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Hector's Christmas Present to You!

Dec 24, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose


Hector's Take on my Cran Raspberry up-side-down cake from The Baking Bible is extremely clever, attractive, and practical. It can be adapted for other cakes.

From Hector:

Here is my take on Baking Bible's Cran Raspberry Upside Down Cake. Aside from heating the caramel too dark, I adore this idea!

I needed this cake for a large party, so I made a double recipe and used a 12" pan (twice the volume of a 9" pan equals to one 12" pan, rounds, 2" deep).

To provide center support, I fitted a 6" cake pan on the center. The end result is a large ring cake, perfectly level, plus a little 6" cake.

Pictures can describe step by step what I did. Note I am using a gluten free flour. I am happy with the looks and taste.






Note from Rose: When using wheat flour the cranberries do not rise to the top of the cake so that when inverted the cranberries are on top.


How in the world did Hectter get that six inch pan with a lip out without ruining the large cake?


hello Rose and woody , I have made this Cran Raspberry Upside Down Cake a while again and have made it double , it's absolutely wonderful..p.s. it is on my Alpha google blog..


Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Levy Beranbaum in reply to comment from Lena
02/23/2015 10:27 AM

Lena, it's always a good idea to use your eyes and nose as even the best thermometer may not be 100% accurate. I like to give the temperature for those who have dark pans and dark spatulas and have difficult accessing the color.

As you can see in the photo, the berries beneath the caramelized juices are quite dark, but as you pointed out, do not taste bitter. If you find that the juices are darkening too much in your oven, then the solution is to avoid using the stone. Ovens and other equipment do vary so recipes are only as close a guide line as possible and the rest needs to be adapted to one's own equipment.

Woody and I both tested this recipe in different locations and different ovens.

I hope this sheds some light on your question.


Hello to Editors of this website,

Unfortunately, the cranberry layer turned out very dark in the baked cake. The berries were practically black although the berry topping didn't taste burned at all. It tasted very tangy with a light caramel flavor (like caramel bonbons). I cooked the caramel, as instructed, to a light-amber color (pulling pan from fire at an even lower temp than recommended - about 152-155C), so it wasn't burned. I used a regular good-quality digital thermometer (not an infra-red one). I also did not overbake the cake - the cake layer tasted just right and was light golden-brown in color (about 30 min baking time). I agree with the Orin's comment on this page that at 166C (330F) recommended temp, the caramel would be way to dark.

I suppose the culprit was the fact that the cake pan was placed directly on baking stone (as recommended). And even though I used a quality bakeware, for an easy-to-burn cranberry-butter caramel layer, the direct, very strong heat just proved to be too much, in my opinion. Baking directly on stone is a good idea for pies, tarts, definitely pizza and other yeasted breads, possibly for sturdy-fruit (apples, pears) upside-down cakes, but apparently not for fragile berry cakes. Next time, I would put the cake pan on a good, thick-walled baking sheet, and then on stone. So that at least there's some insulation and protection from overbrowning.

I know, the purpose of placing a cake pan directly on the stone is probably to get the berries cooking and caramel melting as quickly as possible and in time for the tender cake layer to finish baking. But this recipe needs to somehow be adjusted to prevent the excessive darkening of the berry-caramel layer. I have baked a few cranberry-upside down cakes before, and didn't encounter this problem (was rewarded with a flaming-red cranberry topping). Suffices to say, none of these recipes required the use of baking stone in DIRECT contact with the cake surface. Also, for creating the right caramel sauce, those recipe relied on visual clues (color) rather than sticking to a specific temperature, measuring which can be inaccurate when dealing with small amounts of caramel liquid, like in the Rose's recipe.

I understand all the recipes for the Baking Bible were tested extensively/exhaustively before being judged good enough to be printed, so there must be a wealth of experience with various possible pitfalls that might occur. I would love to hear an expert's/recipe tester's/experienced baker's view on this, and how the problem could be solved.


Hi Woody.

Thank you for your prompt reply. I also made the the Chocolate Butter Crunch Toffee from Roses' Christmas Cookies For Christmas Eve. By the way, I really appreciate the version without the corn syrup! to make that i used the instant-read thermometer, it turned out just right... We are still enjoying it!

Happy New Year!


Hi Orin,
Today we were making the Luxury Chocolate Buttercrunch Toffee from "The Baking Bible", which gave us an opportunity to take temperature readings with the infrared vs the instant-read thermometer. We found that our infrared thermometer had an average temperature reading that was 25 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the instant-read for temperatures over 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rose & Woody


Hi Orin,
We are glad that you enjoy the cake with your substitution of GF flour.
Addressing your first comment, we have found that infrared thermometers that read the surface (external) temperature will give a different temperature reading than instant-read probe thermometers that read the internal temperature. We agree with your thinking of bringing the caramel up to a lower temperature read by your infrared thermometer.

Rose & Woody


(Please excuse the misspellings and grammatical errors. English is my second language)




a week before Christmas i have decided to make this cake.
the combination of a tart sour cranberry along with a soft cake to blend awaken my senses to rush and make this cake. here are my observation on this cake:
1.I found that the caramel was to dark at it recommended temperature. i used the digital infrared thermometer that recommended on Rose website.when the cake were all done i had that bitter after taste of a burned caramel.

2.I used GF flour too and found that the texture of the crumb were fine and the batter sweetness were perfect to my palate and did great job complimenting the cranberries.

** i used the recommended pan size **

3.I will definitely make this cake again only finishing the caramel at a lower temperature than recommended in the book hoping for a better result. I also cant wait to try the strawberry version!!!

This cake is a great way to start the day on a cold winter day side along with some fresh brewed herb tea.perfect.



Its feeling good, i will definitely try this at home. And i will let you know through this blog.




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