A few days after Christmas, I got the flu, which then morphed into viral bronchitis (fun, eh?), so I haven’t spent that much time making anything other than tea and chicken soup. However, I was really itching to bake something before I go back to work, so I thought: “why not make something that is full of cold-fighting ingredients, so it doesn’t make me feel worse?” (Any excuse works when it comes to me justifying my desire to bake!) Things like:
- Honey – can soothe sore throats, is full of antioxidants and is anti-bacterial (source)
- Oranges & cranberries – contain vitamin C, which helps you fight colds (source – a book written by my favourite chemist, Linus Pauling. Yes, I am a nerd.)
- Ginger – is an antihistamine and decongestant (source)
- Coconut oil – helps your immune system and isn’t soy. (source)
Since sugar is known to not help your immune system, I wanted to reduce the amount used and use honey instead for its illness fighting properties. I did include a small amount of unrefined granulated sugar as I know that cakes get part of their fine crumb from granulated sugar. Plus, I’ve never really baked with honey so I didn’t want to stray too much from the original recipe.
The cake turned out quite well – it wasn’t overly sweet, the cranberries and orange flavour played off each other wonderfully, the cranberries were sufficiently goopy and delicious (look at the edge of the cake – upside down cakes can’t get better than that!) and the cake texture is moist and delicate. It wasn’t overly ginger-y, so if you like ginger, please feel free to add more!
I’m pretty sure that you can make this recipe to be egg free easily – either add two egg replacers or increase the xanthan gum to 1 tsp, add an extra tsp. of baking powder and increase liquid by ~ 4tbsp or until your batter reaches the desired consistency. If you try this, please let me know!
The cake was inspired by this honey cake from Free From Kitchen. The upside-down-ness was inspired by this Cranberry Upside-down Cake by The Daily Dietribe, this cake from Hungry Cravings and the pineapple upside down cake in the Joy of Cooking.
Gluten, Dairy, Refined Sugar and Soy Free Honey Orange Ginger Cranberry Upside Down Cake
For Cranberry Upside-Down-ness
~ 3 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 c. honey
Grated fresh ginger (~ 1/2″ x 1″ knob, more or less to taste)
1 – 2 tbsp. sucanat
1 package fresh cranberries
45 g brown rice flour
40 g sorghum flour
20 g millet flour
30 g sweet rice flour
40 g tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of Salt
100g coconut oil
35 g sucanat
1 tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 – 2+ tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp. almond milk
2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place the 3 tbsp. coconut oil in a 9″ cake pan and place in the oven until melted (about a minute). Swirl around to coat the bottom.
- Combine honey, ginger and sucanat in a measuring cup. Pour into pan and spread out over the coconut oil.
- Place pan back in oven, stirring every few minutes until sugar mixture bubbles a lot. Remove from oven.
- While pan is heating, wash cranberries and remove the gross ones. Once pan is out of oven, spread cranberries over pan until it is entirely covered in a single layer. Set aside.
- Zest orange and squeeze the juice out of one half. Grate the ginger.
- Whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Set Aside.
- In a small saucepan, mix together the coconut oil, honey and sucanat. Heat up, stirring, until the sugar starts to dissolve. The coconut oil will stay separate from the honey and that is okay.
- Pour mixture into bowl of a stand mixer. Add zest and ginger.
- Alternate adding flour with the orange juice/almond milk, adding more liquid if needed. Beat until combined. Don’t over beat as you’ll end up with channels in your cake like I did.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
- Scrape into pan over cranberries and spread evenly.
- Bake in oven for 25 – 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place a pan on the rack below to catch any drips.
- Let cool for a few minutes on a rack before placing a serving plate over the pan and inverting. Remove pan and let cool.
What do you do for sweets while sick?