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Close up of pineapple upside-down cake on a white plate.

Vegan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Vegan pineapple upside-down cake – this vegan version of the classic childhood favourite cake is just as good as the original and easy to make too. Gooey caramelised pineapple slices and cherries sit atop a soft, moist vanilla cake. It is wonderful served warm with custard!
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Domestic Gothess



  • 45 g (3 Tbsp) vegan butter/margarine melted
  • 75 g (⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp) light brown soft or muscovado sugar
  • about 7 tinned pineapple rings, from a 435g tin (reserve the juice)
  • about 13 maraschino or glace cherries (optional)


  • 190 g (1 ½ cups + 1 Tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 10 g (1 Tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch) (or swap for more plain flour)
  • 140 g (⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • tsp salt
  • 100 ml (⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy) room temperature
  • 45 ml (3 Tbsp) of the reserved pineapple juice (or use more milk instead)
  • 45 g (3 Tbsp) unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (I use the Coconut Collaborative)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) neutral oil (sunflower, olive, vegetable or canola)
  • 60 g (¼ cup) vegan butter/margarine (block is best, I use Naturli vegan block) melted
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cider or white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160° fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 5cm/2in deep, 20cm/8in round non-stick cake tin. It should NOT be loose bottomed or springform.
  • Stir together the melted vegan butter and the light brown soft sugar until smooth then spread it evenly across the bottom of the cake tin.
  • Thoroughly blot the pineapple rings and cherries dry with kitchen paper then arrange them in the base of the tin - one pineapple ring in the middle and six around the edge. You may need to squish them together a bit to fit them in. Place a cherry in the middle of each ring, and more in the gaps in between them if you like. Place the tin in the fridge while you prepare the cake batter.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the plain flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well combined.
  • In a jug, whisk together the milk, pineapple juice, yogurt, oil, melted butter, vanilla and vinegar.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a balloon whisk until no dry lumps remain but do not over-beat the batter.
  • Pour the batter in to the pineapple lined cake tin and spread it level. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (don't push it all the way to the bottom though otherwise it may not come out clean even when the cake is cooked.).
  • Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes then run a knife around the edge to loosen it, place a serving plate on top of the tin, carefully flip it over and lift off the cake tin.
  • Let the cake cool at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving.


  • For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.
  • It is tempting to eat the cake right away, but as it is a very tender cake you will not be able to slice it neatly when it is warm. If you want to be able to cut clean slices you will need to leave it to cool for several hours at room temperature before slicing it. Don’t place it in the fridge to speed up cooling as this can make the cake dense.