Thanksgiving Recipe: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake




Football is great, and it's always nice to see the family, but let's face it: Thanksgiving is all about the food.  Any home cook worth their stuffing knows that producing this autumnal feast takes serious planning.  Determining the head count, drafting and re-drafting menus, testing recipes, and of course, considering the family vegan,  are all de rigueur.  

For the Horn of Plenty Planners, Hot From The Kettle will be rolling out Thanksgiving recipes and libation suggestions from our favorite local specialists.  First up is Chef Bill Zucosky from Livingston's, Strip House.  He offers a recipe that uses one of NJ's prominent crops, the cranberry.  

According to the Strip House, "[t]he majority of cranberries are harvested during the month of October. Cranberries rank high on the list of fruits richest in health, promoting antioxidants."  At the Strip House, Zucosky uses a recipe his grandmother shared with him as she prepared for Thanksgiving at their family home each year. Here it is: 

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake 

by Bill Zucosky of Westminster Hotel  & Strip House, Livingston, NJ.


For the topping:

4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

¾  cup packed brown sugar

¾ lb cranberries

¼ Kirsch (optional)

For the cake:

1 ½ cups all- purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

¼  tsp. salt

8 Tbsp. ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup milk

⅛ tsp cream of tartar

Zest of 1 orange


  1. To make the topping: Butter a 9 inch round cake pan.  Put the butter, brown sugar and the Kirsch in the prepped pan and warm the pan using medium heat.  Stir the mixture until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.  Scatter the cranberries over the mixture. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. To make the cake: In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and zest and mix well. Using a silicone or rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk.
  4. In a bowl, using a whisk or an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Using the spatula, fold the whites into the batter.
  5. Spoon the batter over the cranberries in the cake pan, spreading it evenly. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert onto a serving plate, let stand for 5 minutes, and then lift off the pan.

In addition to our regular menu, Thanksgiving additions will be served.

Cream of Mushroom Soup - $12

White Truffle Oil

Roasted Fresh Turkey - Adults $40/Children (under 12) $18

Savory Brioche Stuffing, Spiced Cranberry Sauce, Twiced Baked Sweet Potatoes, Braised Greens, Gravy

New Jersey Cranberry Upside Down Cake - $10

Where: Strip House

Located at the Westminster Hotel, 550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, NJ 07039

Not Inclusive of Tax and Gratuity