The basic recipe for this cake is very versatile and can be made with apples, pears, peaches or any full-flavored, slightly acidic fruit. The cake is best served warm. (Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.)

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2009; October 2020 30th Anniversary

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Recipe Summary

active:
30 mins
total:
1 hr 50 mins
Servings:
12
Nutrition Profile:
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

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  • Heat brown sugar and 2 tablespoons each butter and orange juice in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts and the mixture starts to bubble, about 3 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Coat the sides of the pan with cooking spray.

  • Bring the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and cranberries to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until about half the cranberries have popped, about 5 minutes. Pour evenly over the cooled sugar mixture in the pan.

  • Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

  • 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 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 bowl with clean dry beaters on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Stir 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.

  • 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 at room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Tips

To make ahead: Store at room temperature for up to 8 hours.

Nutrition Facts

296 calories; protein 3g 6% DV; carbohydrates 47g 15% DV; dietary fiber 2g 8% DV; sugars 33g; fat 11g 17% DV; saturated fat 3g 15% DV; cholesterol 42mg 14% DV; vitamin a iu 259IU 5% DV; vitamin c 9.2mg 15% DV; folate 36.1mcg 9% DV; calcium 95.4mg 10% DV; iron 0.9mg 5% DV; magnesium 9.6mg 3% DV; potassium 94mg 3% DV; sodium 151mg 6% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 9% DV; added sugar 30g.

Reviews (11)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is one of the best things I've ever made from EW. However I played around with it by keeping the measurements basically the same but using various things like applesauce yogurt almond milk some cornmeal etc... It was really great but mine was a bit sweet I'll use less sugar next time. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Found this dessert addictive bet you can't eat just ONE slice. Have already done variants cran-apple and plum. Served the cran-apple with vanilla yogurt sauce spiked with cinnamon. My daughter wanted an easy recipe for Thanksgiving so I sent it to her. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I just made this tonight. I am new to baking and was not sure how it would turn out. I am pleased to say it came out great! The cake itself is so fluffy and light...delicious! I am making this to take to my mother's for Christmas Eve! Thanks Eating Well! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This cake is absolutely delectable. As if the tart but delicious cranberry topping wasn't reason enough to make it the cake itself was very moist and rich (almost like a subtler pound cake) which was surprising given the very small amount of butter in the batter. Using half whole wheat pastry flour and half all-purpose flour gave the cake a wonderfully light texture and slightly nutty flavor. And don't be intimidated by the calorie count on this recipe -- a whole 10th of the cake would be a VERY generously sized slice. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Alice Waters and Eating Well have done it again! This is marvelous. A pre-holiday test run resulted in my guy eating 3/4 of it. Thanks for this great heirloom quality recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This is an amazing recipe! My mom isn't one to compliment my cooking but she can't stop talking about this cake! It prepared/cooked just as the recipe said - and yes it's better warm. I've done variations with pears & apples & they've turned out great. Next time I'm going to put walnuts in the sugar/butter mixture for more of a sticky-bun affect! I love Alice Waters and have the privilege to live very close to her restaurant in Berekely CA. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This turned out good. Looks exactly like the picture. It'll be a good presentation for a family gathering. The cranberry's definitely tart and the brown sugar helps. Putting a dollop of whipped cream on the cake also helps with the tartness. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
11/25/2011
So Good!! This was a favorite at my Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not much on baking so glad I made this choice. I will make another for my Church gathering in December. You just can't mess this one up....so good! Pros: Easy to prepare. Cons: Tip: Add toasted Walnuts for added crunch. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
A lovely dessert for the holidays not only is very tasty it is appealing to the eye. I did follow the recipe which is not my typical mode of operation. Next time I will toast some walnuts or pecans to add to the brown sugar mixture just before I put the cranberrries over it. Read More