Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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The pineapple upside down cake is a family favorite in many households. It’s sticky and delicious, and the end-of-recipe flipping brings a little theater to the table! But do you know where this delectable dessert came from? Or that you can make a vegan pineapple upside-down cake?

Back in the late 19th century, upside down cakes made with fruit were already well-known desserts. However, the first pineapple upside-down cakes were seen during the Dole pineapple recipe contest in 1920. During this match, over 2,000 people submitted a pineapple upside down cake. Mrs. Robert Davis from Norfolk, Virginia won first place for it. People have been making it ever since.

Could our plant-based version of this classic recipe be as good as Mrs. Robert Davis’s? It certainly tastes like a winner to us! Here’s how to make this delicious vegan pineapple upside-down cake. 

How to Make a Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake 

For this vegan pineapple upside down cake recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or use gluten-free 1-to-1 flour to make the recipe gluten-free)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 9 tbsp vegan butter or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • A can of pineapple rings
  • Half a jar of maraschino cherries
  • ¼ cups dairy-free milk
  • ½ cups pineapple juice

You can find these ingredients on FreshDirect.com!

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • A non-stick pan
  • A baking brush 
  • A whisk
  • Some baking parchment
  • A silicone spatula
  • A toothpick

If you don’t have any of these utensils, you got to check out SurLaTable for great quality finds!

Here’s How to Make It! 

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Batter

  1. To start your vegan pineapple upside down cake, place a circle of baking paper on the bottom of your cake pan
  2. Grease the sides of the pan with the softened vegan butter or oil 
  3. Brush the base of the pan using 3 tbsp of butter. You’re aiming to cover it completely, almost so you can’t see the base anymore. If you’re using oil, brush well to cover the paper 
  4. Sprinkle about 3 tbsp of brown sugar all over the butter or oil and brush to distribute over the base 
  5. Arrange the fruit, laying down the pineapple slices in the bottom of the pan. You can cut some pineapple rings in half to fill some gaps
  6. Place a cherry in the middle of each slice. Note: if you’re using canned pineapple, only save the pineapple juice if it’s natural or fresh juice. Canned juices often contain methyl silicone. This can stop your vegan pineapple upside down cake from rising properly. Use your fresh juice in equal parts with water to avoid your cake becoming coarse and dry
  7. Set your fruit aside while making the batter

The Cake Batter

Cherries in Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Now you can preheat the oven to 350°F, and it’s time for the cake batter.

  1. In a bowl, add your flour and brown sugar and mix
  2. Add the baking soda and butter, mixing well again
  3. Pour in the milk, vanilla extract, and pineapple juice and combine well 
  4. Pour the batter over the pineapple, making sure to cover all the fruit pieces
  5. Gently shake the pan to get rid of any bubbles
  6. Bake your cake for about 25-30 minutes
  7. To make sure it’s properly cooked, use the toothpick test method. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready
  8. Let the cake cool, then use a knife to unstick the cake border from the pan

Time to Flip!

Here comes the most exciting part: flipping your vegan pineapple upside down cake! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take a plate, place it over the cake pan, and flip 
  2. Remove the baking paper, serve, and enjoy it!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Feel free to add toppings to your pineapple upside down cake. We love adding a little squirt of vegan whipped cream and some chopped pecans for crunch!

We hope you enjoy making this tasty treat for your friends and family! We’re sure this vegan pineapple upside down cake will be a hit among all your vegan and non-vegan friends alike. Looking for more delicious vegan recipes? Try our vegan deviled egg recipe, our gluten free and vegan oatmeal cookie recipe, or browse our delicious vegan Thanksgiving options!