This recipe from Nick Leighton and Leah Bonnema–hosts of the hilarious etiquette podcast Were You Raised by Wolves–pretty much sums up everything we look for on our podcast The One Recipe. 

It’s a recipe with provenance. It comes from Cathy Burgett, a cooking instructor at the legendary Tante Marie Cooking School in San Francisco where, while he was still in High School, Nick took evening and weekend classes. It’s a simple, and adaptable recipe, as Leah learned, when she swapped in blueberries for the cranberries. And it yields a sneakily fancy result because, according to Nick, everything feels more fancy when it’s upside down.

Time: 10 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking, 10 minutes cooling, 65 minutes total

Serves: 8-12


  • 4.5 oz butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar (7 oz), divided

  • 1 lb cranberries

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1 tsp. orange zest

  • 1 ¼ cup flour (6 ¼ oz)

  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • ½ cup milk


Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9” cake pan, and line with a parchment round. Sprinkle ½ cup sugar evenly over the bottom and arrange the cranberries in the pan. In the bowl, cream together the remaining butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange rind, and beat the mixture until it's well combined. 

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, stirring just until combined. Pour over the cranberries, smoothing the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown. Transfer to a cake rack, and let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and invert it onto a cake stand or plate. 

Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream if desired.