Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake With Cranberry-Pecan Topping

  • Serves: Makes one 9-inch square pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
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Brown sugar sweetened tart cranberries top a cinnamon spiced pumpkin cake, making it a perfect stand-out dessert to serve at Thanksgiving. Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used. I like to add in a hint of orange to go along with the cranberries and some cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake.

8 ounces (16 tablespoons / 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 cups fresh cranberries, chop once or twice with a sharp knife
4 ounces (1 cup by volume) coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin; do not use pumpkin pie filling
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Position the oven shelf to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch-square pan with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cranberries, pecans, orange peel, and vanilla. Place them in the pan over the brown sugar mixture.

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée and oil. In another bowl,

2. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Stir to combine with a large spoon; do not overmix. Carefully spread the batter over the cranberry-pecan topping, spreading it from the sides to the center. Gently smooth the top.

3. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs, but not batter, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire cake rack for 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving platter with rims on top of the pan and holding both, invert. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.

Serve slightly warm or let cool completely before serving.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three to four days. Cake can be frozen in its pan for up to a month.

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