Simple and elegant, perfect for any occasion, this gluten-free Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake is a truly versatile dessert that tastes a little bit like Christmas but that’s so light and refreshing, you could just as well serve it on a hot summer day! And if you’re paleo but include a little bit of dairy in your diet, than good news: it’s totally suitable to your lifestyle! 

I had a container of fresh cranberries left from Christmas still sitting in the fridge and for weeks now, I’be been wondering what to do with it. Good thing cranberries do keep for a long time! I also had a few oranges — t’is the season after all — so my mind added 2 and 2 together, and I started getting visions of some kind of an upside down cranberry orange cake. Cranberry Orange IS such a winning combination! 

However, even though I did have fresh oranges on hand, I really wanted their flavor to shine through, so I decided to use concentrated orange juice in my cake. If you really are adamant on using freshly squeezed orange juice, though, you could very well do that; only you’re not going to get as strong an orange flavor.

As for the batter, I didn’t even think twice as to which route I was gonna take. The Gluten Free Cherry Almond Cake that I’d made not too long ago had been so spectacular, I pretty much decided to go for the exact same batter, with a few minor modifications.

This all resulted is a cake that I could simply eat for day: it’s super fresh, not overly sweet at all, crazy tangy, super dense but extremely moist at the same time. It’s a cake that has a flavor profile that’s slightly reminiscent of the Holiday season, but that would be just as suitable in the dead of summer.

In short, this Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake would be a great contender for any table… from the big fancy celebration to the casual outdoor picnic with friends.  This one definitely gets 5 stars from me!

Fresh cranberries mixed with orange juice and honey being poured out of a white bowl and into an aluminum cake pan

Grease a 8″ cake pan (be sure that you use a pan that has high 3″ sides, otherwise you will have way too much batter) and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; preheat your oven to 350°F.

Combine the cranberries, orange juice concentrate and honey in a mixing bowl; stir until well combined and pour into the prepared pan; set aside.

A mixture of flours being whisked together in a white bowl

Combine the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and mix delicately with a whisk until fully combined and airy. Set aside.

A couple of eggs, yogurt, buttermilk and honey just about to get whisked in a blue bowl

Combine the sour cream, buttermilk, orange juice concentrate, honey, melted coconut oil, eggs, vanilla and orange essential oil in a large mixing bowl. Whisk promptly and vigorously until all the ingredients are fully combined.

A mixture of sour cream, eggs, buttermilk and honey is being poured into a bowl containing a combination of flours

Pour the wet ingredients all at once over the dry ingredients…

Some cake batter in a white bowl is being stirred with a blue rubber spatula

…stir delicately with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined, no more.

An aluminum cake pan filled with cake batter, ready to hit the oven

Pour the batter over the cranberries and spread evenly all the way to the edge.

A baked cake right out of the oven, still sitting in the cake pan

Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 50 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool to room temperature then transfer it to the fridge until it’s completely chilled.

A cranberry orange cake freshly turned onto a dark brown cake plate, garnished with a few slices of orange

Run a knife around the cake then turn it onto a cake plate; if you find that your cake offers a little bit of resistance when you come to take it out of the pan, warm the bottom a little by wrapping it in a warm cloth or dipping the bottom of the pan in a little bit of warm water.

Remove the parchment paper and garnish the top with a few slices of orange, if desired.

The finished Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake sitting in a dark brown cake plate, garnished with slices of orange and pretty white flowers

This Gluten Free Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake is very elegant as it stands and doesn’t need that much garnish, but if you wanted to kick things up a notch, a few blossom flowers or even fresh mint leaves would totally take the cake to the next level!

The finished Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake garnished with slices of orange and pretty white flowers, sliced open.

Serve cold or at room temperature; keep any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.

A single slice of Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake sitting in a white plate with a fork next to it, garnished with a pretty white flower

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5 from 1 vote

Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Simple and elegant, perfect for any occasion, this gluten-free Upside-Down Cranberry Orange Cake is a truly versatile dessert that tastes a little bit like Christmas but that's so light and refreshing, you could just as well serve it on a hot summer day! 
Servings: 12

Ingredients

CRANBERRY ORANGE TOPPING

WET INGREDIENTS

DRY INGREDIENTS

Instructions

  • Grease a 8" cake pan (with 3" sides) and line the bottom with parchment paper; preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the cranberries, orange juice concentrate and honey in a mixing bowl; stir until well combined and pour into the prepared pan. Reserve.
  • Combine the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and mix delicately with a whisk until fully combined and airy. Set aside.
  • Combine the sour cream, buttermilk, orange juice concentrate, honey, melted coconut oil, eggs, vanilla and orange essential oil in a large mixing bowl. Whisking promptly and vigorously until all the ingredients are fully combined. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients all at once over the dry ingredients and stir delicately with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well combined. Pour the batter over the cranberries and spread evenly all the way to the edge.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 50 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool to room temperature then transfer to the fridge and chill completely.
  • Run a knife around the cake then turn it onto a cake plate; remove the parchment paper and garnish with orange slices if desired.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature; keep any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes

Be sure that you use a pan that has high 3" sides, otherwise you will have way too much batter
If the cake won't slide out of the pan easily when you try to unmold it, try warming the bottom a little by wrapping the pan in a warm cloth or dipping the bottom of the pan in a little bit of warm water.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 204mg, Potassium: 273mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 245IU, Vitamin C: 20.3mg, Calcium: 104mg, Iron: 0.8mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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