Recipe Makeover: Carb Smart, Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple lovers, rejoice: Carolyn Ketchum of All Day I Dream About Food has created a version of our popular Healthified Pineapple Upside Down Cake that’s carb smart, gluten free and diabetes friendly. Talk about sweet!


If I could wave a magic wand and make any food lower in carbohydrates, it would be pineapple. It’s long been one of my favorite foods and I used to eat it any chance I could get. I even ate almost a whole pineapple on the day of my high school graduation, that’s how much I loved it. But tropical fruits tend to be quite high in natural sugars and I have to eat them much more sparingly these days.

Many people on low carb diets tend to avoid high sugar fruits like pineapple altogether. However, I’ve found that I can use some in baked goods and still get all the great flavor without adding too many additional carbs. To make over pineapple upside-down cake to be a low sugar, gluten-free treat, I used only 1 cup of diced pineapple and skipped the sugary maraschino cherries altogether. Then I used a little pineapple extract to boost the flavor. The result was a tender almond flour cake with a sweet caramel and pineapple topping that was a hit with adults and kids alike!


To use your favorite fruits in lower carb or lower sugar treats, consider these tips:

  • Dice or chop the fruit finely to get a good distribution throughout the recipe. A single apple or a cup of pineapple or cherries can give you plenty of flavor without too many carbs per serving.
  • Buy fresh fruit instead of the canned variety. Canned fruit is often packed in sugary syrup and even if you drain it, the fruit will retain some of that added sugar.
  • Extracts can help you boost the fruit flavor without any additional carbs or sugar. I like to keep a number of extracts on hand for baking.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – Carb Smart, Sugar Smart, Gluten Free, Grain Free

Serves 12


3 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup erythritol sweetener (I used Swerve Sweetener)

2 teaspoon molasses

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup diced pineapple


3 cups almond flour

1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder (optional, helps the cake rise properly)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup bulk sweetener like erythritol or xylitol

2 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pineapple extract (optional, boosts pineapple flavor)

1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia extract

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk


Step 1
Preheat oven to 325° and grease a 9-inch springform pan well.

Step 2
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring butter, erythritol and molasses to a boil. Allow to boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add cream and vanilla (mixture may bubble vigorously).

Step 3
Pour topping into pan and sprinkle evenly with diced pineapple.


Step 4
For the cake, combine almond flour, protein powder (if using), baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.


Step 5
In a large bowl, beat butter with sweetener until well combined. Beat in eggs, pineapple extract (if using) and stevia extract.


Step 6
Add half of the almond flour mixture and beat until combined, then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining almond flour mixture, scraping down beaters and sides of bowl as needed.

Step 7
Spread batter over topping in prepared pan, using a knife or an offset spatula to smooth the top.


Step 8
Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and just set to the touch.

Step 9
Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen and then remove pan sides.


Step 10
Top cake with a serving platter and carefully flip both platter and cake. Run a sharp knife between the bottom of the springform pan and the cake topping, to loosen. Gently lift pan bottom.


Did You Know?

Nutrition information (per serving): 318 Calories; 28 g Fat (67.6% calories from fat); 9 g Protein; 20 g Carbohydrate; 3 g Dietary Fiber; <4 g sugars; 76 mg Cholesterol; 270 mg Sodium.

Nutrition data was calculated by the author and has not been verified by General Mills.

Always read labels to make sure each recipe ingredient is gluten free. Products and ingredient sources can change.