Cranberry Upside Down Cake

I come from the land of cranberries.  Growing up there never seemed to be a shortage of the tart and sweet berries.  I have always had a penchant for them, and I’m not picky as to what form they come in–dried, fresh, in the can, you name it and I like it.  And for me, it’s not quite the holidays without them.

This Christmas I was charged with contributing to the dessert table, and after much hemming and hawing I landed on the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake that I had scoped out in my mom’s newspaper during Thanksgiving.  It felt like the thing to bake for the holidays, and I was thrilled to try something new.  It turned out extra sweet and not too tart, and the batter was buttery and a great balance to the cranberries.  I would absolutely make this again, and it would be PHENOMENAL with some extra vanilla-y ice cream.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from the November 23, 2011 New Hampshire Union Leader, Page C3  
8 TBS butter at room temperature 
1 cup sugar (divided)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
1 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk is fine!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Rub bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with 2 TBS butter.  In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup sugar and spices together, and then sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Pour cranberries in next and shake pan to distribute them evenly over the pan.
Cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy;  Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.  In a separate bowl combine flour, bp and salt.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture in batches, and then alternate adding with almond milk until well combined (batter will be nice and thick).
Spoon batter over the cranberries and smooth over the top.  Place on a cookie sheet and place in oven; bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  When done, remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a pretty serving plate.  

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