Upside-Down Cranberry Apple Cornbread Cake

by Nanny Bubby

I love when the Autumn foods meet the winter foods, and you can make a comforting dessert that is not too sweet. That is what this recipe represents to me. Usually, cornbread is reserved for Thanksgiving, and apples and cranberries more for the December holidays. This recipe combines both and entices your senses and palate to begin to welcome those amazing fun December celebrations coming ahead. Enjoy! and always, “Spread Love Like Butter”.

Total Time:

1 hour




  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. finely ground kosher salt
  • 2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced in thin wedges
  • 1 8-12 oz. package fresh cranberries rinsed and stems removed
  • 1 c. finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ c. whole milk room temperature

To moisten and finish the cake:

  • 1/3 c. pure maple syrup or honey


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Melt ½ stick butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar along with the cinnamon and salt. Cook stirring constantly until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • Arrange the apples in concentric circles on top of the brown sugar mixture in the pan. Pour the bag of fresh cranberries and smooth evenly over the top of the apples. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the remaining 1 ½ sticks of butter together with the granulated sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. On low speed, add half the dry ingredients and half the milk, then alternate adding the dry and then the milk one last time. Increase the speed to medium and beat just until everything is well mixed, scraping down the bowl once. (Use a spatula to be sure there are no dry ingredients stuck to the bottom of the bowl.)
  • Pour the batter evenly over the apples and cranberries in the skillet, then use a spatula to gently smooth it out, being careful not to disturb the apples.
  • Bake until the top is golden brown and puffed and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • With a toothpick or fork, pierce the cake all over. Generously drizzle the maple syrup or honey over the top and allow to seep into the cake to moisten it.
  • Let cool for 20 minutes. While the cake is still warm, run a butter knife around the outside, then invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Enjoy! And, “Spread Love Like Butter”


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