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.
Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe
- 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.