Orange-Cranberry Upside Down Cake: Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free [Sponsored]

Orange-Cranberry Upside Down Cake. Just the words strung together sound delicious.  With with the bright tang of fresh cranberries, the sweet caramel topping and the moist yellow crumb of a fresh baked cake, this fancy looking but totally super easy Orange-Cranberry Upside Down Cake will be your new favorite treat to grace your holiday table. Or your weekend morning breakfast table. Or your mid-afternoon teatime table. (Ahem, I had this cake at those exact three times and it was the perfect treat, at any time.) 

And I've made it allergen-friendly for us.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe is tree-nut-free, peanut-free, fish/shellfish free, soy free (although the mix has a “may contain…” soy warning) and wheat/gluten-free. It does have butter and eggs.

I made this cake two ways: once with orange zest in the cake batter and once with a fall spice mixture in the batter. I had my taste testers try both (and none of them have food allergies or wheat intolerance). Everyone loved both! I loved the orange zest one so I’m publishing that one, but if you’re a fall spice person, instead of oranges zest, sift the following into your dry cake mix: 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, scant pinch ground cloves. If you’re an orange zest person, omit the fall spices and add 1 Tablespoon of orange zest to the wet batter as per directions below. If you’re a both person, add both, it’ll be great!

I used a 15-ounce box of Gluten-Free yellow cake from Betty Crocker. Use what’s safe for you and make according to the directions on the box.

I used a 9-inch square pan because it’s what I have on hand, but use what you have; 8 or 9 inch round is fine.

Parchment paper for baking and lining baking tins is fab. I use it every time I bake. It makes clean up such a breeze!

I use Horizon Organic sweet butter and Fairway organic eggs. Not food allergy related, just because I prefer my dairy to be organic when possible. Use what’s good for you.

I use Nielsen Massey Tahitian vanilla. It's nut-free and gluten-free. Check them out.

I bought all of my ingredients at Fairway Market in Manhattan. Fairway Market graciously sponsored the making of this Orange-Cranberry Upside Down Cake. Thank you, Fairway Market! (*Here are my policies regarding my sponsored posts.*) 


Orange-Cranberry Upside Down Cake, Tree Nut-Free, Gluten-Free
Adapted from Simply Recipes

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted sweet unsalted butter (or 4 T)
12 ounces fresh cranberries (1 Ocean Spray package), rinsed and drained
Cake Batter
2/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 stick butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch, 2-inch-high square cake pan with parchment paper (or generously butter pan).

In a small saucepan, place the butter and the brown sugar. On medium high heat, stir the sugar as the butter melts. Once the butter is melted and mixed in well with the sugar, stop stirring and let the mixture simmer for 15 seconds.
Pour the brown sugar butter mixture into the parchment paper-lined cake pan. Spread the cleaned cranberries on top of the sugar butter mixture.

Mix together cake mix, water, butter, zest, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for two minutes, (or hand beat, get that arm workout in!)

Pour batter over the cranberries in the cake pan, and smooth the surface.

Place in the preheated oven and lower the heat from 350°F to 325°F. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 55 minutes to 60 minutes.

Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes. Turn over onto a serving plate, peel off parchment paper. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Will keep in the fridge for 3 days (before losing texture and flavor) or you can pop it into the freezer and it’ll keep longer.



Some pictures of each step to assist you!

Ingredients for fall spice version on deck!

Ingredients of GF Betty Crocker yellow cake as of October 2017

Making that caramel topping
Cleaned cranberries on top of caramel topping in a parchment lined baking tin
Batter on top of cranberries on top of caramel topping
Baked cake

Underside of cake with parchment about to peeled off
Happy slice of gorgeous warm cranberry upside down cake!


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