Vegan Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – Perfect for Picnics and BBQs!

vegan gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake recipe
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Our vegan, gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake recipe is the perfect gluten-free pineapple dessert! Many of us have fond memories of sitting outside in the warm sun at a Memorial Day picnic or 4th of July barbecue, digging in to generous helpings of pineapple upside-down cake. Of course, the traditional recipe utilizes all-purpose flour, eggs and milk, but these ingredients aren’t necessary for our delicious version. Our recipe uses fresh pineapple instead of canned (but you can also used canned if you prefer). Colorful pomegranate seeds replace the usual Maraschino cherries but of course you can also use the Maraschino cherries if you want to make it more traditional. We make this pineapple upside-down cake for our own Memorial Day bbq, and people are always delighted!

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Vegan Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe


2 cups pineapple chunks (can also use canned rings for a more traditional cake), patted dry
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 scant cup plant-based milk (coconut or almond works best)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups almond meal or almond flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose, gluten-free flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Pomegranate seeds (optional) – can also use more traditional Maraschino cherries


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Grease a square baking pan with vegan butter, coconut oil, or other oil of your choosing. Line the bottom of the pan with the pineapple chunks, making sure they are evenly distributed and not too lumpy. Melt the coconut oil, keeping a watchful eye so it won’t burn. Pour oil in a large bowl and add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and almond meal. Stir thoroughly, then add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well until the mixture is moist but not runny. Add additional flour if mixture is too moist, or milk if it’s too stiff. It should have a slightly fluffy texture.

Ladle the batter into the baking pan, making sure it is evenly spread across the pineapple chunks. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. You can employ the toothpick or fork-in-the-middle method to see whether it’s done. Remove your cake from the oven and set on your counter to cool. Once it’s cooled, you can flip the cake over onto a large plate. If you like, decorate your creation with a pomegranate seed garnish (or fresh, de-pitted cherries, if you prefer). Serve as is, or get fancy with some vegan whipped cream.

vegan gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake recipe

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2 thoughts on “Vegan Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – Perfect for Picnics and BBQs!

  1. I just made this with Date Syrup (I didn’t have Maple Syrup) and it was wonderful. My hubby who normally is skeptical of GF vegan food, said he would eat it every week if he could!

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