It’s November, which means the holidays are fast approaching! With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, we wanted to share a recipe for one of our favorite side dishes, cranberry upside down cornbread muffins.

While many may associate cranberries with Wisconsin, the berry is actually native to Northeast bogs and wetlands. Native Americans, particularly the Narragansett people, prized the fruit, using it in everything from health remedies to dyes to beverages. Cranberries were also used in pemmican, an energy bar-like food that served as a valuable source of nutrition during the cold winter months.

These days, most people associate the fruit with a can of jiggly cranberry sauce, usually served alongside the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings. Fresh cranberries, however, are delicious, and can easily be found at the farmer’s market or grocery store. October and November are peak season for the berry, so snatch them up while you can! We suggest using some of your cranberry bounty in these muffins, which add a wonderful red hue and a sweet-tart flavor to classic cornbread.

Cranberry Upside Down Cornbread Muffins

Course Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword baking, cornbread, cranberries, quick, Thanksgiving
Servings 8 servings


Cranberry Bottom

  • 3 cups (12 oz bag) fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Corn Muffin

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • cup hot water
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. 

  2. Combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest and juice in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While cooking, make batter.

  3. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, incorporate. Add buttermilk, water and butter. Stir to combine and batter comes together.

  4. Divide cranberry sauce to just cover muffin tins (amount will depend on muffin tin size.) Add batter over top. Bake 15-20 minutes, for mini-muffins, longer for larger sized muffins or full cakes, until golden.

  5. Invert immediately and serve warm.

We hope you give this delicious seasonal recipe a try. Here’s to happy holiday preparations!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Let us know in the comments below!

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