Cranberry Upside Down Cake {With Cake Mix}

Easy Christmas cranberry upside down cake recipe with yellow cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with pineapples, fresh cranberries, orange zest. Super soft and moist.

Everyone loves classic upside down cakeS, but you know what makes it even better? Cranberries! They add so much flavor and holiday flair to an already delicious dessert. This Pear Cake {Pear Upside Down Cake} is another twist based on this Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake . Make sure to try each variation and you won’t be disappointed.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake With A Slice Cut Out

How To Make Cranberry Upside Down Cake With Cake Mix?

  1. Prepare upside down topping in baking pan– Add melted butter, sprinkle brown sugar, distribute pineapples and cranberries.
  2. Prepare yellow cake batter– Using box instructions.
  3. Assemble- Pour batter on top of cranberry pineapple mixture.
  4. Bake– Until golden brown on top.
  5. Enjoy– Loosen cake from pan and turn it onto a large dish.
Slice of Cranberry Orange Upside Down Cake on White Plate

Why Did My Cake Stick To The Pan? How To Remove It?

Make sure to grease your pan before you pour in the batter. This will help prevent it from sticking. Also, let the cake cool for 10 minutes after baking. Then, run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen it. Then, gently turn it onto a large cake dish. Tap the cake pan on top to ensure the cake has released fully, and remove the cake pan.

When Should I Flip My Cake Upside Down?

Let it cool for 10 minutes and then flip it. If you flip it right away, it will break apart. If you let it completely cool, it will stick to the bottom of the cake pan.

How Do You Keep Pineapple Upside Down Cake From Getting Soggy?

The cake is supposed to be very moist. However, in order to prevent excessive sogginess, make sure to drain any excess juices from the pineapple by partially squeezing the juices out in a sieve or cheese cloth.


Do you have to refrigerate upside down cake? Yes, This cake has fresh fruit in it so it needs to be refrigerated. You can refrigerate it in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Freeze– Once the cake cools down completely, wrap it in saran wrap, and place it in a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month. When you are ready to enjoy it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight.

What To Pair With Cranberry Cake?

Vanilla ice cream is a great pairing for this cake, but if you want some additional sweetness, then frosting is a great addition. Try any of these as a topping:

Partial Slice of Upside Down Cake With Cranberries and Pineapples on White Plate

Variations for Cranberry Christmas Cake

Add coconut– For a tripical texture and flavor

Add zest– I used orange zest but you can also try lemon or lime zest.

Add nuts– Such as toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans. Use them in the topping.

Cranberry orange cake- Add orange extract and orange zest for a bright and wonderful complimentary flavor.

Dried cranberry cake– I don’t recommend using dried cranberries. Fresh works better and adds juice which then adds moisture to the cake. Dried cranberries add an awful chewy texture.

Add other extracts– Such as almond extract or almond extract or coconut extract.

Add rum sauce– I have never done this, but some people really enjoy this version.

Pair it with a topping– Such as frosting, whipped cream, melted chocolate, caramel sauce or ice cream.

Add other berries– Replace cranberries with raspberries, blueberries or blackberries.

Closeup Shot of the Inside of Christmas Cake on White Dish

Tips And Techniques

Fresh cranberries vs. Frozen cranberries– I don’t recommend frozen ones since they release a lot of water during baking and ruin the texture!

Butter vs. oil– Butter is the only way to go because it adds so much flavor to the overall cake!

You must use brown sugar– It can not be replaced with granulated sugar or other sweeteners because it will lose its caramelized flavor.

How do I know when upside down cake is done? Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Top of this baked cake will be odd and bumpy- And that’s normal. There is no need to fix it or flatten it because the cake will be flipped over and that top portion will end up at the bottom anyways.

Canned pineapples vs. Fresh pineapples- I prefer canned pineapples because of the convenience. I have not tested this recipe with fresh pineapples to know how it would affect the recipe.

Pineapples must be partially squeezed out- Because this prevents the batter from getting too wet and ultimately prevents a soggy cake.

What cake mix to use? Yellow cake or butter cake or even white cake are all good choices.

Collage Image on How to Make Cranberry Upside Down Cake- Process Shot

More Cranberry Desserts

More Christmas Cakes

Easy Cranberry Upside Down Cake with Cake Mix on White Dish- Overhead Shot
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Cranberry Upside Down Cake (With Cake Mix)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Easy Christmas cranberry upside down cake recipe with cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Loaded with pineapples, cranberries, orange.
Yield: 16 Slices


  • 1/2 cup Butter, Unsalted, Melted
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 can Pineapple tidbits, Drained and excess juices partially squeezed out in sieve or cheese cloth
  • 1 1/4 cup Cranberries, Fresh, Washed, Patted dry
  • 1 box Yellow cake mix, Plus ALL the ingredients listed on the box
  • 2 tsp Orange zest
  • 1 tsp Orange extract, Optional but highly recommended


  • Grease a rectangle cake pan (Dimensions: 13×9) with oil spray.
  • Pour melted butter in the pan and spread it out.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on top.
  • Add pineapples. Try to spread them out as best as you can.
  • Add cranberries as evenly as you can.
  • Keep aside.
  • Prepare the yellow cake batter, according to box instructions.
  • Mix in orange zest.
  • Pour batter on top of cranberry pineapple mixture.
  • Spread it as evenly as possible with a spatula.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. The top will have an odd, bumpy, uneven appearance and that's normal.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  • Run a knife along the sides of the cake to loosen it.
  • Then, gently turn it onto a large cake dish. Tap the cake pan on top to ensure the cake has released fully.
  • Remove cake pan.
  • Add swirls of whipped cream on top of your cake, if you like, once it fully cools down. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 55mg, Potassium: 69mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 128
Author: Abeer Rizvi

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