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Candied Apple Cranberry Upside-Down Cake and a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving!

gluten free thanksgiving menu

A Gluten-Free Holiday Week: Thanksgiving Favorites

….and along with a fun new Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe, I am also bringing back my Thanksgiving Prep Series that I ran last year.

It is no secret that Thanksgiving is my ultimate FAVORITE holiday. I host it at my house every single year.

Oh. And this way? I get out of having to host Christmas.

I decided last year to do an entire Thanksgiving Prep Series, where I shared everything from my prep schedule, to each of my allergy-friendly Thanksgiving recipes, and right on down to my Thanksgiving Feast Master Shopping List.

It was met with quite the response. I have never answered SO many Thanksgiving-based emails in my life. But, the rewarding part was afterwards when my inbox was filled with people telling me how the series helped them to get through the holiday without the stress or crazy kitchen mishaps or disasters.

So, in addition to sharing this dangerously decadent Allergy-Friendly, Gluten Free Candied Apple Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, I am bringing back my Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Prep series!

Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Annual CIAF Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Prep Series!

PART 1: The Menu and The Plan of The Ultimate Thanksgiving Series

PART 2: Cranberry Citrus Cider Sauce AND Green Bean and Shallot Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette.

PART 3: The Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe for the stuffing (with the Variation to make the Savory Cornbread Rosemary Muffins to go with the meal) and Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes.

PART 4: Gluten Free Cornbread/Bread Stuffing With Apples, Sausage, Pine Nuts and a secret ingredient that  you will NOT want to leave out.

PART 5: Cider Glazed Brined Turkey with Apple Brandy Gravy

PART 6: Toffee Pecan Caramel Apple Streusel (Gluten-free and Egg-free already, but ways to make this baby Dairy-free and Nut-free as well) and Crustless Pumpkin Streusel Pie.

PART 7: The Shopping List



Now for this Candied Apple Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. As written it is Gluten-free and Dairy-free, and I also tell you how to easily adapt it to be egg-free and nut-free as well. And one of my favorite things is it is GUM-FREE with a perfect moist crumb.

This cake is a wonderful end to a Thanksgiving feast. And your yummy topping will look FAR better than mine does here. Every time I make this cake, I line my cake pan with a round piece of parchment paper that fits just right into the bottom. It makes the cake come out of the pan perfectly.

Of course, as I was making this cake again the other day, I had no parchment paper. And none of my neighbors were home to beg and borrow from.  So I attempted to make it without. Do not do what I did. Use the parchment paper, people!

Half of my favorite part of the cake (the caramelized topping) stayed in the pan. I tried to put some of it back on, but the end result was not near as beautiful as my past successes with this cake. So I repeat. Use the parchment paper. Your cake will look much prettier than this…

Oh. P.S. The raw cranberries pictured below are for garnish only. I do not recommend feeding raw cranberries to your guests. Even my dog will not touch them…and that says a lot.

Dairy Free Whipped Cream Recipes

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Candied Apple-Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Easily adapted to be Egg-Free and Nut-free


  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, measure while whole, then dice them in half
  • 1 small apple, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar, or Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Superfine Brown Rice Flour (such as Authentic Foods brand)
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour -such as Honeyville (For NUT-FREE: use equal amount Corn Flour, OR Quinoa Flour, OR Millet Flour)
  • 1/4 cup Millet Flour
  • 1/4 cup Arrowroot Starch
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder, Aluminum-Free
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 8 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick (or Regular Butter, or Coconut Oil) softened to Room Temperature-IMPORTANT
  • 1 Cup Blonde Coconut Palm Sugar OR Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature-IMPORTANT (For EGG-FREE: Mix together in small bowl: 3 Tbsp Unsweetened Applesauce with 1 1/2 tsp additional Baking Powder with 2 Tbsp Warm Water and with 1 1/2 tsp Ener G Egg Replacer – use mixture where you would add eggs)
  • 1 Cup Plain Coconut Milk (such as So Delicious) Room Temperature-IMPORTANT (or regular Milk)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract


1.  Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Generally grease a 9 inch round cake pan. Using the bottom of your round pan, trace around the pan on parchment paper the exact size of your pan bottom.  Cut the piece of parchment paper to fit just in the bottom of pan, without letting it go up the sides.

2.  In bottom of pan on top of parchment, place the oil and then put in oven for 1 minute, until oil is fully melted. Then add sugar evenly over bottom of pan, mixing with oil. Place pan back in oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle cinnamon over sugar, lay thinly sliced apples in a ring and place cranberries over apples. Place pan back in over for 3 minutes, or until it begins to bubble slightly. Remove from oven while finishing batter prep.

3.  In medium bowl, mix together Superfine Brown Rice Flour, Almond Flour, Millet Flour, Arrowroot Starch, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Sea Salt.  Whisk together until light and airy.

4.  In bowl of electric stand mixer, beat Earth Balance Butter (or Regular Butter) and Sugar for 3 – 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add eggs (or Egg Replacer), one at a time, continue mixing.  Add vanilla and mix again until incorporated.

5.  While mixer is going on low speed, slowly add 1/3 cup of the milk then add 1/2 of dry ingredient mixture. Then another 1/3 cup of the milk, and the remaining half of the dry mix. Finish with the last of the milk. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides with rubber spatula. Once all dry mixture is added, continue to mix until well-incorporated and batter seems light.

6.  Pour batter over apple-cranberry mixture.

7.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto plate. Remove parchment paper from cake top. Top with homemade Coconut Whipped Cream. And for even more Dairy-free Whipped Cream Recipes and resources, visit Go Dairy Free.

And for more Thanksgiving Favorites:

Cranberry Ice Cream from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free

Creative Leftovers: Baked Turkey Croquettes from Daily Bites

Plumberry Sauce or Jam from Diet Desserts and Dogs

Pumpkin Granola from She Let Them Eat Cake

Thanksgiving Prep from Tasty Eats At Home



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