Leftover Cranberry Sauce Upside-Down Cake

A second life for an undersung Thanksgiving side

A round red cake on a black plate, seen from above

Photo: courtesy of Rose Wilde

Cranberry sauce is the ideal accompaniment to Thanksgiving turkey and savory sides, but once those are gone, it’s not clear what to do with the sweet-tart condiment. Consider this upside-down cake from the L.A.-based (by way of Virginia) chef, baker, and Bread and Roses author Rose Wilde. “This recipe comes together fast and is super moist, with a lovely texture from the corn,” Wilde says. She enhances it with a scoop of lightly sweetened orange blossom whipped cream and eats it any time of day.

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    • Leftover cranberry sauce (enough to spread a layer across the bottom of a cake pan)

    • ⅓ cup corn flour

    • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour

    • 1⅛ cups cane sugar

    • ¾ tsp. sea salt

    • ¼ tsp. baking powder

    • 1 tsp. baking soda

    • 2 eggs

    • ⅞ cup whole milk

    • 1 cup olive oil

    • ⅛ cup lemon juice


    • 1 cup heavy cream

    • ⅛ cup cane sugar

    • ⅓ tbsp. orange blossom water


  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F or 325°F convection. Prepare a cake pan with baking spray and a parchment round. Spread extra cranberry sauce evenly over the bottom.

  2. In a large bowl, add flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a whisk to aerate and combine.

  3. Add eggs, milk, oil, and lemon juice. Again use your whisk to combine until there are no lumps.

  4. Pour batter slowly into the cake pan on top of the cranberry sauce. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the center springs back when touched lightly with your finger, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

  5. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to let cool for 15 minutes. Run a small offset spatula along the sides and invert the cake onto a plate. Carefully and slowly peel back parchment to reveal a bright red cranberry layer. Allow the cake to cool completely.

  6. Make the whipped cream: Combine heavy cream, cane sugar, and orange blossom water in a bowl and whip together with a whisk or mixer until soft/medium peaks form.

  7. Serve desired amount of whipped cream on the side of each slice of cake.

  8. Note: The cake will keep for 4 to 5 days on the counter, and the whipped cream will keep for one week in the refrigerator.

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