You're going to love this utterly retro classic cake! I love turning old favourites into vegan versions, and this Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake is every bit as delicious as the original.
Growing up in Australia, I thought Pineapple Upside Down Cake was so fancy! It was the kind of cake that grown-ups brought out to eat at BBQs and 'Bring a Plate' dinners, while the kids got all excited about ice cream. The golden rings of glossy pineapple with the pretty -yet to my childish tastebuds- weird tasting lurid red cherries were so beautiful to me! Oddly enough, I don't remember my Mum or Granny ever making one, although they did make loads of other cakes, which I will have to veganise at some point too.
- Tinned Pineapple Rings - Make sure you buy the ones in JUICE not in syrup. When I was testing this recipe the first time I accidentally bought the ones in syrup and the cake ended up overly sweet and quite insipid.
- Maraschino Cherries- The pretty red cherries have improved in flavour since I was little (or maybe my tastebuds have changed.) They're slightly redolent of amaretto or almond which adds a lovely flavour profile
- Aquafaba- I use aquafaba to replace the eggs in this recipe. Simply open up a tin of chickpeas (preferably unsalted) and whisk in. This helps bind the cake together. Use up your chickpeas by making a crunchy snack like these Crispy Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas.
- Vegan Butter- Use your favourite vegan brand. I love to use Naturali block (affiliate link) as it has minimal packaging and no palm oil! Plus it tastes really delicious.
For the full instructions for this Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake, see the recipe card below.
Making the Upside Down Pineapple Top
- Drain & pat dry the pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. Save the Pineapple liquid! You'll need it for later!
- Either use an ordinary tin, or seal a springform tin with some aluminium foil and place on a tray (you need to do this in case the next step leaks!
- Melt butter and spread around the tin.
- Add soft brown sugar and spread it evenly over the tin base.
- Arrange your pineapple rings and halvess, and maraschino cherries in a pretty way. Be sure to push down on them firmly, so that they make contact with the tin base. This makes sure that you can see the lovely colours, not just the brown sugar caramel.
Make the Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake Batter
- Mix the flour with the baking powder
- Cream together the softened vegan butter and the sugar.
- Should look like the third photo below.
- Add all the liquids together in one bowl
- Also add to the liquids the 'Aquafaba' (Aka juice from a tin of chickpeas). This is the binder for the cake.
- Now slowly add the liquid and the butter to the flour, mixing until you have a smoothish batter. (You could use a stand mix for this if you like)
- Smooth the batter over the top of the pineapple rings and bake.
Release the cake from the tin by sliding a knife around the edge then inverting it onto the plate you would like to serve on. It should slide straight out courtesy of all the butter you used on the top!
The vegan butter and sugar mix which creates the glaze on top is very runny. I do this and put the tin onto a sheet pan to avoid a sticky mess. You could use a regular cake tin instead!
Yes absolutely, use a cake tin that is not springform! I just happen to have two sets of spring-form tins and not much cupboard space.
I chop up my pineapple and put it in the cake (if it doesn't get eaten first!)
Keep this cake for 2-3 days out of the fridge, or up to a week in the fridge. It does not freeze very well due to the pineapple topping.
Make sure you really press down onto the rings to make contact with the base of the cake tin. This pushes the brown sugar to the side, ensuring a yummy top that also looks vibrant.
Aquafaba (aka chickpea water that you find in tins of chickpeas) has very similar properties to egg white. It's a brilliant binder for light and fluffy cakes like this one!
We think this cake is perfect to serve alongside an afternoon tea
Why not try making some of these other yummy ideas for a real Vegan High-Tea tea-time treat?
- The Best Vegan Scones & Clotted Cream
- Zingy Vegan Lemon Cupcakes
- Vegan Tofu 'Egg' Salad Sandwiches - 3 Ways!
- Vegan "Smoked Salmon" Carrot Lox with Easy Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese on sandwiches!
- Vegan Lemon & Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
- Lemon and Courgette Cake Traybake
We hope you love this Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake as much as we have loved testing it and making it for our friends and family! It's so pretty that it really needs to be shared everywhere, so if you do make it, please let us know in the comments below, and be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- 23 cm/9" Cake tin
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the Pinapple Topping
- 570 g (20 oz) pineapple slices in juice (NOT SYRUP!) (roughly one tin)
- 12 (12) maraschino cherries
- 3 tablespoon (3 tablespoon) vegan butter
- 80 g (⅓ cups) brown sugar
For the Cake
- 225 g (1 ½ cups) plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon (1 ½ teaspoon) baking powder
- 75 ml (⅓ cups) Pineapple Juice (reserved from the tinned pineapple earlier)
- 75 ml (⅓ cups) plant milk (oat or soya, or whatever you like best!)
- 60 ml (0.25¼ cups) plain vegan yoghurt (soya or coconut are best)
- 115 g (½ cups) vegan butter (softened)
- 150 g (0.75¾ cups) white sugar
- 4 tablespoon (4 tablespoon) aquafaba (the juice from a tin of chickpeas)
- pinch (pinch) salt
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350F°/Gas Mark 4
For the Upside Down Pineapple Top
- Gently drain the pineapple juice from the tin and reserve it for later.
- Lay out the pineapple rings and maraschino cherries on a clean teatowel or paper towel and pat dry
- Melt the vegan butter and pour into your 23cm/9" cake tin (if it's a springform tin, be sure to wrap with tin foil and place on a tray so it doesn't make a sticky mess)
- Spread the butter around, including up the sides, then add the brown sugar, spreading that around.
- Arrange the pineapple slices in a pretty pattern (you can do whole rings, or half rings) Make sure to push down on the pineapple rings firmly so they make contact with the tin. This ensures a lovely golden finish.
- Set aside and make your cake batter.
For the cake
- Measure out your flour into a large bowl.
- Add the salt and baking powder, mix and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugar. Either use a hand whisk, stand mixer or the attachement on your food processor
- Whisk together in a small bowl or mixing jug all the other ingredients, including the aquafaba.
- Bit by bit add the liquid and the butter mixture to the flour, beatuing it until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter over the prepared pineapple rings, smooth out and bake for 45 minutes.
- Check to see how it is cooking at 30 mins,If the cake is looking like it might burn, but it isn't cooked all the way through, pop some aluminium foil over the top.
- The cake is cooked when a skewer or chopstick comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in it's tin for 20 minutes.
- Then run a butter knife around the tin, to loosen the edges. Put the plate or cake stand you wish to serve the cake on over the tin.
- Then FLIP carefully but quickly! Give the base a gentle tap and the cake should whoosh out cleanly, courtesy of all that butter we used to line it with!
- Leave to cool completely and serve as is, or with vegan whipped cream or icecream!