I Love Desserts

Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake
with Cranberry Pecan Topping

Pumpkin Upside-Down Cake

Makes 8 to 10 servings


Creating desserts with pumpkin is always a challenge. Pumpkin purée is so strong and thick that practically everything you make with it ends up tasting like pumpkin pie. And although pumpkin pie will always be a favorite dessert, especially for Thanksgiving, it is nice to be able to offer an alternative. The recipe for this cake comes from a very good home cook, Bea Petcavich. I transformed it into an upsidedown cake with cranberries and pecans in a brown sugar topping. It's a festive cake for autumn—don't wait until November to try it!

8 ounces (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups cranberries
4 ounces (1 cup) coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (see page 26 of book)
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin purée
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chantilly Cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the cranberries and pecans. Place them in the pan over the brown sugar mixture.

In a large bowl, whisk togetherthe eggs, pumpkin purée, and oil. In another bowl, sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Carefully spread the batter over the cranberry pecan topping.

Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Place a large plate or platter on top of the cake. Invert the cake and plate together, then remove the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.

Let cool completely before serving. Serve with Chantilly Cream.

Planning Ahead: The cake can be made a day in advance; wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.


Buy the Book!


A Passion for Desserts
by Emily Luchetti
Chronicle Books
192 pages with color photographs thoughout
$35.00 hardcover
ISBN: 0-8118-3178-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


A Passion for Desserts



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This page originally created October 2007 and modified October 2007 Arrow to Top