The classic American upside-down cake gets a seasonal adjustment via whole cranberries (fresh or frozen) flavored with orange. They bake underneath a simple butter-cake batter that ends up soft and tender, and the whole dessert gets a luscious topping of softly whipped cream flavored and speckled with seeds from half a vanilla bean. This is a cake that was destined to be served warm.
Make-ahead note: Bake the cake 1 day ahead and, when thoroughly cool, wrap it well in plastic film. Rewarm, covered with foil, in a 300°F oven for about 15 minutes.