This Low Carb version of classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake has all of the traditional flavors, with none of the guilt! A rich buttery cake complete with real pineapple and a fresh cherry is sure to please anyone!
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If you close your eyes while eating these Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes, you might just begin to hear the sweet sounds of a ukulele playing in the background. Something about the flavor of sweet pineapple and cherries, makes me feel like I am sitting on a tropical beach somewhere, completely carefree. It’s like a vacation all wrapped up in one little cake.
I have to admit that I didn’t fully appreciate pineapple upside-down cake until fairly recently. It’s not something that I grew up eating and I also hold the strong belief that dessert isn’t dessert unless there is chocolate involved!
For this cake, however, I am willing to make an exception.
I wasn’t really sure how to make this cake low carb since pineapple and cherries pack a pretty big carb punch from all the natural sugar. Luckily, I found that by using fresh pineapple and subbing frozen cherries for the sugar-laden maraschinos, I was able to get a TON of flavor with far fewer carbs.
I also opted to make these into cupcakes instead of a traditional full-size cake. This makes sticking to one serving SO much easier. You could easily bake this in a 9″ cake pan if you would rather have a traditional cake.
Ingredients in Low Carb Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes:
- Pineapple – Best to stick with fresh or frozen pineapple. This allows you to get more flavor while using less fruit.
- Brown Sugar Substitute – I have made this recipe with Swerve brown sugar substitute, Sukrin Gold, and Lakanto Golden. My favorite is Lakanto Golden. The texture isn’t similar to real brown sugar, but I find it has the best flavor.
- Cherries – Be sure to use fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries.
- Almond Flour
- Vanilla Whey Protein Powder – I use Isopure which has zero carbs, but any brand you like should work fine.
- Baking Powder
- Erythritol – You could also swap this with more of the brown sugar substitute.
- Vanilla Extract
- Almond Milk – Any milk or milk alternative will also work
- Optional – Pineapple Flavoring
Tips for making the perfect Low Carb Pineapple Upside Down Cake:
- The first and most important step for getting the most pineapple flavor is to simmer the pineapple in butter. You will want to be careful that you don’t let it get too hot though or the butter will burn.
- Don’t be too worried if the butter separates from the pineapple sauce. The butter is holding on to all that delicious pineapple flavor and it will just soak right into the cake as it bakes.
- Skip the cupcake liners for this recipe. You will want to serve these cupcakes upside down and liners will ruin your presentation.
- Instead, just be sure to thoroughly spray the muffin tin with nonstick spray. The butter in the pineapple sauce will also help to prevent sticking.
- Adding the whey protein with the almond flour gives this cake an amazing texture that should be just like a traditional cake. In a pinch, you can leave out the protein powder but be aware that the texture will suffer some.
- I find that keto cakes typically are best when baked at a low temperature for a bit longer as compared to the standard cake. The batter is denser and needs the extra time to rise properly. If you bake it too quickly, it will still be delicious but the cake will be really dense.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool fully before removing from the pan. If some of the pineapple sticks, just remove it with a spoon and spread it back onto the cupcake.
How do you store these cupcakes?
These cupcakes are best stored in the fridge or freezer. Just be aware that after they are chilled the erythritol will recrystallize slightly so it’s best to let them come to room temp or heating them up in the microwave for a few seconds before eating.
How can I use up the rest of the pineapple?
I hate when a recipe calls for a small amount of an ingredient and I am left wondering what to do with the rest. Luckily pineapple freezes really well. If you use fresh pineapple, simply pop it in a freezer-safe container until the next time you need a small amount.
You can also try some of these other low carb recipes that use pineapple:
- Keto Hummingbird Cake from I Breathe I’m Hungry
- Low Carb Bacon Pineapple Shrimp Skewers from the Bulletproof Blog
- Keto No Bake Cheesecake with Pineapple Drizzle from Remington Avenue
- Taiwanese Inspired Low Carb Pineapple Cake Cookies from Low Carbing Asian
Be sure to check out these other great recipes:
- Churro Cupcakes | Keto, Gluten Free
- Keto Snoball Cakes
- Low Carb Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
- Keto Coconut Chip Ice Cream
- Keto No Bake Creamsicle Cheesecake
Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes | Low Carb, Gluten Free
- 3/4 Cup Pineapple Fresh or Frozen
- 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter divided
- 1/4 cup, plus 3 tbsp Brown Sugar Substitute
- 6 Cherries Fresh or frozen, pitted and sliced in half
- 1 1/4 cups Almond Flour
- 1/4 cup Vanilla Low Carb Protein Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Erythritol
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1/4 tsp Pineapple Flavoring Optional
- Begin by placing the pineapple, along with 4 tbsp of butter and 3 tbsp of the brown sugar substitute into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a low boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Continue allowing this mixture to simmer while you prepare the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and prepare a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, whey protein, salt and baking powder, stirring to combine. Set the mixture aside
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the butter, vanilla, pineapple flavoring, erythritol and remaining brown sugar substitute. Beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and almond milk and beat again until well integrated.
- Working in batches, add the dry ingredients in with the wet, mixing after each addition until you have a smooth, creamy batter.
- Remove the butter and pineapple mixture from the heat, and using a fork or potato masher, mash up the pineapple.
- Place one cherry half into the bottom of each muffin cup, Then evenly distribute the pineapple mixture between all the muffin cups. (about 1 tbsp of pineapple per cup)
- Top this with the cake batter, being careful not to overfill. (I used about 1/4 cup of batter per cupcake.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow them to cool before removing from the muffin pan.