Sweet and Tart: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake Recipe for Serious Eats

This cake may not redefine every thought you've ever had about cranberries, but it will turn them upside down--literally.

Swapping out cranberries for the classic pineapple in this upside-down cake yields a surprisingly pleasant result: the fresh berries, while still assertively tart, are pleasingly matched by a buttery, sweet cake and a brown sugar-butter topping. The sweet-tart taste has a few advantages: first, it makes it seem vaguely healthy and therefore perfect as a breakfast cake; second, the tartness of the cranberries is sublime when paired with the sweet contrast of a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Stuff It: Stuffing Cupcakes With Mashed Potato Frosting by Ryan's Baking Blog

CakeSpy Note: Were you grossed out by the Turkey Cake I made for Thanksgiving? Well, vegetarians can rejoice with this guest post from Cake Gumshoe Ryan, whose sweet adventures can be followed via his great site, Ryan's Baking Blog! This recipe for trompe l'oeil savory "cupcakes" is far easier to make veggie! Here he goes:

This isn't technically stuffing, it's called "dressing" since it wasn't cooked inside a turkey...but I'm going to call it stuffing because it's easier. It's vegetarian too! And looks like a cupcake!!! I baked it in a cupcake tin and then topped it with some mashed potatoes. It's really perfect for Thanksgiving coming up or any dinner. It's easy to eat, compact, and gets two of your side dishes together. You could garnish it with chives or (vegetarian) bacon or just leave it as is like I did. It's super easy to make and is an easy way to impress your guests.

I prefer using an ice cream scoop to top it off but you could pipe the mashed potatoes.

You can use any kind of stuffing/dressing recipe and mashed potato recipe if you have your own favorite, my family stuffing recipe is really simple, it's vegetarian, and it's delicious. If you aren't vegetarian and would like to use broth, you can replace the water with equal parts of Chicken Broth, which is what the original recipe called for (and how I ate it before I became a vegetarian), but being a vegetarian I just use water and it still comes out tasting great.

Vegetarian Stuffing "Cupcakes" Makes about 10 cupcakes


  • 1 lb loaf of bread, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, more to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F and butter a muffin tin (or an 8" square pan). In a large bowl, mix together the bread cubes, water, and applesauce. Everything should be moist but not soggy, you can add a little more applesauce or water if it isn't moist enough. Mix in the salts and pepper and mix until combined, adding more to taste. Fill up muffin tin holes to the top (since they won't rise) and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the tops are slightly browned. Cover the tops with parchment paper and foil if you want a softer top, leave it uncovered for a more crisp top. Allow to cool slightly in pan, top with mashed potatoes, and serve warm.

Simple Mashed Potatoes

Makes a little more than enough for the cupcakes

  • 3 potatoes, I used russet baking potatoes, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Scant 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Garlic Salt, to taste Salt, to taste
  • Procedure

Boil potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the water and move the potatoes to another bowl (or stand mixer) and beat with an electric mixer (or stand mixer) with the butter and cream until fluffy. Add salts to taste, or you could add cheese or anything else you like in your mashed potatoes. Use an ice cream scoop to put a heaping spoonful of mashed potatoes on each stuffing cupcake or use a piping bag and tip to make a nice design. Add garnish or gravy and serve warm.

Thanksgiving Pie Chronicles: Cranberry Pecan Pie in a Maple Peanut Butter Cookie Crust for Peanut Butter and Co.

CakeSpy Note: Did you know that I'm an all-star? Well, an all-star blogger, anyway, for the lovely and amazing Peanut Butter and Co.! Here's a peek at my latest recipe entry, for Cranberry Pecan Pie in a Maple Peanut Butter Crust!

Don’t get me wrong–Thanksgiving has a lot going for it food-wise. But sadly, the traditional offerings are extremely lacking in rich, delicious peanut butter.

But what if–just what if–you combined classic Thanksgiving flavors with a peanut butter cookie crust?

I wanted to find out, and so I prepared a thick Mighty Maple peanut butter cookie crust, which I then filled with a mixture of tart, unsweetened cranberries and crunch pecans, all topped with a thick, brown sugary, pecan pie-inspired filling. The result? Total magic: the tartness of the cranberries is perfectly balanced by the richness of the peanut butter and pecans, and the maple and sugar contribute plenty of sweetness. It’s a flavor combination to be thankful for, indeed.

For the full entry and recipe, visit the All-Star Recipe Blog on Peanut Butter and Co.!

Pie Another Day: Delicious Pie Fries from Leftover Pie Dough Scraps For Serious Eats

When it comes to pie, my mantra is "I must increase my crust." But even carbohydrate addicts find themselves with extra scraps of pie dough from time to time. And I now have the best solution for making use of them: Pie Fries.

I came across this idea from Seattle piemaker Dani Cone, whom I suspect is a genius, and whose High 5 Pie offerings have been rated some of the best in the country.

The concept is simple behind these pie fries: simply put your pie scraps on a baking sheet, slice them into fry-sized pieces, brush with butter, cinnamon and sugar, and bake until crispy. Want extra cute points? Put 'em in pillow boxes (available at most craft supply stores) or paper cones and serve with jam for dipping.

Of course, if the fry shape isn't your thing, you could always cut out the shape of your choice, perhaps a pie dough unicorn (like the one I made with the cookie cutter I bought at Cookies in Seattle?)

For the full entry and recipe/tutorial, visit Serious Eats!

Thanksgiving Sweetmeats: Turkey Cake With Mashed Potato Frosting and More for Serious Eats

This Thanksgiving, there's a new delivery method for stuffing turkey in your pie-hole: bake it as a cake.

That's right: inspired by this recipe on Chow.com, I decided to serve up layers of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, all in one beasty feast of a trompe l'oeil cake.

While some may have trouble coming to terms with the savory nature of such a sweet-looking treat, ultimately brave eaters will be rewarded: it's like the best of Thanksgiving leftovers all stacked into one tasty bundle.

Note: This recipe is actually quite open-ended in terms of how you stuff your turkey cake. I added a layer of green beans and fried onions to mine, but if you prefer to add or omit any of the classic Thanksgiving side dish flavors, it's totally up to you.

Pop It Up: Pumpkin Pie Pops for Serious Eats

Riddle me this: what doesn't taste better on a stick?

While you ponder that epic question, let me introduce you to a pint-sized pop of flavor guaranteed to delight your dining companions this Thanksgiving: the Pumpkin Pie Pop.

A sweet way to serve the classic autumn treat, these pops are ideal for crust lovers, providing a high crust-to-filling ratio. This also allows you to go a little sweeter with the filling: I substituted sweetened condensed milk for the more-frequently used evaporated milk in my batch, which provided a deliciously rich, caramelly-tasting filling as a result.

View the full tutorial and recipe over at Serious Eats!