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Cranberry-Orange Upside-Down Cake

Courtesy S.Pellegrino
Cook Time:
50 mins
Prep Time:
40 mins
1 (9-inch) cake round

Chef notes

"Top Chef" winner and restaurateur recreated this eye-catching upside down cake from her sous chef, Robeisy Sanchez, which was adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

"I felt so proud cooking it. It's a beautiful recipe, very festive. Everything about it. To watch her, watch me make it: It’s a weird warm and fuzzy feeling that’s hard to explain," Kish said of the experience baking her friends recipe on Zoom.


Chilled Cranberry
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semolina flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup raw pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated, keeping both yolks and whites
Whipped yogurt topping
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups full-fat, low-moisture Greek yogurt


For the chilled cranberry layer:


Ensure your oven rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan, then line it with parchment and grease the parchment.


Melt butter in a medium, nonstick pan over medium heat. Add cranberries, sugar and jam and cook until cranberries are just softened. Strain the cranberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and reserve the juice. Place cranberries in a bowl and set aside.


Return the strained juices to the same pan and simmer until syrupy and reduced to about 1 cup. Turn off your burner and stir in vanilla extract. Spread cranberries into a single layer in the prepared spring-form pan. Pour the syrupy juice over the cranberries and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

For the cake:


In a food processor, pulse 1/4 cup of semolina and pistachios until finely ground. Add baking powder, salt and remaining semolina and pulse until combined.


In a bowl, whisk together the milk, orange zest and vanilla extract.


Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add semolina mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture in 2 additions. Pour batter into a large mixing bowl and clean your stand mixer.


Using the whisk attachment, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Stir one third of the whites into the batter and then fold remaining whites.


Pour batter over chilled cranberry and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway.


Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the cake to release from the pan, and invert onto serving plate.

For the Whipped Yogurt Topping:

Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, whip your cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, sift sugar into Greek yogurt. Then, fold the cream into your yogurt mixture. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve Cranberry-Orange Upside-Down Cake with Whipped Yogurt Topping, and enjoy!