Upside Down Cranberry Gingerbread Cake a Country Fair Winner

Servings: 9 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours

Cooking time: 40 minutes

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Upside down Cranberry Gingerbread Cake is a sticky gingerbread with a gorgeous red crown. This recipe is a country fair winner from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Upside-down cranberry gingerbread cake

November is gingerbread month in our house. The comforting flavours of gingerbread seem to suit the damp chilly days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and when the weather turns chilly a beautifully spiced gingerbread can feel cozy and comforting.

Gingerbread is the sort of cake I almost always serve to guests and bring to potlucks. It’s always a crowd favourite and is the perfect option if you want to bake dessert a day or two ahead of time.


  • I chop my cranberries in the food processor but you could chop them by hand too. (Start with about two cups of whole cranberries.)
  • The original recipe calls for fresh ginger and cranberry juice. Both can be substituted with great success (see recipe for details).

This recipe won first place at the 2018 Hymers Fair in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Congratulations (and thank you) to T. Logan.

Upside-Down Cranberry Gingerbread Cake Recipe


  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. honey


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup cranberry juice*
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger**
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned in
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

*Can use any fruit juice, or water.

**Can replace fresh ginger with 1 1/2 tsp. dried ginger (add with other spices).


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line an 8”x 8” baking pan with parchment paper. Spread chopped cranberries in bottom of pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add remaining topping ingredients. When smooth, remove from heat and pour over cranberries. Use a spoon to evenly distribute.
  4. In a large bowl, cream remaining butter with remaining brown sugar, honey, and molasses.
  5. Stir in cranberry juice and lemon zest.
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and spices.
  7. Stir into batter then stir in egg.
  8. Spread batter over cranberry mixture in pan.
  9. Bake 30 – 40 minutes until cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  10. Cool 15 minutes then turn onto a plate.

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4 thoughts on “Upside Down Cranberry Gingerbread Cake a Country Fair Winner

  1. Kelli Charky says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. Does it freeze well?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Kelli, I’d be hesitant to freeze this cake because I’m not sure what would happen with the cranberry mixture through the thawing process.

  2. Ruth McAllister says:

    I had some small plums (which I laboriously pitted) and made this. Very good!

  3. Mitchell says:

    When you say cranberry juice, do you mean cocktail? Or would 100% pure (terra beata for example) work?

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