well the problem was I used an infra red thermometer which measure the surface instead of an instant read one. With that knowledge, I went to this weeks project ready to make things right.

So here we go, cake number two:
First, I started by making the cranberry topping. I followed the recommended temperature and used an instant read thermometer as Rose advised. I had to use frozen cranberries since fresh cranberries are typically only found in the fall time. Then I made the cake batter…and off to the oven on a baking stone. Since the cranberries were frozen and had cooled the pan, the total baking time was 45 minutes. With fresh cranberries the baking time is only 35 minutes. I pulled out the cake very excited to see how it went. I couldn’t wait to see the topping; I flipped the cake pan upside down, waited the 2 minutes and then lifted the pan slowly to find that once again the topping was burnt.

As most have figured out about me, I won’t let a second cake failure get in my way, so of coarse I made a third one.

Third time must be the charm; cake number three: By the third cake I had decided that the baking stone might be the problem, so i used a round baking sheet instead. I also used a different thermometer. So again, I started by making the cranberry topping, only this time i had not let the mixture reach to the recommended temperature (330F to 335F). I let the mixture reach to 250F and the color was light amber, so i figured that will do it. I followed the remaining steps exactly like the last two cakes using the recommended ingredients. Off to the oven for 45 minutes total. Once again I flipped the cake, let it rest for 2 minutes and then I removed the cake pan slowly. None of the cranberries stuck to the pan and I knew that was a good sign! I peeled the parchment paper and wow a beautiful red topping. It wasn’t like the picture in the book, but it was not a burnt brown, so much better. Happily I went on to glaze the topping with the raspberry glaze and then finished by making the raspberry meringue.

cranberry topping ingredients

making the caramel

prepared mixture topped with frozen cranberries

batter ingredients

batter ready

batter on top of the cranberries

smooth surface ready for baking

Now that it’s done, it is time for the real test. I took my first bite and it was light, fresh and moist… and what a wonderful sweetness from the raspberry combined with tartness from the cranberry. The meringue has elegant and silken texture with a delicate flavor of the raspberry, a perfect match to the cake. Will I make it again?…you know i will!

Once again, all the hard work paid off …;-)




  1. faithy says:

    Glad you liked the cake. Mine was also burnt first time but I also checked my infra red against my thermapan.. I think mine is more the oven stone..

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