Apple-Cranberry Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake

Apple-Cranberry Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake
Photography by Matt Armendariz / Recipe Development by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Tanous / Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairnes

Seasonal fruits elevate this Southern-inspired Apple-Cranberry Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake that reminds Chef Julie Tanous of her childhood in Alabama—where her mom always has cornbread on the stove. For more on their story and more of their amazing recipes, check out Julie and award-winning actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s food blog Jesse & Julie and our Holiday 2016 issue!

Apple-Cranberry Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake
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  1. 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed if frozen
  2. 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch wedges
  3. ¾ cup (180 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  4. 1½ tablespoons (13.5 grams) cornstarch
  5. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  6. 1¼ cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  7. ½ cup (80 grams) fine-ground yellow cornmeal
  8. 2 teaspoons (8 grams) baking powder
  9. ¼ teaspoon (1.5 grams) baking soda
  10. ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) fine salt
  11. 1 cup (210 grams) granulated sugar
  12. ¾ cup whole buttermilk
  13. 2 large eggs, whisked
  14. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  15. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  16. 10 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
Cream topping
  1. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  2. 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 9-inch round cake pan, line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper; set aside.
  2. For cake: In a large bowl, toss together the cranberries, apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, and zest; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  4. Pour the apple-cranberry mixture in the bottom of the prepared cake pan, and spread them out in an even layer, making sure the cranberries are evenly distributed all around. Pour the cake batter on top and smooth out. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
  5. For cream topping: In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Invert the cake on a cake stand or serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh whipped cream, if desired.
Bake from Scratch


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    • Hi Amanda!

      Thanks for reaching out! You can directly substitute white cornmeal for yellow if it is also a fine-ground meal. Happy baking!


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