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Easy Cranberry Upside Down Bundt Cake Recipe with a Cake Mix

Fresh cranberries and a vanilla cake mix are transformed into a decadent and festive Cranberry Upside Down Bundt Cake that is perfect for the holidays.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword banana bundt cake, blueberry pound cake, cake mix pound cake, cranberries, cranberry upside down cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cool Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10


Cranberry Topping

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup light or dark brown sugar {packed}
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries

Vanilla Cake

  • 1-15.25 ounce box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Serving Items {Optional}

  • 12-15 fresh cranberries
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar {to sprinkle over the top of the cake}


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your bundt pan by liberally spraying it with nonstick spray and set aside.

Cranberry Topping

  1. Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and whisk until the mixture is melted and the brown sugar is dissolved. Pour it into the bottom of the prepared Bundt pan.

  2. Top the butter and brown sugar mixture with the fresh cranberries in an even layer.

Vanilla Cake

  1. Combine cake mix, water, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix with a handheld mixer {or by hand} until everything is incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and on top of the cranberry topping. Be sure to spread into an even layer.

  2. Bake in a 350° oven for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few crumbs {but no raw batter}. Remove from oven and place onto a cooling rack for 10 minutes {that is a magical number}. After 10 minutes run a knife around the edges of the cake. Then invert your Cranberry Upside Down Bundt Cake onto a cake plate and cool completely. If cranberries stick to the bottom of the pan just use your fingers to remove them and place them onto the cake.

  3. To serve, sprinkle the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar and place additional cranberries and fresh herbs {I used thyme but rosemary would work great too} around the edge of the cake. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

  • To use frozen cranberries, run water over the frozen berries until they are no longer frozen.  Dry any excess water from the berries and then add to the cake as directed.
  • A spoon of whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream both taste great served with this cake too!