It was still warm, and the first person to cut into it probably thought it was a pudding-filled cake. The center was not all the way baked! How embarassing. But my gracious friends ate the edges of the cake, which were fully baked and still said the cake tasted good.
This weekend I attempted this cake again, with great results! I don't think there's anything inherently difficult about this recipe; I must have unknowingly done something weird the first time.
A perfect Christmas cake, I love the tart cranberries. For the optional flavorings, I added almond extract and nutmeg. Delicious!
Upside-Down Cranberry-Caramel Cake
from Smitten Kitchen
Unsalted butter or cooking spray for the baking pan
2/3 cup (5 ounces) packed light brown sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (8 1/2 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
Optional flavorings: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon zest, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, few gratings of fresh nutmeg or a combination thereof
Whipped cream, optional
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and cover the bottom with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the melted butter, molasses and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir well and pour into prepared cake pan. Set pan aside.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together into a bowl or onto a sheet of waxed paper and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sour cream together at medium speed until well blended. Add optional flavorings of your choice. Scrape down the bowl and add remaining melted butter (1/2 cup) and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
Add the cranberries to the prepared baking pan and gently press the fruit into an even layer. Dollop the batter on top and use an offset spatula to gently nudge it into place without disturbing the cranberries underneath. Bake on the center rack (with a tray underneath to catch drips) until golden and a tester inserted into just the cake comes out clean, 35 - 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan then insert over a flat platter that is larger than your cake pan, to catch any puddling or jumping cranberries. Remove the parchment paper.
Serve warm, with freshly whipped cream. The cake will keep for two to three days covered at room temperature.