Pineapple upside down cake.

Preparation Time 10 Minutes

Cook Time 45-50 Minutes

Serves 8

I suppose pineapple cake would be considered a bit retro or old-fashioned now. I remember enjoying it as a child and also making it in senior school. Every time I make it, so many happy memories come to mind. It was the first cake I made many years ago. This vegan version is not inferior to the one I made then in any way.

This cake is made with tinned pineapple instead of fresh, this is to ensure that the slices are consistent. Also there is no need to buy extra pineapple juice as you use the juice from the tin. I always have a tin of pineapple in my store cupboard as a back up. My family enjoy this sticky sweet dessert occasionally and it is so quick to make.

There are many reasons to enjoy this blast from the past dessert.

  • Sweet
  • Sticky
  • Fruity
  • Caramelized top
  • Moist
  • Delicious

In summer, it makes a wonderful dessert paired with vanilla ice cream, plus a warming dessert with hot custard when the temperatures drop.

Do not be tempted to line the tin with baking parchment. If you do this, the top will not caramelize properly and you not get the lovely sticky caramelized top.

I have made this cake with gluten-free flour too. I tested it using both Doves Farm and Bob’s Red Mills cake flour with wonderful results. Nobody noticed it was not just vegan but also gluten-free. The cake was devoured quickly and with much gusto.

What I would say if you are making this gluten-free then you would need to add 1/4 tsp of xanthum gum to the flour if it is not already in the bought flour.

You could use cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, the result would be the same.

For a fruity change this is also delicious made with tinned pears. It is a little less sweet, which is not always a bad thing.



  • 12 pineapple rings (tinned in juice)
  • Roughly 20 glace cherries
  • 55g dairy free butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar


  • 220g plain flour
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 180ml dairy-free milk
  • 60ml reserved juice from the tin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 80ml Vegetable or sunflower oil


1. Preheat the oven to 175c or gas mark 3 1/2 and spray an 8-9 inch round or square baking tin with oil (I prefer a loose bottomed tin).

2. Melt the butter and pour over the bottom of the tin and then sprinkle over the soft brown sugar.

3. Arrange the pineapple rings to cover the bottom of the tin and sides if you wish. You will need to cut some slices to fit. In the gaps place the cherries and set aside.

4. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add to that the sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

5. Add the lemon juice to the milk and wait a few minutes for it to curdle.

6. Add the vanilla paste or extract to the flour along with the oil, milk and pineapple juice to the flour mix and whisk. Make sure it is fully combined and that all the flour has been incorporated.

7. Pour the mixture over the pineapples and place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cover with loosely with baking foil and place it back into the oven for 15-20 minutes. This prevents the cake from becoming too brown on the top.

8. To test if it is cooked, insert a skewer into the cake only and if this comes out clean, then it is ready. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before turning out.

9. If you are using a loose bottomed tin then remove the sleeve of the tin, place a dinner plate on top of the cake and then turn it over. The bottom of the cake tin can then be removed slowly. If not run a round edged knife around the cake and use the same plate method.

Then enjoy. In this house it is eaten with custard. However you eat it, enjoy.

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