Desserts

July 7, 2022

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake is soft and light. The plant-based and gluten-free cake has a sweet and tangy taste from pineapple juice. This classic cake is served upside down to reveal a beautiful pineapple design.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I think I'm going to go through a cake-baking phase. This cake turned out so well and it was so easy to make, I think I'll be adapting this recipe for every type of cake I can think of.

I mean, who doesn't want a super easy cake recipe that works well?!

What is pineapple upside down cake?

Pineapple upside down cake is simply a cake batter poured over pineapple slices. You bake the cake and then flip it upside down, so the bottom becomes the top, revealing the pineapple design.

This vegan pineapple upside down cake is the same concept. I've just made a few tweaks to make this cake completely plant-based and gluten-free.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Why I love this Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • Dietary needs — this cake is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar free. That's right! No vegan butter, no white flour, no sugar, AND made with whole foods.
  • Normal ingredients — I've been known to put some funky ingredients in my baking (hello sweet potato brownies & chickpea red velvet cake) but this recipe has nothing weird. You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
  • Light & soft — this cake has a beautiful light texture - just what you want in a fruity cake
  • Easy to make a beautiful design — canned pineapple rings are the real MVPs here. They make the design part easy - no need to be a food stylist
  • Very sweet — it's not as sweet as a cake you might get from a bakery or make from a box, but for a plant-based cake, it's pretty sweet. Great for serving guests who aren't used to eating less sugar

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Canned Pineapple Rounds in Pineapple Juice: canned pineapples are ideal for this recipe - they're available year round and they are already sliced in neat circles. Be sure to purchase pineapple rounds that are stored in pineapple juice NOT syrup. If you want to use fresh pineapple, head down to the FAQ section below for instructions.
  • Fresh Cherries: I recommend using fresh cherries because they aren't stored in syrup. You can buy canned cherries in water, but they aren't very red, and don't produce a stunning end result. Be sure to thoroughly pat the cherries dry to reduce the red color bleeding into the rest of the cake.
  • Reserved Pineapple Juice: using the juice from the can of pineapples is a great way to get more pineapple flavor into the cake. If you are using a fresh pineapple or don't have enough juice you can use an equivalent amount of non-dairy milk as a sub.
  • Maple Syrup: to make this recipe fruit sweetened use date syrup instead
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: the acid in the vinegar reacts with the baking soda and helps create a light & fluffy texture, so don't skip the vinegar
  • Ground Flaxseed: flax replaces eggs in vegan recipes - it helps bind the cake together. If you don't have flax you can use ground chia seeds
  • Vanilla
  • Oat Flour: I love using oat flour because it is naturally gluten-free, very cheap, and easy to make at home. To make your own oat flour, blend rolled or quick oats in a food processor until they reach a flour consistency. Alternatively, use store-bought oat flour.
  • Almond Flour: I find that using only oat flour can make vegan baked goods gluey, but adding some almond flour is a great remedy. If you're using homemade oat flour, you don't have to worry as much, and can use additional oat flour instead of the almond, but if you're using store-bought oat flour, be sure to add some almond flour as well
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda
  • Salt

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ingredients

How to make this Vegan & Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform or cake pan with parchment paper.

Step 2. Arrange the pineapple rings in a flower shape in the bottom of the pan. Start with a ring in the very center and place six rings surrounding the middle ring. If desired, cut a few rings in half and line the sides of the pan. Place the cherry halves cut-side up in the spaces between the pineapples. See post for the exact arrangement.

Step 3. In a small bowl, mix the reserved pineapple juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, ground flaxseed, and vanilla.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Steps 2 & 3

Step 4. In a separate, large bowl, mix the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Step 5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Steps 4 & 5

Step 6. Carefully pour the mixture into the pan, on top of the pineapples and cherries. Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. If the top is starting to deeply brown, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the cake is done.

Step 7. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Steps 6 & 7

Step 8. If using a springform pan, remove the sides of the pan and flip the cake onto a plate. If using a regular cake pan, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then flip onto a plate. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Step 8

Expert Tips & FAQs

Cherry Options

Fresh Cherries: I recommend using fresh cherries because they are the healthiest option. Be sure to pat the cherries dry to prevent them from leaking their juices and turning the cake red. Also, be sure to place the cherries cut side up in the pan, so any juice that does leak goes into the cake and not onto the top

Canned Cherries: canned cherries in water are a good option if you don't have access to fresh cherries. They aren't as bright and colorful as fresh cherries but they will work. Use the whole cherry instead of cutting them in half, but make sure to pat them dry just like the fresh cherries

Maraschino Cherries: while they are traditional, I don't recommend using maraschino cherries. Maraschino cherries are made with syrup, dyes, and other chemicals that it's best to avoid.

No Cherries: you don't have to use any cherries at all! If you can't find fresh or canned cherries in water you can simply omit them. The cake will still look beautiful!

How to use fresh pineapple instead of canned

If you can't find canned pineapple rings in juice or want to use fresh instead, here's how to make it work:

Step 1. Slice your pineapple into rounds, slivers, or even chunks.

Step 2. Pat the pineapple dry to reduce the amount of liquid released.

Step 3. Arrange the pineapple in the pan however you'd like.

Step 4. Use non-dairy milk instead of pineapple juice in the batter.

What can I sub for almond flour?

To make this cake nut-free, use an equivalent amount of oat flour in place of the almond flour. For the best texture, I recommend using homemade oat flour instead of store bought.

How to make this cake completely fruit-sweetened

To make this cake entirely fruit-sweetened, replace the maple syrup with an equivalent amount of date syrup. The cake may take slightly longer to bake and will likely have a darker color than the maple syrup version in my photos.

How to tell if the cake is done

The fruit at the bottom makes it a little tricky to tell if the cake is done.

When testing with a toothpick, insert the toothpick 3/4 of the way down to avoid touching the juicy fruit. The toothpick should come out mostly clean.

The cake should also feel firm to the touch. And it will be fairly brown.

Let the cake cool completely

This is key. The cake will continue to cook as it cools. The cooling time also helps the cake set, so it doesn't fall apart when you flip it out of the pan.

How to flip a pineapple upside down cake

Step 1. Run a knife around the edges of the cake.

Step 2. If you're using a springform pan, release the sides of the pan.

Step 3. Grab the plate or platter you'd like to serve the cake on. Position the plate face-down on top of the cake.

Step 4. Place your hands around the bottom of the cake pan (it should be completely cool) and the bottom side of the plate, like you're holding a sandwich.

Step 5. Flip the cake so the pineapple side is facing up. Remove the cake pan - it should slide right off.

Storage

Since this upside down cake has fruit on the top it is best stored in the refrigerator. It will last about a week.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for this sweet and fruity plant-based cake. Amen.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Related Recipes

Looking for more plant-based cakes? I've got you:

Tried this recipe?

Please leave a review in the comments section below. You can also stay in touch with me on social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok or by subscribing to my newsletter.

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake is soft and light. The plant-based and gluten-free cake has a sweet and tangy taste from pineapple juice. This classic cake is served upside down to reveal a beautiful pineapple design.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

6

Prep:

15

min

cook:

50

min

total:

180

min

Ingredients

  • 1 20-ounce Can Pineapple Rounds in Pineapple Juice (reserve the juice)
  • 10 Fresh Cherries, halved & patted dry
  • 3/4 Cup Reserved Pineapple Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups Oat Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform or cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange the pineapple rings in a flower shape in the bottom of the pan. Start with a ring in the very center and place six rings surrounding the middle ring. If desired, cut a few rings in half and line the sides of the pan. Place the cherry halves cut-side up in the spaces between the pineapples. See post for the exact arrangement.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the reserved pineapple juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, ground flaxseed, and vanilla.
  4. In a separate, large bowl, mix the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well.
  6. Carefully pour the mixture into the pan, on top of the pineapples and cherries. Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. If the top is starting to deeply brown, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the cake is done.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely.
  8. If using a springform pan, remove the sides of the pan and flip the cake onto a plate. If using a regular cake pan, run a knife around the edges of the pan, then flip onto a plate. Serve and enjoy! Since this cake has fruit on top, store in the refrigerator.
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October 8, 2022
Noam
Just made a half batch of these and they came out really good! I learned I don’t know how to work with melted chocolate yet haha but I got it done!
Hi Noam - Glad you liked these bars! And I feel ya on the chocolate - somehow it is always a messy process. Thanks so much for sharing!
September 5, 2022
Sara
I get most of my recipes from youtube. I would love to see you on there. I didn't see a link for a youtube channel, just wanted to ask to be sure. God bless hon and thanks for this tasty recipe.
Hi Sara - thanks so much for your kind words. I am starting to post more on YouTube (I currently only have a few videos posted) but here's the link to my channel if you'd like to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl2QgTWxlePeiezIu6l_BUg -Elizabeth
August 17, 2022
Katherine
THIS LOOKS DELICIOUS! DID YOU USE FIRE-ROASTED TOMATOES?
Hi Katherine - yes, I did use fire-roasted tomatoes when I photographed this recipe. I don't call for fire roasted in the recipe because it's intended to be a basic, use-in-anything type recipe. But it does taste delicious with the fire roasted tomatoes! -- Elizabeth
August 15, 2022
Cat Lewis
Hello - Is there a way to PIN this recipe? Thanks.
Hi Cat - yes, I just fixed an error on the site. You should be able to see a button above the very first image on the page that will allow you to pin the recipe. Let me know if you're still having trouble.
August 12, 2022
Allison Macfarlane
As someone who has pretty much never successfully scrambled tofu - this was the best scrambled breakfast dish I've ever had - better than eggs and the seasoning is truly delicious!!
Oh, amazing! So glad to hear it went well :) This is definitely one of my favorites - thanks for sharing your kind words! -- Elizabeth
August 4, 2022
Mary Merkelhess
The pesto is lovely! So happy to avoid the cheese and oil.
Hi Mary - So glad you like the pesto! I'm also happy to avoid the cheese and oil :) Thanks so much for your kind words!
July 21, 2022
Debra
I enjoy reading through your recipes and will be trying a few later in the week. I especially like the prayers at the end of each recipe. It reminds me to be grateful God provides me with so many beautiful and nourishing fruits and veggies.
Hi Debra - thank you so much for your kind words! I can't wait to hear how it goes when you try some of the recipes :)
June 22, 2022
Vickie
I really enjoyed this recipe. Fits PERFECTLY in my allergy to foods world. I used Ripple milk and no sugar added SunButter. Was truly surprised at how quickly the recipe came together! Thank you!
Hi Vickie - I'm so glad you enjoyed this recipe and that it works with your allergies. Thanks so much for leaving a comment with your kind words!
June 21, 2022
Linda Casados
It's close to my bedtime, but I've been thinking about making this recipe all day, so I made it just now. After all, it only takes 15 minutes! I used what I had, so I made a few minor substitutions...white beans for cannellini, purple basil from my garden, red onion for more color, and date syrup for maple. I took a bite before putting it in the fridge for tomorrow, and oh my! It's delightfully flavorful, light, and fresh-tasting. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Hi Linda - I'm so glad you liked the recipe - and your substitutions sound great (wish I was growing purple basil in my garden!) Thanks so much for sharing!
June 18, 2022
Carol
Hi, is this ice cream soft to scoop out? I always find my ice creams are hard.
Hi Carol - yes, this ice cream is soft if you let it thaw a few minutes after you take it out from the freezer. It can become pretty solid if it's in a deep freezer, but still thaws quickly on the counter. Hope this helps!
June 18, 2022
Sonia Hope St Claire
thank you for the recipe.
June 13, 2022
Alexandra
I made this pie for my friend who recently discovered she has severe allergies to egg whites, gluten, and dairy. Her favorite pie is sweet potato pie :) She loved it and so did I!
Hi Alexandra - so great to hear from you!! I'm so happy you tried this pie and I'm glad you enjoyed it! It is seriously one of my favorite recipes :) -- Elizabeth
June 7, 2022
Harriett Whited
Love it!!! Wonderful!
Thanks for your feedback! Glad you love this recipe :)
June 7, 2022
Katherine
Hi Elizabeth! I found you by searching for plant based Catholics! There are very few of us! Thank you for your site and sharing recipes!! I look forward to trying these muffins! Can sugar be reduced safely in most of your recipes? -JMJ-
Hi Katherine, Thanks so much for reaching out! Glad to meet another plant-based Catholic - agree, there are so few of us. As for sugar, I never use white granulated sugar in any of my recipes. Most use maple syrup or date sugar/date syrup. I'm not sure if this is what you mean, or if you're asking about reducing the amount of date sugar that the recipe calls for. If that's the case, it really depends on the recipe. A lot of the baking recipes have specific ratios of flour to sugar and wet to dry, so it may not go well if you change the amount of sugar. I hope this helps, but if I didn't answer your question, please let me know. Also happy to advise on a particular recipe if you're looking to change it. Let me know how I can help :) Elizabeth
June 2, 2022
Sharon
Love this vegan lentil/mushroom stew! For some odd reason, I had never thought to put mushrooms into my lentil stew. Thank you for a wonderful addition to my recipe box!
Hi Sharon - I'm so glad you are enjoying this recipe (mushrooms are so good!!). Thank you for taking the time to share :) Elizabeth
May 23, 2022
Geraldine
Hello, I found you on FB and really enjoy your Catholic Plant Based GF information & recipes. About the Chickpea beet burgers: if the beans are dried and not cooked, do you think it is enough cooking for the beans? If beans are not cooked completely I have read they are toxic with phytic acid & also cause digestive problems. I am just wondering and will leave it to you to decide/research. To be safe I am toasting canned garbanzos and trying that way out. God Bless
Hi Geraldine, Thanks so much for reaching out. In the beet burgers, the beans do get cooked when the burgers are cooked. You soak them first and then incorporate the beans into the burger patty, then cook the patty. I find that this is the best way to achieve the proper burger texture - if you use pre-cooked beans or canned beans the burgers are mushy and don't get crisp. Your solution of toasting the beans sounds like a great idea to completely ensure the beans are cooked fully - I hope that it worked for you and your burgers turned out well! -- Elizabeth
May 18, 2022
viki avgen (i am israel)
hi,thank you for the recepie of the banana.Iam diebetik and i would love any recepies without sugar. thank you
Hi Viki - thanks so much for your kind words! Several of my other dessert recipes are only sweetened with fruit - you can find them on my Desserts page. If you have any specific requests, please let me know! -- Elizabeth
April 28, 2022
Jean Mastin
Elizabeth: Thank you so much for making my meal times wonderful again. I am 86 yrs plus, and was finding eating dull and dreary. Now it is " scrum delicious time to eat". . Blessings de Jean
Hi Jean - Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm so glad you are enjoying my recipes. Please let me know if you ever have recipe requests or if there's anything else I can do to keep your meals delicious!
April 9, 2022
Katie
Can you leave nutritional info for your recipes? Serving size/calories would be so helpful! Trying mushroom lentil stew tonight! and looking forward to crispy chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes very soon. Thanks for creating healthy, attractive recipes!
Hi Katie - so excited to hear that you are trying some of my recipes! I'd love to hear how they go. I haven't posted nutritional information for my recipes because I know it can be difficult for some people with disordered eating to see nutrition facts. I've gotten a lot of requests to add them recently, so I'm working on a solution that can provide information for those who want it but not be triggering for others. In the meantime, if you're curious about the nutrient info about a particular recipe, I recommend using Cronometer. It's a website/app to track and understand nutrient info and I think it does a great job of emphasizing all the nutrients (not just macros). I hope this helps! Please let me know if I can help in any other way.
April 9, 2022
Vickey
U mentioned date sugar on this recipe but it’s not in the instructions. I know u add it but just in case u wanna add to instructions. Love ur recipes! Thank u. I’m thinking of going to vegan a little nervous tho lol
Hi Vickey - thanks so much for catching that! I am updating the post now. So happy to hear you enjoy my recipes. And exciting that you are thinking about going vegan!! If there's anything that I can do to help, please let me know.
March 28, 2022
Sr Maureen Egan
I'd love to try this soup. What are the nutritional values, like how much fat does it contain, carbs, etc.
Hi Sr Maureen - I usually don't post macronutrient information because I know each person has their own goals and I don't want to encourage or discourage anyone's specific goals. But I often use Cronometer as a tool to understand the nutritional profile of my recipes. I plugged the ingredient information for this recipe into Cronometer and got the following nutrient information per serving: 521 calories, 44g fat, 23g carbs, 16g protein. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions and if you try the recipe!
March 26, 2022
Margareta Ahle
This curry is absolutely delicious.
Thank you so much! It's one of my favorites :)
March 23, 2022
Martha maloney
Thank you I have been doing the fruit and oatmeal, etc for years and I love it. I will try the pears. I refrigerate my left over oatmeal and with a touch of milk or fruit juice liquid it’s fine the next day. Just a warning about tofu; it interferes with some medicines especially Thyroid medicine. Thank you for the short prayers, there are lovely.
Hi Martha - thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad you like the prayers! As someone who doesn't take any medications I have no issues with eating tofu and encouraging others to eat it too (it's a great source of protein!). That said, you should always consult with your doctor about possible interactions with medications. I have plenty of recipes without tofu, so hopefully you can find things that work for you!
March 3, 2022
Susan Cunningham
I made this for Ash Wednesday and it was delicious. It was also simple and not much work time once the mushrooms and onions were cut.
Hi Susan - I'm so glad you liked it!
March 1, 2022
Jade
When you say shape into a rectangular loaf, what dimensions? 1/2 thick by 8 inches long or?
My loaf was about 7" long and 4" wide with about 1" of height. Then I sliced it 1/2" thick along the long end to get 12ish biscotti. I will clarify this in the post! Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any other questions.
January 16, 2022
Tracy Henry
Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious Elizabeth. You got this one just right!
Oh yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
January 16, 2022
L Collins
Hi Could you please confirm two things:1. The amount of salt. Seems like too much. 2. The directions say there is lemon juice in the dressing but it’s not listed under ingredients. ThanksL.
Hi there! Confirming that the two teaspoons of salt in the dressing is correct. I didn't salt the cauliflower when roasting it or the salad after it was done, so this amount of salt was perfect. If you're concerned about it you can decrease the amount of salt in the dressing and then add more at the end if you need it. As for the lemon juice, SO sorry about that! It was a typo in my directions and I've removed it now. Hope this helps :)
December 20, 2021
Martha
This looks lovely! Do you have a recipe for the red pepper hummus also? Thank you!
Hi Martha! I don't have a recipe for red pepper hummus on my site. I suggest taking a traditional hummus recipe and blending in roasted red pepper.
November 22, 2021
Amanda J Lehmann
I tried these and they were delicious! A bit dense but flavorful and the "buckeye" blend of peanut and chocolate was on point! Recommend!
Yay! I'm so glad you liked them! -- Elizabeth
December 6, 2021
Grace
Hi, these look amazing. I was wondering, could I used powdered peanut butter in place of creamy for the recipe? thanks
Hi Grace! There is already some powdered peanut butter in this recipe, so adding more might make the texture more gluey. Also, the real peanut butter adds some fat, which helps create flavor. That said, if you want to use powdered peanut butter, I would suggest mixing it with a high-fat liquid like coconut cream and then measuring out 2/3 cup. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes :) -- Elizabeth
November 15, 2021
Becky
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking. -- Elizabeth
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography