Gluten Free Upside Down Cake

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This year I attempted my first ever gluten free upside down cake. Well, truly my first upside down cake, EVER. It turned out fantastic! I’m excited to share it, and our family’s basic recipe with you.

upside down cake heaping cup of flour in DreamFarm measuring cup

One Measuring Cup

This simple recipe for a gluten free upside down cake originates with my husband’s grandmother. This recipe’s uniqueness stems from its usage of mainly one measuring device. A one cup measuring cup, in fact. He told me about this “heaping cup, scant cup” years ago and it fascinated me.

As you’ve seen me state before, measuring flour should be an exact task. One should spoon the gluten free flour into a cup and then level it off. (This Levup from DreamFarm makes that easy with a built in leveler.) However, this recipe throws that knowledge to the wind. If grandma say “heaping cup of flour,” that’s what we’ll do!

How much is a heaping cup of flour? I’m not sure. I’m guessing about 1 1/4 cup.
upside down cake cherries on cutting board

First Time for Everything

One thing I wish to accomplish with this blog is to make old things new. To allow you to remake old recipes you loved, before you started this gluten free journey. Also, I want to show that just because we follow a strict diet doesn’t mean there’s not room for creativity.

Would you believe I’ve never made an upside down cake? My grandmother made many cakes when I was a child. However, I don’t remember even eating pineapple upside down cake once. So I decided this would be my year to do so. And when I had leftover cherries from my Gluten Free Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookie photos, I decided it was time.

No cherry pitter? No problem! I simply used a paring knife to cut my cherries into fourths
cherry gluten free upside down cake on platter

A Family Collaboration

So, I wanted to get this gluten free upside down cake started. However, my husband was fast asleep in the recliner, and the recipe was in his noggin’. Therefore, I called my mother-in-law to ask her. Since the quick cake base originated with HER mother-in-law, she wasn’t sure of the ingredients either.

Luckily, he woke up while we were on the phone. As I started to relay the recipe to her over the phone, she started to jot it down herself. None of us were certain on how much baking powder, salt or vanilla. After searching the internet for rations and discussing things further, we arrived at a recipe.

What’s the ratio of baking powder to flour? 1 tsp b. powder per 1 cup flour
gluten free upside down cake plated

Difference of Opinions

While we all agreed on the cake portion, the fruit portion left me a bit stumped. I relied heavily on The Kitchn’s “How to Make an Upside Down Cake with Almost Any Fruit.” They state to melt the butter and sugar in the pan, then place the fruit on top. My husband says grandma mixed the fruit in with the sugar.

I did it the Kitchn’s way. They stated to cook it for 4o-45 minutes. I did it for 30 minutes. However, when i flipped it over, the center was undercooked. I magically managed to flip it back into the pan and bake it for another 10 minutes, which did the trick. For a rookie, I sure lucked out.

cherry gluten free upside down cake bite on fork

Delicious Results

Again, never having made a gluten free upside down cake before, I relied on my husband’s taster for an opinion. He stated “That’s exactly what an upside down cake is supposed to taste like!” I’d like to think grandma would be proud. I made this before leaving for the Nourished Festival, and froze the rest.

Now, I’m unsure how much my “heaping cup” of gluten free flour was. In the recipe below, I wrote 1 1/4 cups. The next time I make this, I will measure better for you. ( I did measure the sugar at 3/4 cup.) And trust me, there WILL be a next time! I’m thinking blueberry gluten free upside down cake needs to happen. What do you think?

upside down cake plated

Gluten Free Upside Down Cake


  • Heaping cup of gluten free flour blend 1 1/4? (I used gluten free Cup 4 Cup flour)
  • Scant cup of sugar 3/4 cup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

In a one cup measuring cup, mix together

  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • then fill the rest with milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the fruit “topping”

  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2-3 cups of fruit I used 10 oz of fresh cherries, quartered


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. 
  • In a one cup measuring cup, add a cracked egg and beat. To that, add 4 tbsp oil of choice, and mix. Finally, fill the rest of that one cup measuring cup with milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. 
  • Add vanilla to batter and blend. Set aside. 
  • In a 9 inch round baking pan, melt butter. I did so placing it in the oven while it heated. To that, I added the sugar, stirred it carefully, and returned it to the oven to stay warm. 
  • Prepare your fruit by chopping it into smaller pieces. You should have approximately 2 to 3 cups. I simply used enough to cover the bottom of the pan. 
  • Remove warm pan of butter and sugar from the oven, and add fruit on top. 
  • Next, pour batter over fruit, and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • After removing from the oven, place a plate or platter over the top of the pan, and flip it over onto the plate. Do so shortly after removing it from the oven, or the sugar will harden, making it difficult to remove from the pan. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

**Dreamfarm sent me some of their products to try, for free. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. However, this post does contain Amazon affiliate links. Anything purchased through them does credit me with a small portion of the sale. It does not, however, affect your cost.**


  1. How can this be gluten free? Flour is in the recipe, you mention flour 3-4 times, including the measuring…not sure?? please explain

  2. This sure looks good! I like the sound of blueberry, too. I’ve got to try this. I’m thinking strawberries on top …

  3. Did you ever figure out the correct measurements? This looks delicious, and I want to make it asap. Thank you!

  4. I recently tried this recipe using plums instead of cherries and it was excellent. I don’t bake very often and am not a confident baker but this recipe was easy to follow and the bake was perfect using the measurements in your recipe. It was picture perfect – I don’t use instagram so can’t post the photo.

  5. I used Cup 4 Cup, it’s the flour I use for everything and am always happy with it. I am baking the cake again to bring to a dinner party tomorrow, using plums again although they are not as nice as the ones I used last time so I’m soaking them in brandy first. We’ll see how that turns out.

  6. I only had 1/2 cup of gluten free flour so I added equal almond, rice, and coconut flour to make it to 1 1/4 cups. I also added a bit of almond extract. This cake is SO good!! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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