Crustless Cranberry Cake

Tart cranberries and almonds make for an irresistible combination. This cake is delicious served with vanilla bean ice cream or covered with hot vanilla custard.

With eight weeks to go in our school year, it’s time to get creative with items remaining in our pantry and freezers. Our pecan upside-down pumpkin cake was a delicious way to use up a cup of frozen pumpkin puree that survived the holiday season. Our next challenge was two cups of cranberries from the freezer door. I found a promising recipe for a crustless cranberry “pie.” We are fans of tart and sweet flavor combinations, and this recipe was a terrific way to use those residual cranberries. I decided to pulverize the almonds so they would provide more flavor than texture.
Crustless Cranberry Cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds pulverized to the consistency of coarse flour
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (used instead of butter)
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons almond syrup (the kind used to flavor drinks in coffee shops)
  • (optional) zest from 1 orange or 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one deep 9-inch pie pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the almonds, and toss to coat. Stir in the applesauce, beaten eggs, and almond extract. The mixture will be very thick. Spread the batter into the greased pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Serve warm with whipped cream, ice cream, or warm vanilla custard.


Recipe adapted from

Upside-Down Pecan Pumpkin Cake

Moist, packed with flavor and topped with crunchy nutty deliciousness, this upside-down will have your guests glad they saved room for dessert. 

I baked this cake in a 9-inch springform pan because that was the best pan for the job in my cupboard. Set on a baking sheet it worked well, and unmolding the cake was a cinch.

Upside Down Pecan Pumpkin Cake


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, evenly divided and melted
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
  • 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecan halves on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or until aromatic.  Remove from the oven and let cool. Coarsely chop the pecans and set aside. Leave the oven set to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt one stick of butter in a small sauce pan. Add pecans and brown sugar, mix thoroughly. Spread this mixture evenly at the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, mace, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Melt second stick of butter.
  5. Add melted butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree into a mixing bowl. Beat together with mixer until well combined, about 2 minutes.  Add flour mixture and stir with spoon until just combined.
  6. Pour batter on top of pecan mixture in the baking pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool, approximately 5 minutes.
  7. Place a plate over the cake and invert to unmold cake and let cool completely.

We served the cake with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and cups of freshly steeped almond roobios tea.

This recipe was adapted from

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