A Healthier & Tasty Desert Recipe for Christmas from Dr. Phil

Posted on November 29, 2012 by


Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

This rustic cake is a delicious alternative to pie and uses one of the tastiest fruits of the fall harvest—cranberries. The basic recipe is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches, plums or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. Just arrange the fruit in the skillet before you pour the batter over it. The cake is best served warm; if you can, put it in the oven just before you sit down to dinner. (Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.)

10 servings

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes (including 15 minutes cooling time)

Nutrition Profile

Low cholesterol | Low sodium | High fiber |


  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, divided
  • 1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature (see Tip)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk, at room temperature
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons orange      juice in a large (12-inch) cast-iron or regular skillet over medium heat,      stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the mixture starts to      bubble. Let cool. Coat the sides of the skillet with cooking spray.
  3. Bring the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and cranberries to a simmer      in a medium saucepan, stirring often, until about half the cranberries      have popped. Pour evenly over the cooled brown sugar mixture in the      skillet.
  4. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt      in a medium bowl.
  5. Separate egg whites and yolks. Place the yolks in a large bowl and      add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, oil, granulated sugar and vanilla.      Beat with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium-high speed until      light and fluffy. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with milk, using a      rubber spatula, starting and ending with the flour. Stir just until the      flour is incorporated. Beat the egg whites in a clean dry mixing bowl with      clean dry beaters on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Fold      one-third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest      until almost no white streaks remain. Spread the batter over the      cranberries.
  6. Bake until the top is golden brown and the cake pulls away from the      sides of the pan, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for      15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and carefully invert      the cake onto a serving plate. Let cool for at least 30 minutes more      before serving. Serve warm or room temperature. Garnish with whipped      cream, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour      has less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps      ensure tender baked goods. Find it in the baking section of the      supermarket or online at bobsredmill.com and kingarthurflour.com.
  • Kitchen Tip: To bring an egg to room      temperature, set it on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the      shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.


357 calories; 13 g fat ( 4 g sat , 5 g mono ); 55 mg cholesterol; 57 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 194 mg sodium; 94 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 3 1/2

Exchanges: 4 other carbohydrates, 2 1/2 fat

Nutrition Note: Vitamin C (15% daily value).

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