The first cake I ever baked by myself was when I was in grade six. It was a pineapple upside down cake, with canned pineapple, maraschino cherries, brown sugar and butter as the base/top. I was so proud of that cake. I can distinctly recall my mom’s gorgeous pedestal plate upon which it was inverted. The beautiful yellow pineapple and bright red cherries filling the spaces made me so happy and so proud of myself. I still feel that same kind of pride today with every successful recipe creation, but you won’t find refined sugar or butter in any of my gluten free and dairy free recipes these days. Cranberry Maple Upside Down Cake, sweetened with maple syrup and maple sugar, is a healthier twist on an old classic that’s been a favoruite for generations (at least in my family). The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily replace the cranberries with blueberries, fresh pineapple or chopped apples or pears (or a combination of apples and pears), making this a year-round, super easy, staple dessert recipe.



If you don’t have easy access to maple syrup and maple sugar you could use honey instead of maple syrup and coconut sugar instead of maple sugar. I chose to use Hutchinson’s Acres maple products as sweeteners because they are produced locally, about an hour away from me, and are organic.



My cranberries were grown in a bog just three kilometers from here and purchased at my local farmers market, Wolfville Farmers Market. I bought several bags in the fall and put some in the freezer for moments of inspiration like this recipe. Back in the fall I made Cranberry Chutney, Cranberry Oat Squares and Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce, which is a delicious sauce to add to yogurt, toast or as an accompaniment to a chicken or turkey dinner. There are so many ways to use cranberries, but this Cranberry Maple Upside Down Cake is one of my new favourites.



Cranberry Maple Upside Down Cake is a wonderful winter dessert to share with family and friends. I served it to my friends this week when they came for tea and they both gave it two thumbs up.


Almond flour was used to keep the cake grain free, and arrowroot flour adds lightness to balance the almond flour in the cake. If you used only almond flour the cake would be heavy and dense. This cake is gluten free, grain free and paleo friendly.



Let me know what fruit you use for the base/top when you make this simple and versatile cake.


Cranberry Maple Upside Down Cake

Sweetened with maple syrup and maple sugar, this cake is a healthier twist on an old classic and a favourite for generations. Replace the cranberries with blueberries, fresh pineapple, chopped apples or pears (or a combination of apples and pears), making this a
year-round, super easy, staple dessert recipe.

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: cranberries, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, maple syrup
Servings: 9



  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon


  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot flour
  • ½ cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs beaten


  • Grease 9x9” pan with coconut oil.
  • In a medium bowl, mix cranberries, pecans, maple syrup and cinnamon. Spread over the bottom of the pan.
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • Add eggs to dry ingredients and combine until mixture is combined into a wet cake batter.
  • Spoon batter over cranberries and spread with a knife or spatula to cover the berries.
  • Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Immediately invert cake onto a serving plate to cool.


A variety of fruits can be used to make this cake. Fresh or frozen blueberries, chopped apples, pears or pineapple would all be great choices with maple syrup, pecans and cinnamon. Walnuts could be used instead of pecans.