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Vegan cranberry upside down cake slice in white plate with fork.
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5 from 11 votes

Vegan Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

This pretty vegan cranberry upside-down cake has a moist, airy, tender crumb and a juicy, glossy topping of bright-red cranberries. It's soy-free and nut-free and it can be gluten-free.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Cake/Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 256kcal



Cranberry topping

Cake batter


  • Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the sides and bottom of the pan with vegan butter or oil.
  • Mix the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon for the cranberry topping in a small bowl.
  • Spread the sugar mixture in the bottom of the cake pan. Top with the cranberries.
  • Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar in a cup.
  • Whisk all dry ingredients for the cake batter, including the sugar, in a large bowl.
  • Pour the melted butter, milk-apple cider vinegar mixture and pure vanilla extract into the bowl.
  • Mix with a spatula just until the batter comes together. Don't overmix.
  • Place the cake pan in a baking sheet. Pour the batter over the cranberries in the cake pan.
  • Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly over the cranberries.
  • Bake in a preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen. Place a rimmed plate over the cake pan and flip quickly to unmold. Peel off the parchment paper carefully and let the cake cool on a wire rack. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.


Helpful tips
  • Use a springform pan for easy unmolding. After flipping the cake all you need to do is open the clasp and lift it off. If you don't have one a cake pan will work nicely. Make sure you line the bottom with parchment paper and run a knife along the edges to make sure nothing's sticking.
  • Placing a baking sheet under the pan can help catch any juices that overflow, especially if you are using a springform pan, and it also keeps the cranberries from burning.
  • Don't wait longer than 15 minutes after the cake is out of the oven to unmold it. The sugar in the cranberries will begin to stick to the sides of the pan as it cools down, so it's crucial you unmold while the cake is still quite warm.
  • For a gluten-free cranberry cake, follow the cake recipe (replace the bananas with the toppings in the "cranberry topping" section above) from this vegan banana upside down cake.
  • Use whole wheat pastry flour for a healthier cake that also has a light, moist crumb. You can also replace the sugar in the cake with maple syrup, or reduce the sugar to ½ cup and add ¼ cup applesauce.
Storage instructions
  • Refrigerate: The cake and leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Freeze: Freeze the cake or individual slices in a freezer safe container and freeze up to four months.
  • Thaw to room temperature and warm a bit in the microwave or a toaster oven before serving.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg