Decadent Diabetic – Apple/Cranberry/ Walnut Upside Down Cake

Neither I, nor the dozen people I asked had eaten one of these upside down cakes in years.  It is very 1960-1970’s but so homey and good I thought I would bring back this version to tempt the palate of my fellow Diabetics.

Note: I LIKE TO USE AN 8 INCH SPRING FORM PAN WELL SPRAYED TO AVOID STICKING. Remember the bottom of the pan, becomes the top of the cake so make it look pretty! *I leave it out overnight **CAKE NEEDS THIS FOR MOISTURE.

Cardamom is sometimes hard to find sometimes. If you can find it, it adds a nuance to the cake. I keep my ground cardamom frozen.

Decadent Diabetic – Apple/Cranberry/ Walnut Upside Down Cake

Serves 6


  • 1/2 stick Butter (+ 2Tbsp. (divided) (I use Balance blend 50/50 OR I can’t believe its not butter sticks) at room temperature*)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar Substitute (+ 1/4 Cup (divided))
  • 2 Large Eggs (At room temperatures)
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons Sour Cream (low fat is OK, but NOT fat free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour (You can replace up to 1/4 the amount with whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup Toasted Nuts/Walnuts (Cooled & Divided - 1/2 Cup & 1/2 Cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon (Divided)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger (Optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (Optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cardamom (*If you can find it)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (1/2 into dry mix, 1/2 into sour cream mix)
  • pinch Salt
  • 1/2 cup Cranberries (Chopped Roughly)
  • 1/4 cup Remaining Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Remaining Cinnamon
  • Remaining Butter


Step 1. Pre heat oven to 350 Degrees.
Step 2. Dry Mixture
In a food processor:
Combine ½ cup nuts, salt, and ¼ cup flour. Pulse until the nuts are totally pulverized. Add ¼ cup more flour, and spices. Pulse until combined. Add final ¼ cup of flour, baking soda and powder and pulse until combined. (I often do this a day ahead),
Step 3. Wet Mixture
Easiest if you have a stand mixer+
Cream the ½ stick of butter and 1 cup of the GRANULATED SUGAR SUBSTITUTE until light and fluffy add the oil and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
Add vanilla
Add remaining ½ tsp. of baking soda to sour cream and stir.
Step 4. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the eggs and sour cream mixture. Start with the dry. MIX ONLY UNTIL JUST INCORPORATED otherwise you wind up with bread.
Step 5. When the wet and dry ingredients are combined, Cut a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Arrange the apples on a circular pattern.
Step 6. Combine the cranberries, the remaining:
-Sugar substitute
Sprinkle over the apple slices.
Step 7. Spoon the batter into baking pan and bake for 26-28 minutes or until tester comes out dry from the center.

Step 8. Allow to cool for about ½ hour on a rack. Cover with a plate and invert the cake onto the plate. Remove the springform pan and the paper. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon.


Each serving has approximately 13g* Net Carbohydrates.

Chef Ward Alper is type 2 Diabetic who lives and eats DECADENTLY in Portland, Maine. Since his diagnosis more than four years ago he has refocused his recipes and eating to support his Diabetes health. He has maintained a consistent A1C of 5.2-5.3, while still enjoying the pleasures of eating. Chef Alper has been a professional chef in both New York City and Boston, Massachusetts.

He has a website,, where he shares stories and recipes with his fellow Diabetes and encourages them to expand their choices and take back their life and their table. His articles and recipes appear on Top Diabetes sites as well in medical newsletters across the United States. He is working with a major New York publisher towards publishing a cookbook so he can share with more Diabetics that you can take back your life and your table while still eating a Diabetic Diet and be DECADENT to boot!