Upside-Down Cranberry Cornbread

upside down cranberry cornbread

Upside-Down Cranberry Cornbread

Cranberries are a sweet but assertive fruity complement to this moist, yet crumbly golden cornbread. This recipe is a tasty twist to traditional cornbread, combining the best qualities of cranberry sauce and cornbread. It will surely make for an attractive addition to your holiday table!

Serves 8-10


For the topping:
12 ounces (1 bag) fresh cranberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cornbread:
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


8-cup baking pan (8×8 or 9×9 inch pans, 9×5 loaf pan or 10 miniature loaf pans)
Parchment paper


Prepare the topping:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the pan using butter or non-stick cooking spray, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, and grease the pan again.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss well to evenly distribute. Spread the cranberry mixture in the pan over the parchment paper. Set aside.

Prepare the cornbread:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together the butter, eggs and buttermilk and another bowl, and then add to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Pour the batter over the cranberries in the pan. Lightly tap the pan against the counter to smooth the top. Bake in the preheated oven until golden or a toothpick or tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes depending on the pan size. Cool slightly for 5-10 minutes, invert and remove parchment paper.


The cornbread can immediately be served warm, but is also delicious when eaten a day or two later at room temperature.


The best thing about cornbread is that it is so versatile. Everything from savory bacon bits and cheese to sweet blueberries and honey make a terrific addition. Mix cranberries into the batter rather than use as an attractive topping, or bake in a cast-iron skillet to mimic the traditional Southern method.

Recipe and photo by Monica Glass