Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake, Grain Free, Keto Friendly

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I put this low carb apple upside down cake on instagram a few days ago. It was such a visual hit that people began begging me for the recipe. After remaking this recipe for a potluck the other night, I can tell you people went back for seconds and they are not on a grain free or sugar free diet.

Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake from Spinach Tiger #glutenfree #keto #apple #cake #almondflour #paleo #recipe

This Low Carb Upside Down Apple Cake is Kitchen Tested, Sugar Free, Gluten Free

I had to bake a few to make sure expectations were met. I had a few validations along the way.

  • A friend was thrilled when I served her this apple upside down cake at lunch. She couldn’t believe it was low-carb.
  • Retro Rose gave a piece to her friend and she asked me to bake him a cake because he loved it so much. He is not on a low carb diet or any diet. That is always the best test of an alternative flour cake.
  • I probably ate a little too much of this one, because it was just that good.

In developing this recipe, I referred back to my pumpkin cake post.  I loved the texture of that cake which had a cup of pumpkin. I had to find something to replace the pumpkin for moisture and sour cream was my answer.

Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake from Spinach Tiger

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Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake Tested Three Times

If you know me, you know that I will test and retest alternative flour recipes,  especially those I believe to be timeless. This incredible mediterranean olive oil orange cake (made with real oranges) took six tries until I was happy.

I did three test bakes on this low carb apple cake to get the texture right.

Every step I take in the kitchen has my readers in mind. I put myself in your shoes, and I want to make sure you can duplicate this at home. This is also why I focus on basic recipes rather than super fancy cakes.

Once you get the basics, you can create anything!  If you are successful with this yellow cake recipe, you will be able to make many variations. You could use pears in this recipe, or use the basic batter for a blueberry cake.

I have come to the point that I love baking with almond flour more than any other flour because thirty cakes later, I think I’ve gained a little expertise. However, I’ll keep learning more tricks and sharing with you.

Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake from Spinach Tiger #glutenfree #keto #apple #cake #almondflour #paleo #recipe

The Baking Process for Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake

This  cake is made with almond four and sweetened with swerve. If you’re unfamiliar with Swerve, it’s a powdered erythritol, that has a net 0 carb count. You can use it with a one to one ratio.  

Ingredients for Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake from Spinach Tiger

I used two large envy apples, peeling and slicing them thin. If you have apples left over, double up and use all the apples. I used to use Swerve’s brown sugar, but since have found making my own brown sugar with blackstrap molasses is better. It’s mixed with butter to get the sauce that goes into the cake pan first, followed by the apples, followed by the batter.

The cake itself does not contain apples within the batter. The apples are placed in the bottom and will serve as the topping once you turn the cake over. I prefer this. The flavor of the cake is boosted by the ground cardamom. If you don’t have that, you can use a teaspoon of vanilla and dash of freshly ground nutmeg or use all three.

Homemade Brown Sugar for Glaze

Since I first posted this, I discovered it’s easy to make my own brown sugar by mixing 1 tablespoon of black strap molasses to 2 cups of Swerve. I only use 3/4 cups of this for the topping. Blackstrap molasses has 14 carbs, so basically it’s only adding one extra carb to each serving.

The brown sugar glaze is basically brown sugar and butter. 

The tricky part is making the brown sugar glaze that goes in first. This mixture can stick to your sauce pan, so as soon as it’s ready, pour into your prepared cake pan and immediately put in your sliced apples. I ended up using a pan with a removable bottom.

This is a USA pan, the best pan made in America (or anywhere as far as I’m concerned) and worth every penny. Anytime you need to order cake pans, sheet pans, please consider USA pans. I can stand happily by this recommendation, and you will have them a lifetime.

If you do, foil it very well and put a pan under it in case of drips. If you don’t have a pan with a removable bottom put a big piece of parchment paper in pan, so you can make sure you can turn the cake over.

Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake from Spinach Tiger #glutenfree #keto #apple #cake #almondflour #paleo #recipe

How to Store Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake

Cake is good at room temperature, loosely covered, or in refrigerator.

Cake can be frozen, defrosted at room temperature or microwaved. I also make this in the bakery in individual lala cake pans. 

I enjoy a low carb life style, but am in now way completely giving up fruit. This delicious apple cake is still very low in carbs and in calories.

Nutrition Value: 1 of 12 slices is 7 net carbs, 202 calories.

More Low Carb Grain Free Cakes from Spinach Tiger

overhead view pumpkin cake

Apple Almond Tart

Grain Free Apple Almond Tart

Grain Free Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Cheesecake Low Carb with Almond Flour Crust

Grain Free Orange Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Sugar Free Cheesecake

Apple Almond Tart

Apple Upside Down Cake from Spinach Tiger
Print Recipe
3.48 from 44 votes

Apple Upside Down Cake, Grain Free, Keto Friendly

Low Carb Apple Upside Down Cake, Keto Friendly, Sugar Free
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Low Carb Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 202kcal
Author: Angela Roberts


Dry Cake Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon Swerve, granulated
  • 2 large apples cored, peeled, sliced
  • dash salt
  • juice of one lemon

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar See Notes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Wet Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Homemade Brown Sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (180 C., Gas 4)
  • Line 9 or 10 inch cake pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. If you use pan with removable bottom, wrap bottom heavily with foil. If you don't have that kind of pan, line your pan with parchment paper.

Dry Ingredients

  • Mix all dry ingredients together including the powdered erythritol, (Swerve). Set aside.

Prepare Apples

  • Peel and slice apples thinly.
  • Place in bowl with lemon juice and teaspoon cinnamon, tablespoon swerve. Set apples aside.

Homemade Brown Sugar

  • Mix molasses with Swerve. Use back of spoon and keep mixing in the molasses. Eventually, it incorporates completely. You can use a food processor, but I find the spoon easy.

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • Heat butter and brown sugar in small saucepan on low until melted.
  • Add in heavy cream. Stir and cook on low for a few minutes until all is incorporated. Set aside.

Wet Ingredients

  • Mix eggs on high for about 3 minutes until very well blended.
  • While mixer is still running. stream in oil slowly (or melted butter if you go that route).
  • Mix sour cream, vanilla and almond milk together in separate bowl. Stream into mix.
  • Add dry mix on low just until mixed. Over-mixing makes cake tough.


  • Place apples in cake pan in concentric circles.
  • Pour brown sugar butter mixture over apples.
  • Add cake batter to cake pan. Smooth out top with offset spatula.
  • Bake in lower rack of the oven for 50 minutes to 60 minutes. Put tin foil over cake at 30 minutes, as almond flour burns easily. Check at at 40 minutes, and again at 50 minutes to check for doneness. Cake will be able to bounce when touched. Inside middle should be at 210 degrees F.
  • Allow to cool completely before removing cake. Use a knife to go around the sides.
  • Using a flat plate, turn over so that apples are the top of the cake. If using a removable bottom pan, release that first, before turning over.
  • If the top of cake isn't caramelized enough once you turn the cake over, place in broiler for five minutes. Watch carefully.
  • Cool completely before serving.
  • Cake can be kept in refrigerator up to one week, can be frozen.


An option is to place cake under broiler for 4 minutes or so to brown after turning over. Cake should turn over easily once cooled.
Brown Sugar: Either use the Homemade Brown Sugar or the Swerve Brown Sugar Brand. If you have neither, use regular Swerve. You may use up to 3/4 cup. 


Serving: 1of 12 | Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo


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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! Reduced the sugar, used regular sugar, cause I think apples are sweet even though I use tart apples. Halved the receipe but still used 2 apples. Well worth the time to make this yummy cake. Definitely a recipe with saving and making. Yum!

  2. 4 stars
    Tried this recipe, found that the method didn’t flow very well. Keen to try it but as others have said I think if I do make it again will def I reduce the sugar as probably too much

  3. 2 stars
    The sauce was too thin. I assume you are trying to carmelize it and just melting did not yeild thick enough sauce. I reduced sauce by half and half a lemon vs whole, reduced sugar by 1/2.

  4. What size pan did you use? I don’t see where it says anywhere. It looks in the picture like it is a cast iron skillet. If so, do you still line with parchment paper? Eager to try this!

  5. 4 stars
    Easy to make. I heated the brown sugar and butter in the microwave and then added the cream and it was fine and didn’t stick to the bowl. Next time I will add more apple and cut the sweetener back to half as it was a bit too sweet for us. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Good morning,
    I am getting ready to make this delicious looking cake and I am just wondering…..Does this cake REALLY bake for an hour and 20 minutes??? Seems like a really long time.

3.48 from 44 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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