Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe

There has been a conspicuous lack of desserts on my blog lately. Wisdom and good sense dictate that since I am writing a gluten free dessert book I should not be publishing dessert recipes on my blog. But I’ve never been one to worry too much about wisdom and good sense.

Besides, when I heard that the lovely Elana from Elana’s Pantry was hosting this month’s Go Ahead Honey, it’s Gluten Free event and that the theme was grain-free cakes or cupcakes, I knew I had just the entry. Not only is this Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake gluten- and grain-free, it also happens to be perfect for the upcoming holiday season.

Topped with a jewel-like crown of glistening cranberries, this upside down cranberry cake is a beautiful addition to any holiday table or dessert buffet.

Even though the cake is inverted onto a serving platter after baking I cook it in a springform pan as a regular cake pan isn’t deep enough. Just be sure to wrap the outside of your pan with foil first or you will have the pleasure of cleaning your oven as well as serving this show stopping cake.

Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake recipe

4.75 from 4 votes
Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 512kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More



  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ cups fresh cranberries washed and dried


  • 8 ounces pure almond paste not marzipan or tart filling
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 3 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and wrap the outside with two sheets of aluminum foil pinching it well around the bottom.


  • In a small, heavy saucepan, cook the butter, brown sugar and salt over medium heat until the butter is melted, the sugar dissolved and the mixture comes to a slow boil. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly and top with the cranberries. Even out the cranberries and gently push them into the brown sugar mixture. Let cool slightly while preparing the cake.


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the almond paste with the butter until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy (about 2 more minutes). Turn mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each egg is fully mixed in, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla extract and orange zest and mix in well.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add half the almond flour mixture, then the orange juice and finally the rest of the almond flour mixture and mix well. With a large spatula, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter over the cranberries, place the pan on a baking dish and bake for 35-45 minutes or until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes and then invert the pan onto a serving platter. Let the pan stay on the cake for 2-3 minutes, then remove it. Let the cake cool.
  • This gluten-free cake is best served slightly warm or at room temperature and is especially good served with lightly sweetened whipped cream.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Cranberry Upside Down Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 170mg7%
Potassium 123mg4%
Carbohydrates 47g16%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 37g41%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 485IU10%
Vitamin C 5.8mg7%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Almond Flour Baking Cake Cranberries Holiday Recipe Upside Down
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  1. Stephanie
    November 23, 2009

    Oh my! This cake looks so good! Thanks for sharing such a fabulous dessert recipe! Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving :)

  2. H.Peter
    November 23, 2009

    I already placed my copy for a signed and dedicated copy. So go ahead and publish…

  3. Federica
    November 23, 2009

    splendida questa torta! complimenti!

  4. Lauren
    November 23, 2009

    This looks delicious! Can't wait for the book, I'm positive it will be fabulous =D.

  5. GF Gidget
    November 23, 2009


  6. Daily Spud
    November 23, 2009

    Show-stopping indeed! And I'd still be getting a copy of your book, even if you published all of the recipes on your blog, so there :)

    1. November 17, 2011

      I was so confused about what to buy, but this makes it understaabndle.

      1. November 18, 2011

        Thank you, glad to help!

  7. Jenn/CinnamonQuill
    November 23, 2009

    This is stunning. Definitely bookmarking it!

  8. Jas.
    November 23, 2009

    oh – I love when photo just fill your mind with the scents and memories of the season and this screams christmas! Love it and the recipe.

  9. Chow and Chatter
    November 23, 2009

    oh wow what a fab cake and great color with the red

  10. Iris
    November 24, 2009

    What a perfect holiday dish!

  11. Jennifer (Savor)
    November 24, 2009

    I have yet to use almond flour–how does the texture come out? I have many gluten free recipes but have yet to make any muffins/cakes without AP or WW flour

  12. Naomi Devlin
    November 24, 2009

    Did nobody notice that you forgot to list the sugar in the cake? I thought for a moment it was sugar free – but sugar free and cranberries = sour! It looks like an absolutely gorgeous cake. Thanks for taking part in Go Ahead Honey.

    x x x

  13. Simply...Gluten-free
    November 24, 2009

    Re Naomi's comment:
    Oops – recipe has been corrected now and has the sugar for the cake listed in the ingredients. That's what happens when your blog host starts loosing her mind.

  14. Marillyn Beard
    November 30, 2009

    Looks beautiful!! Wish we had access to cranberries & almond flour/paste. At least I can enjoy it with my eyes :o)

  15. Jenn
    November 30, 2009

    Oh what a perfect cake for fall!! Mmmm I love cranberries, and I bet the almond paste really adds a great flavor to the cake!!

  16. Amy
    December 1, 2009

    I just found this cute video at the bottom of this page with a great video:

  17. Cynthia
    December 1, 2009

    Wow, you are the best. I am sending your link (yet again) to another friend who is on a gluten-free diet.

  18. gfe--gluten free easily
    December 5, 2009

    Phenomenal use of cranberries, Carol! So pretty. :-)


  19. heidi leon
    December 8, 2009

    this looks great, can I substitute the almond flour for other type of flour? I can't find it around here..

  20. Jamie Stern
    February 10, 2010

    I found your blog and wanted to get in contact with you regarding your recipes.

    I have launched an online store dedicated to providing resources and products to people suffering with Food Allergies, Food Intolerance and those requiring other special diets.

    One of those resources is giving my customers some great recipes to try…and in the process, promoting cookbook authors/bloggers.

    If you are interested in participating, I provide direct reference to your blog and also include a link back to your website.
    I can pull your entries directly from your site. I add them individually with social media mentions as well. Additionally, I feature an author each month in my newsletters.

    I also noted that you are a Tampa resident, I am as well.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  21. Michelle
    November 2, 2011

    I have been cooking with almond flour – no problems But I HATE almond paste, is there any way to do this cake without it? what does it add to the cake besides flavor? what could I substitute it with? I used to make a cake like this when I ate Gluten and I loved it.

    1. November 16, 2011

      I think if you don’t like almond paste that this is not the recipe for you – it adds structure as well as a very unique flavor. You could try to make it without but I am not sure what it would be like – almond paste is basically almonds and sugar so you would need to add sugar for sure.

  22. Jude
    November 15, 2014

    I just tried your cranberry upside down cake with high hopes, and didn’t realize until after it was in the oven that the commercial almond paste is not guten-free. (So, alas, I had to eat it by myself.) I also found it very very sweet, and am wondering if you have since done anything with the recipe to temper the sweetness.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      December 1, 2014

      Hi Jude,

      Hmm, I’m sorry it didn’t quite work out for you. No, I haven’t changed the modified the recipe, but I will certainly keep your comment in mind, as I will go back and review it.

      I hope you had a great holiday!


  23. Mara
    December 20, 2019

    Loved the ingredients and had high hopes for this cake but even after 45 minute baking time at the 350° temp it was golden and smelled great but was not even close to being done which I discovered only after removing it from the pan. An expensive fail.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      December 23, 2019

      Hi Mara,
      I’m so sorry to hear that! This cake is definitely softer and more moist than others, so it might have a different appearance than you’d expect, however if a toothpick was inserted in the center and it came out clean, it should have been fine. If the toothpick wasn’t clean then it would need a little longer. To prevent the outside from getting too dark before the inside is done, it’s best to cover loosely with foil once it gets to the proper golden brown color. Did you change anything about the steps or make any alterations to the ingredients? Let me know and I can try to better determine what might have gone wrong.

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