Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cranberry Orange Upside Down Cake (grain-free)

I adore cranberries as you probably already know if you've been reading my blog. This healthy cranberry orange upside down cake recipe isn't very rich or sweet. In fact I sweeten it with just a few tablespoons of maple syrup. It's plenty sweet for my family though. Once you cut sugar out of your diet your taste buds become very sensitive to the sweet flavor and you just don't crave or desire sugar. In fact, you might even become repulsed by it!

This cake uses high-fiber coconut flour with the addition of arrowroot powder. The combination of the two flours creates a fantastic texture. This recipe is very simple to make, in fact, you can put it together in minutes! I posted a recipe very similar to this last summer, remember? You can go back and check out my Apricot-Cherry Upside Down Cake post for more photos on assembling the cake.

Cranberry Orange Upside Down Cake

This recipe is very versatile. Don't like cranberries? Substitute blueberries or sliced apples with cinnamon. You can also try a pear-gingerbread version. Replace the 2 tablespoons orange juice with 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses. Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to the dry ingredients. Core and thinly slice 2 ripe pears and arrange them in a concentric pattern on the bottom of the pan. The texture and flavor of this cake tastes best the day it is made. Serve it with hot spice tea at the end of a good meal.

unbleached parchment paper
2 cups fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon organic butter or coconut oil (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

Dry Ingredients:
6 tablespoons coconut flour
6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
4 large pastured eggs
4 tablespoons melted organic butter or coconut oil
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of 1 organic orange

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a 9-inch cake pan onto a sheet of parchment paper and draw a line around the bottom with a pencil. Cut out the circle and place it onto the bottom of the cake pan. Grease the sides of the pan with butter or coconut oil.

In a small bowl mix together the butter or coconut oil, maple syrup, and arrowroot powder. Spread it onto the parchment paper in the cake pan (I use an offset spatula to do this). Arrange the cranberries on top of the butter-syrup mixture.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and quickly whisk together until combined. Pour batter over fruit and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let pan cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes then carefully flip out onto a plate; peel off parchment paper. Let cool and then serve. Enjoy! Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

For more refined sugar-free and grain-free recipes, check out my new book: Nourishing Meals!

About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Can this be made vegan? Can the eggs be substituted with flaxseed meal eggs? It looks great!
    Sherry @ MissionMama

  2. I don't have any coconut flour on hand - what substitutions would you recommend (I have oatmeal flour and all purpose gf flour in my pantry)? Thank you for your all of delicious recipes and educational posts!

  3. Where can we buy your new book in Canada? I'm in Saskatchewan. It's not available at Amazon.ca or Chapters / Indigo! :( I love your first one and would really like a copy of this one.

  4. I'm in Saskatchewan too - I bought it off amazon.com.

  5. What a gorgeous cake Ali! I'm definitely going to try that flour combo - coconut flour does need something to lighten it. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  6. Looks lovely! Is there a substitute for Arrowroot flour? All purpose GF-flour perhaps? Thanks for posting!

  7. The pear/gingerbread version sounds amazing!!

  8. I just bought some coconut flour today and have been looking for a recipe to use it and then I found this. I prefer not the use added sugar in my recipes but maybe a little stevia could replace the maple syrup.

  9. Made this yesterday and it's amazing!! I have been sugar free for past 3 weeks so this with it's little amount of maple syrup just has the perfect sweetness! I am double the recipe and make it into muffins.

  10. Baked this cake yearsterday. Love it. Very easy and tastes good. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. That looks delicious! I've never tried a grain-free cake, think this might be a good place to start, thanks!

  12. Wow! looks yummy and delicious! I love cranberry. This really perfect for a good afternoon dessert.

  13. I made this and used a spring-form pan and didnt turn it upside down..loved it. its in the oven for round #2. didnt have OJ or zest so used lemon juice, fresh, both times. i LOVE the texture of it. Thanks Ali!

  14. So glad I found your site! You have great recipes! This cranberry cake looks amazing!! Definitely making!!

  15. Dear Ali I absolutely love your website and all your recipes although I have noticed in the last couple of months there have been a lot of posts for deserts. I try to limit sugar in any form and I have found myself visiting the site less and less. Please keep the delicious and nutritious recipes coming :)

  16. So beautiful and so delicious-sounding. Definitely going to have to try this.

  17. Hello Ali!
    I made this for dessert last night. It was great - and I will definitely be making it again.

    Instead of using whole cranberries, I subbed in the pulp from a juice I had made earlier in the day, which was made up of 2 oranges, 1 apple and about 1 cup of cranberries. It was a neat way to successfully "do" something with the pulp.
    Chrystal in Canada

  18. Made it last night. It's gone tonight... My oven is very fussy, had to bake it double time and it was a bit dry. But yummy nevertheless! Thank you


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)