Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


The classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake made over into a low carb, gluten-free treat. Keeping the pineapple to a minimum and using pineapple extract helps you get all the flavor with fewer carbs.

Low Carb Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

I have many of blogger friends who are pet-owners, and their pets seem to be perpetually photo-bombing their food photography. They will post a photo on Facebook or Instagram in which the curious and hungry nose of a dog or a cat will have made its way into the shot, inching toward the delectable food and ruining the picture. And possibly ruining the food, if the blogger isn’t fast enough to catch the creature. Up until a few weeks ago, I thought I was immune to this issue. My cat, a large energetic male named Gryffin, has heretofore steered clear of my food creations and my photography set ups. He is a curious little monkey and pokes his face into many places where it doesn’t belong, but he seemed to observe my photography shenanigans with disdain.

Low Carb Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

However, he decided to get curious about this Low Carb Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I am sure it wasn’t the cake that interested him at all, being the carnivorous animal that he is. But the big wooden board I use as a backdrop seemed to capture his attention. Unbeknownst to me, he climbed right up on the table (a no-no in any circumstance) and proceeded to lean up against it from behind, sending it crashing down into the cake that I had just set up. I hadn’t even taken a single photo. Thankfully, I did manage to catch the board before it fell all the way down, but one side of my cake was smashed to bits. And I had no time to make another, as it photos and recipe were due to my editor the next day. I had to patch it back together and fake it as best I could.

I had a few moments of wanting to give him away. But then I had a bite of the cake and it was so good, I forgot to be mad.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Low Carb Recipe
Smashed side of cake!


Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

The classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake made over into a low carb, gluten-free treat. Keeping the pineapple to a minimum and using pineapple extract helps you get all the flavor with fewer carbs.


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup erythritol sweetener (I used Swerve Sweetener)
  • 2 tsp molasses
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • Cake:
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder (optional but helps the cake rise properly)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup bulk sweetener like erythritol or xylitol
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp pineapple extract (optional, boosts pineapple flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp liquid stevia extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9-inch springform pan well.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring butter, erythritol and molasses to a boil. Allow to boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add cream and vanilla (mixture may bubble vigorously). Pour topping into pan and sprinkle evenly with diced pineapple.
  3. For the cake, combine almond flour, protein powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat butter with sweetener until well combined.
  4. Beat in eggs, pineapple extract, if using, and stevia extract.Add half of the almond flour mixture and beat until combined, then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining almond flour mixture, scraping down beaters and sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Spread batter over topping in prepared pan, using a knife or an offset spatula to smooth the top.Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and just set to the touch.Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.
  6. Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen and then remove pan sides.Top cake with a serving platter and carefully flip both platter and cake. Run a sharp knife between the bottom of the springform pan and the caake topping, to loosen. Gently lift pan bottom.


Serves 12. Each serving has 10 g of carbs and 3 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 7 g.

318 Calories; 28g Fat (67.6% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 76mg Cholesterol; 270mg Sodium.


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  1. Jamie Rebecca says

    It’s official, I love you. I love everything you make but pineapple upside down cake is my favorite! my mom still makes me one for my birthday every year!!! I am so happy I could cry!

  2. JQ says

    Looks delish! Thanks for the note about LBA counting erythritol. For a second, I was worried that this blog was going “moderate carb.”

  3. Ashley G says

    Actually, we had a cat that climbed up on the table one night while we were out and ate THROUGH a plastic bag to get to the pound cake in it. She ate HALF the dang thing. I don’t know how she wasn’t sick. LOL

    • Carolyn says

      Oh my goodness! My cat has eaten a piece of bread I left on the counter once. I don’t know why he ate it, as it was moldy and gross!

      • Ashley G says

        Animals are strange sometimes. lol One of my current cats eats olives. BEGS me for them when I have them out.

  4. sandi says

    Have you ever used egg white protein powder instead of whey protein powder to do the same job in a recipe?

  5. DitaMac says

    Carolyn I love all your recipes. Did you know that Libby’s (canned) skinny fruits(no sugar added) has pineapple that is sweetened with Sucralose. It has 13 g Carbs with 1 carb Fiber. I am so glad I can eat it again once in awhile. I am going to make this cake right away. YUMMM

    • Carolyn says

      Good to know. I personally like my pineapple completely unsweetened, as I think it’s great the way it is. But if you prefer the canned variety, that sounds like a great alternative.

  6. Margaret says

    Hi Carolyn,
    I want to make this for my sister’s birthday this weekend, so I don’t have time to order any pineapple extract online, and I don’t think it is sold anywhere around here. Do you think the cake will be flavorful enough with out it, or could you suggest another extract I could add for additional complementary flavor such as maybe Rum extract?

    Thanks for your help,

    • Margaret says

      Hi Carolyn,
      I was able to make this cake this weekend and it turned out delicious!! I didn’t have any pineapple extract, so I just substituted vanilla extract for it and I think it turned out very flavorful. The cake was super moist and came out of my springform pan perfectly, so the consistency is spot on. When I asked my sister if she was going to share the cake with the rest of her family, she said maybe she would all let them all share a bite from one piece, but that she was going to hoard the rest of it for herself, it was that good!!!

      Thanks so much for creating this recipe and sharing it with all of us!!!

    • Carolyn says

      You could easily up the other sweeteners in place of the stevia. About 1/2 cup of sugar equivalent to replace the stevia I used.

  7. mary says

    What could I have done wrong. My batter never became spreadable. It was dry and crumbly. Even added extra milk but the almond flour soaked it right up. Checked the recipe twice and didn’t miss anything. Tried to bake it any way but it never set. If I used coconut flour by mistake could that have done it

    • Carolyn says

      What kind of almond flour did you use? That’s my starting guess, that you used almond meal (much more coarsely ground).

    • Priscilla says

      This happened to me also, it was VERY dry, but in reading this string of comments, I realized I had used Coconut flour instead of Almond Flour. I put that aside and tomorrow I will think about how to use it so I don’t waste 3 cups of coconut flour and the rest of the ingredients in it. It worked perfectly with the Almond Flour. It’s still in the oven, so we shall see how it tastes.

      • Carolyn says

        Oh yikes. Yes, coconut flour would be VERY dry in this application. If I were you, I might crumble it up and make “bread crumbs” out of it or turn it into bread pudding so you can add more eggs and liquid to it.

  8. Scarlett says

    Hey Carolyn,

    Could I completely sub the almond milk with liquefied pineapple? I don’t have the pineapple extract but would like more of a pineapple flavor in the actual cake. If not I’ll just add some pineapple chunks in the batter :)

  9. Scarlett says

    One more question! For the topping, do you use granulated or powdered erythritol?
    I am so excited to make (read: eat) this cake!!

    • Scarlett says

      So I made the cake and it was a big hit! My family thought it was delicious :) The only thing was, I think using food-processed pineapple instead of almond milk messed with the texture and consistency of the cake. It was incredibly delicate and crumbled super easily. It fell apart when I tried to transfer it from the pan to the wire rack :( But it still tasted delicious! If anyone else wants to sub pineapple for almond milk, I suggest they use juice instead of just running pineapple through a food processor.

      • Carolyn says

        Interesting! I can see that pineapple puree might mess with it a bit. You could also try a little xanthan gum next time. Maybe 1/2 tsp?

  10. says

    I can not locate the recipe, the link you have provided just sends me to a Betty Crocker site that does not have the recipe. Would you email me the recipe. Thanks in advance.

  11. Nikki says

    I have a question and please don’t take offense, but is the total carb count correct for the pineapple upside down cake? Serving size is 12 with total carb count of 10. The reason I ask is because my 7 yr old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Sept 2014. Pineapple Upside Down cake is her FAVORITE cake for Thanksgiving and Christmas and as you know the old fashioned cake is loaded with carbs. I have searched and researched various “recipes” and only to find they weren’t even close to what they stated for the carb count. I am by no means an expert cook/baker, and the carb counting stuff is still new to us, it freaks me out if I cant look on a label and right away know what the counts are per serving. I hope I have finally found the right recipe to satisfy and ease my mind and make my daughters Thanksgiving a little more yummy.

    Thank you so much
    Proud Momma of Wonderful Type 1 Princess

    • Carolyn says

      Hi Nikki,
      I understand why you would be so concerned. This is your child’s health we are talking about – it’s ever so much easier to take risks with your own health, but not that of your child. I have three of them…when I had gestational diabetes with my 3rd, I was so very very careful of anything I ate, because it was her health I was worried about.

      So let me explain to you how I get my nutritionals. I have a software installed on my computer called MacGourmet which taps into the govt databases on all nutrition counts for food. I’d be more than happy to show you a screen shot of the ingredients typed in for the cake. The only ingredients that don’t get added in are stevia (which has zero counts for anything) and Swerve, which is mostly erythritol. Technically, erythritol has carbs, but these carbs do not get into the blood stream and therefore don’t raise blood glucose. I have tested this over and over on myself and found it to be true (I once ate a huge piece of chocolate cake made with Swerve and it barely registered). I don’t put it into my software because it can’t handle the calculations of something that has carbs but the carbs don’t “count”. You can read more about Swerve and diabetes here:

      All of that said, everyone is different and I think you are wise to be so careful and suspicious. You should definitely be doing your own research on things like erythritol and even entering the ingredients in my cake into an independent nutritional calculator. I provide nutritional counts only as a courtesy to my readers, I am not a doctor or medical expert and my information should not be taken as set in stone. And of course, you should always, ALWAYS test your daughter’s blood sugar levels after eating anything, low carb or not. That is the only way you can verify their affect on her.

      • Nikki says

        Thank you so very much for your reply. It has set my mind at ease and I will definitely be making this for her. And of course testing glucose afterward. With two months into this whole new world I have alot to learn. Thank you very much for your help and insight. God bless and Happy Holidays.

    • Carolyn says

      The cake part is easy, just make it as is. Not quite sure how long it will bake for, but give it 15 minutes and check on them every few minutes after that. As for the topping, you will get it on the bottom of your cupcakes, but if you flip them out, I suppose that will be delicious!

  12. says

    This was delicious!! Mine took a lot longer to bake, I’m not sure why, but I’d think it was done, turn it out onto a plate- nope. Put it back, took it out, but in the end we loved it. I’m going to try it again in the future. I thought about turning the oven temp up a bit from 325*, but i didn’t want to burn the glaze.

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