Make this Cranberry Upside Down Cake the star of your keto holiday celebrations. With a luscious topping of juicy cranberries and sugar-free caramel, it’s an easy-to-make dessert that tastes as good as it looks. And it’s completely nut-free!
As you head into your holiday baking, I insist that you make room for this Keto Cranberry Upside Down Cake. Trust me, you will thank me for it!
I have wanted to make a cake like this for a very long time. I attempted a version of it years ago when I first went on a low carb diet. I didn’t really know what I was doing back then and it wasn’t my best effort, to say the least. I’ve learned a lot about baking keto cakes since then.
I’ve also learned a lot about making gooey keto caramel sauce. And that is, perhaps, the most important part of an upside down cake. So it was time to take another stab at perfecting the recipe.
And this time it’s a keto dessert worthy of a place on your holiday table!
Heavenly coconut flour cake recipe!
For this iteration, I decided to make the cake with coconut flour. I’ve been working with almond flour frequently lately and I wanted to provide something for the nut-free crowd. So I created a batter similar to my Keto Coconut Cake.
I also wanted to make sure that the topping didn’t crystallize and become hard, as erythritol-based toppings are wont to do. Adding some allulose or BochaSweet to the caramel sauce helps keep it softer and gooier.
And I used a full 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries, so that they would be the star of the show. The end result is a tender coconut flour cake with tart-sweet caramelized topping.
A dollop of whipped cream is all the adornment this upside down cake needs!
- Cranberries: I recommend fresh cranberries for this cake but frozen should be fine as well. Let them thaw before adding to the cake pan.
- Butter: There is butter in the caramel topping, as well as melted butter in the cake itself.
- Sweetener: This cranberry upside down cake calls for 3 different sweeteners. A combination of Swerve Brown and allulose make the topping deliciously caramelized and gooey. The cake itself takes a granular sweetener, and any erythritol based sweetener should suffice. Allulose will make the cake portion very dark.
- Coconut flour: This is a coconut flour cake recipe. If you would prefer to use almond flour, please see the Expert Tips section.
- Protein powder: Protein powder helps keto baked goods rise better, making them more like conventional cakes. For this recipe, you can use whey protein, egg white protein, or plant-based protein. I do not recommend collagen.
- Eggs: If you aren’t used to baking with coconut flour, you may be surprised by the number of eggs required in this cake. Trust me, you need them all to give it proper structure.
- Cinnamon: A little cinnamon really brings out that holiday flavor.
- Pantry staples: Baking powder, salt, vanilla extract.
Step by step directions
1. Make the caramel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and the sweeteners. Bring to a low boil, whisking until the sweeteners dissolve. Cook 3 minutes.
2. Add the cranberries: Let the caramel sauce cool a few minutes, then pour into a 9-inch round cake pan lined with parchment paper. Add the cranberries on top.
3. Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the eggs, butter, and vanilla, and stir until well combined. Stir in water, a little at a time, until a thick but easily spreadable consistency is achieved.
4. Bake the cake: Spread the batter evenly over the cranberries in the pan. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and just firm to the touch.
5. Flip the cake: Remove and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then run a sharp knife just around the outside and cover with a large cake plate. Flip upside down, and the cake should release easily onto the plate.
Use a good heavy saucepan to make the caramel sauce, as it can cook too quickly and burn with flimsy pans.
Lining the cake pan with parchment paper ensures that the cake will release easily once flipped. You don’t want that delicious cranberry topping to stick to the pan!
If you want a caramel topping that doesn’t re-crystallize, you need to use some allulose or BochaSweet.
Almond flour version: Use the cake from my Keto Birthday Cake. Reduce the vanilla to 1 ½ teaspoons and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread over the cranberries and bake as directed. It will probably bake through a little faster so check on it frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
You want to flip an upside-down cake so that the caramelized fruit topping ends up on top of the cake before serving. It’s best to do this while the cake is still warm so that the topping doesn’t stick to the pan. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan and cover with a cake plate. Hold the pan and cake plate firmly together as you flip them over. The cake should release easily onto your platter.
Coconut flour makes wonderful grain-free and gluten-free baked goods, but it does take some getting used to. It doesn’t behave the way wheat flour does, so you can’t simply substitute it in your favorite recipes. Please read Baking with Coconut Flour for an in-depth look at this unique baking ingredient.
This keto cranberry upside down cake is quite moist, and should be stored in the refrigerator. Wrap it tightly and it can last for up to a week. It can also be frozen for up to two months.
More delicious holiday cake recipes
Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe
- 4 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup Swerve Brown
- ¼ cup allulose (or BochaSweet)
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- ⅔ cup Swerve Granular
- ¼ cup unflavoured whey protein powder or egg white protein powder
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Water as needed I used ¼ cup
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9-inch round metal baking pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment and grease the parchment.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and the sweeteners. Bring to a low boil, whisking until the sweeteners dissolve. Cook 3 minutes.
- Let cool a few minutes, then pour into the prepared baking pan and top with the cranberries.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the eggs, butter, and vanilla, and stir until well combined. Stir in water, a little at a time, until a thick but easily spreadable consistency is achieved.
- Spread the batter evenly over the cranberries in the pan. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and just firm to the touch.
- Remove and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then run a sharp knife just around the outside and cover with a large cake plate. Flip upside down, and the cake should release easily onto the plate.
- Let cool another 20 minutes before slicing.
I made this cake tonight and it turned out delicious! This is another wonderful recipe, thank you!
I am allergic to whey…is there an alternative? and thanks for all of your fantastic recipes!!!
The recipe already states an alternative! 🙂
Amazing!!! Couldn’t be any easier or tastier! I do wonder if I could use blueberries when cranberries aren’t available.
OMG!!!!!!!! Maybe one of my new favorites!!!!
Followed the recipe exactly and turned out perfect!
Lois Pride says
I made this dessert for Thanksgiving today and oh my goodness. It was just delicious. I have your cook books and have never been disappointed with a recipe. This has been one of my favorites. The recipe was easy to follow and even with my unpredictable oven, turned out great. I will definitely make this again and again. Thank you Carolyn. Happy Thanksgiving.
Glad to hear it!
Why does the carb info read 6.3 but when I input the recipe it comes up 27.1 net
I made this last Sunday. let me just say, it was easy peasy! I had all the ingredients on because I was getting ready to make the cranberry sauce recipe and had bought extra cranberries. It was scrumptious with that nice tart cranberry flavor.Thank you for another great recipe.
I had high hopes for this cake because it looks perfect for my December ladies brunch. I made it today as a trial run. It went together so fast and easy. Now for the problem. I baked the cake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Thought it was done by the touch and light browning on the edges. When I removed the cake from the pan the cranberry/caramel topping looked and smelled burned. Tasted burned also. After cooling a bit, I cut into the cake and the center was barely baked, totally mushy. The edge was JUST short of fully baked. I’m returning it to the oven for more baking.
Any suggestions of how to prevent burning of the caramel and still baking the cakey part? I so want to serve this at my brunch.
Is your pan very dark? What kind of pan did you use and what sweeteners? Did you line with parchment?
I used a regular aluminum pan, one I’ve used successfully many times. My oven has been tested for correct temp and has been pronounced spot on. I used swerve brown and allulose by Health Garden. I believe I followed the instructions to the letter.
Even when I returned the cake to the oven for 10 minute increments at 325 it did not fully cook. I was leary of baking at 350 for so much longer but ended up baking an additional 30 minutes. The cranberries did not cook down but remained whole and round so unlike your photo.
I’m disappointed cuz I really wanted to serve this. I’ve wanted to get some USA pans ever since you raved about them. I may try this recipe again but not for my brunch. Think I’ll try another of your cranberry recipes. Thanks for your response. Really appreciate your attention to your fans.
Sorry to hear it. Thus far, it’s been getting rave reviews from everyone who tries it. Not sure what went wrong for you… often I can pin point it but sometimes I can’t. The berries staying whole is VERY strange.
I made it in an 8 x 8 USA Pan and it came out perfect! Thank you!!!
So glad you enjoyed it!
I just finished making this and had a slice, this is delicious. Thank you very much for a wonderful recipe. Nice to have a fruit dessert back in my diet.
Followed except I used ghee and a little plant based half and half, I like Ripple brand, as I’m also alergic to casein.
So glad you enjoyed it!
What could be used in place of alluose/Bocha sweet?
Please read the blog post as I addressed this question.
Hi Carolyn, I only have a 7″ springform pan. Mighty you know how long should I bake it for? Thanks!
i don’t have protein powder can I skip or substitute?
Please read the blog post to understand why it’s important. If you skip it, your results will not be as good.
Can I use a protein powder that has a flavor. I have vanilla plant based?
Yes, but cut out the additional vanilla.
Can I use frozen cranberries instead of fresh ones? Thanks!
Please read the blog post as I already answered this! 🙂
Can you substitute coconut oil for the butter in both the cake mix and the topping?
Yes in the cake but not sure how nice a topping it will make! You’re welcome to try.
Vicki Nelson says
I don’t care for the flavor of coconut flour. For making this with Almond flour, should I make a half recipe of your Keto vanilla cake since that is a 2 layer cake, or should I make the cranberry upside down cake recipe with 1 1/2 C almond flour and only 3 eggs and 1/4 C butter?
Make the full recipe – I would specify if you needed less. 🙂
Carolyn, you have done it once again. This cake was easy to make, moist and FANTASTIC. You are absolutely the “bomb”. Thank you for all that you do. ????
So glad you tried it already!
I love cranberry everything and this is fabulous! This one won’t make it for others to taste because hubby just tasted it and claimed it all for himself. ❤️ Super easy to make as well.