Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake

A rich, moist, buttery cake is served upside down, to show off the elegant, tangy, and delicious orange cranberry topping. That’s what you can expect from this Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake. 

A slice of Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake on a plate next to a fork.

The sweet flavors of orange blend perfectly with the tart cranberry and makes a perfect holiday dessert. If you’re into holiday sweets, check out my recipe for Vegan Gingerbread Whoopie Pies. Or how about my Vegan Carrot Cake. Perfection!

Looking down on an Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake on a crystal platter, with rosemary sprigs and fresh cranberries close by.

I’m so in love with this cake. I think I’m going to become an Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake evangelist. I’ll begin with this emphatic testimonial. This cake changed my life!

OK. I know that’s a little dramatic. This cake didn’t really change my life…it just expanded my horizons. I had no idea cranberries could be this good!

Looking down on a cranberry topped cake on a crystal serving dish. Fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs are around it.

I guess I developed a less than favorable impression of cranberries based of years of seeing the jiggly cylinder of it on our Thanksgiving day table. I never could imagine eating something that looked like it was still in a can even when it wasn’t. Spam does that and I never really liked Spam that much. How could canned cranberry sauce be any different?

I don’t actually know the answer to that question because I never actually tried it. But I have been hankering to try some cranberries ever since I read about the incredible health benefits they offer. Cranberries tout a high amount of polyphenols, those nice cancer-fighting antioxidants we all like to include in our diets.

A slice of cranberry cake sits in front of the rest of the cake and some fresh cranberries and a rosemary sprig.

I think this is a great way to add healthy cranberries to my diet. Maybe I should have a piece of it every day? Of course, that might conflict with my annual new year’s goal to lose a few pounds. So maybe we shouldn’t eat it every day, but if you’re like me and you want to add some cranberries to your diet, there may be no better place to start than with this delicious, elegant, and not-too-difficult-to-make Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake. It comes with plenty of antioxidants and a few oohs and ahhs to spare!

Sit down and have a slice of Namely Marly's Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake

A rich, moist, buttery cake is served upside down, to show off the elegant, tangy, and delicious orange cranberry topping. That’s what you can expect from this Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Marly


  • 4 tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Marmalade
  • 2 3/4 Cups Cranberries , fresh or thawed from frozen


  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter , softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Heat your oven to 350F and grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • For the Topping: Melt 4 tablespoons vegan butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar, marmalade and cranberries. Cook this over medium heat until the cranberries are softened, 3 -5 minutes. Use a strainer to remove the liquid from the cranberries, reserving the extra liquid in a bowl. Pour the strained liquid in the saucepan and simmer over medium heat until it thickens.
  • Arranged the softened cranberries in the bottom of your prepared cake plan. Pour the thickened sauce over the cranberries until covered. Reserve any extra liquid to pour over cake before serving.
  • For the cake, mix together the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Add the orange zest and stir to incorporate. In a separate, large bowl combine the vegan butter, sugar, vanilla, water, and apple cider vinegar.  Stir until combined. Pour over flour mixture and stir until combined.
  • Spoon batter over cranberries in prepared cake pan, distributing equally. Place the pan in the oven and bake 35 – 40 minutes, until golden brown. 
  • When it’s ready, remove the cake from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan and invert the cake onto a serving dish. This cake will serve better if you let it cool before cutting.


*I also made a gluten-free version by using gluten-free baking flour mixture
Nutrition Facts
Orange Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 234mg10%
Potassium 73mg2%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 550IU11%
Vitamin C 3.9mg5%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


Updated by Marly · Permalink