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Topsy Turvy Cranberry Cake

I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s eve & day.  We sure did! I’m eager to share how we spent our time & my NEW word for the New Year, but first things first.

Before all those beautiful bags of fresh cranberries go out of season, you MUST make this cake!  Next time you go to the grocery store, grab up a few bags and throw them in your freezer.

Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protect our cells from nasty free radicals that cause disease.  I’ve read that extracts of cranberries killed breast cancer cells in a test tube…but it is unknown whether the same happens in the body.  I’d like to think so as I eat my Topsy Turvy Cranberry Cake!

This simple cake is a great way to get your all of that goodness and have dessert, too.

I made it 3 TIMES over the holidays, and it is so easy to throw together that one of those times I did it with a houseful of guests. It took no time & no concentration.

 The cranberries are tart, the cake adds the perfect amount of sweetness, and when you turn it topsy-turvy onto a plate, the cranberries shine! The cake is soft on the inside with just a bit of a crunch where the oven browned the top..which is now the bottom.  It is perfect for dessert, or even as part of brunch with a cup of coffee.

My husband has NEVER liked any type of cooked fruit dessert, but he tried this cake and ate it up!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Who knew that such a simple recipe would convert my husband to a cooked- fruit -dessert- eater after all of these years!  Makes my head a little topsy turvy!

Topsy Turvy Cranberry Cake (original recipe)

Butter for the pan
2 cups fresh cranberries, washed & sorted
1 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs (I’ve used chia egg substitute–that is what you see in the pics, little black dots of chia… and it works great)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I use Earth Balance)

Set oven to 350.  Butter a round or square 8″ pan.

Throw the cranberries into the pan, add 1/3 cup of sugar and toss.  Spread evenly in the pan.

In a bowl (I use a 4 cup glass measure) melt the butter in the microwave.  Add eggs, 2/3 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of flour.  Stir well.

Put on top of cranberry mixture and spread, covering the cranberries.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until golden on top.

When serving, flip topsy turvy onto a plate.  Can sprinkle the top with sugar for a pretty, sparkly finish.


This can also be served right side up as a crustless cranberry pie. Here is an interesting read from The Boston Globe about this recipe:

This popular crustless pie is essentially a cake-y batter poured over fresh cranberries in a pie pan, baked until the cranberries make a saucy bottom for the buttery top. Cambridge resident Sandra Shapiro clipped this many years ago from The New York Times and writes, “I bake this in an attractive earthenware pie plate.” Her recipe was called “Mrs. Arthur Morawski’s Cape Cod Cranberry Pie,” and the clip said it was baked by Hester Griffin for the West Dennis Library. Similar recipes have appeared in The Boston Globe’s Confidential Chat, in Laurie Colwin’s “More Home Cooking,” where it was called “Nantucket Cranberry Pie,” and in Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?,” in which she adds an apple to the berries.



Whole Wheat Brownies

Boy, oh boy I’m excited about this recipe. I found it at Heavenly Homemakers. I have made it 3 times in that last 3 weeks:). It truly is just as easy for me to make as a boxed brownie mix, and tastes very good! I love that it is made with just a few ingredients that I feel good about feeding my family.
Why do I consider these healthy? They are made with whole foods- there is nothing artificial in them. They should still be eaten in moderation (don’t consume the whole pan in one sitting:)), because they are not low calorie, but DO feel good about feeding them to your family because the ingredients in them provide nutrients that benefit the body, instead of harming it.
I am a firm believer that even treats can be beneficial. When it comes to foods in my home, I do not want my family consuming EMPTY calories. I want to be purposeful in making foods that will do the body some “good.” These brownies are an example of that.
Here are a few of the good things that are in this recipe:

  • Whole wheat flour- provides maganese, dietary fiber, tryptophan, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and iron.
  • Eggs- source of protein
  • Butter-vitamins A, E, K and D, anti-oxidants, and selenium.(post coming soon on why I am at peace about eating butter, despite the saturated fat)
  • Cocoa-antioxidants (flavanols)
  • Rapadura-used in place of white processed sugar. Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane and evaporated to dry it into granules. Low heat is used so vitamins and minerals are retained. It has a natural balance of sucrose, glucose and fructose. Your body metabolizes it more slowly than white sugar, so it will not affect your blood sugar levels as much as refined sugars, so no crazy sugar rush! Remember, the more refined the sugar, the more it raises your blood sugar. Rapadura can be found at your local health food store. I use it in many baked goods in place of white sugar. If you want to read more about the different types of natural sugars, click here.
If I were to buy boxed brownies from the store, they would be made with white refined flour (the processing removes nutrients, vitamins and fiber), white processed sugar (empty calories, makes blood sugar spike), and oils. Not to mention anti-caking ingredients and preservatives. I think making them homemade takes little extra time with a whole lot of benefit!
If you still are set on buying boxed, Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix is a brand I highly recommend and have used. They are yummy! The ingredient list is: Turbinado sugar, whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa, milled flax seed, salt. Now that is what I’m talking about!!
If you go to Heavenly Homemakers website, she shows you how to make homemade chocolate chips to put into these brownies. I am so not there when it comes to being motivated to do that, maybe someday. I use some AMAZING milk chocolate chips from my local health food market. I like the ingredients they choose to use in them, ones I know and trust. They are on the pricey side, so that may get me motivated to make my own!

Whole Wheat Brownies
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup rapadura
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Stir together butter, rapadura and cocoa. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

I recently tried these out on some extended family members that were a bit apprehensive about the word healthy and brownie in the same sentence. I am pleased to announce they liked them! Pleased, but not surprised..


Foodie Friday @ Designs By Gallum
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Challenge @ The Grocery Cart Challenge
Made It Mondays @ The Persimmon Perch