The best vegan pineapple upside down cake, so moist and delicious with caramelized pineapple and cherries! This easy vegan pineapple cake recipe is perfect for your next occasion! And for more vegan goodies, try my Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies, my Vegan Olive Oil Cake with Lemon and Pistachio, and my Instant Pot Apple Butter!
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Best Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake
I'm such a fan of pineapple upside down cake! My original pineapple upside down cake recipe is one of my favorite treats to make. It's such a retro classic and reminds me of my childhood so much. This vegan version is just as amazing! It's so moist and delicious -- you'll absolutely love it!
This vegan pineapple upside down cake has everything you want in an upside-down cake -- it's a moist vanilla cake with hint of pineapple flavor topped with a buttery caramelized pineapple-brown sugar topping and the unforgettable flavor of maraschino cherries. A classic flavor combination that is incredibly delicious!
Why is it called a pineapple upside down cake?
Because it's baked upside-down! The pineapples, cherries, butter, and brown sugar go into the pan first, and then the batter is poured on top, so that when we flip our cakes over after baking, they've got a built-in caramelized pineapple and cherry topping that is SO easy!
How to Make Vegan Pineapple Cake - Ingredients
- granulated sugar - to keep this pineapple upside down cake vegan, we’ll use organic cane sugar to create a nice sweetness and complement the pineapple flavor.
- canola oil - helps to keep our vegan pineapple upside down cake nice and moist.
- vegan butter - I used Miyokos Cultured Vegan Butter, but feel free to use your favorite plant butter in this recipe!
- crushed pineapple - we'll use crushed pineapple in two ways in this easy vegan pineapple upside down cake: first in the batter to add moisture and pineapple flavor, and again in the caramelized pineapple topping! I prefer crushed pineapple for the topping because it makes it easier to slice, but if you like, you can use sliced pineapple rings for the topping for a more traditional look.
- plant milk - I like to use soy milk in baking, but you can use whatever plant milk you prefer.
- pineapple juice - adds a bit more liquid to the batter and even more pineapple flavor!
- lemon juice - I add lemon juice to react more with the baking soda in the batter and give this cake a bit more lift.
- vanilla extract - be sure to use a high-quality pure vanilla extract. Or better yet, check out my post on how to make vanilla extract at home with just 2 ingredients!
- all-purpose flour - be sure to measure your flour correctly -- preferably by weight using a kitchen scale, or by using the spoon-and-level method.
- baking powder and baking soda - these leaveners help to give our eggless pineapple upside down cake its fluffy texture.
- salt - boosts the flavor of this cake, and balances the sweetness nicely.
- light brown sugar - in our caramelized pineapple topping, we'll use organic brown sugar to get that deep caramelization.
- maraschino cherries - the final touch you'll need to make this vegan pineapple upside down cake is a jar of maraschino cherries! They add the perfect flavor to complement the pineapples!
This vegan pineapple cake recipe is so simple to make, so you'll only need some basic tools like an 8-inch cake pan, a mixing bowl, a whisk and a cooling rack! I also like to measure my flour with a kitchen scale for the best accuracy.
How long do you cool an upside down cake before inverting?
A common question I get is when should I flip my pineapple upside down cake? Well, I've found that giving it 15-30 minutes in the pan to set a bit before you invert it onto a serving dish is your best bet. Letting it sit for that time allows the caramelized topping to set and prevents a mess once you flip.
Tips and F.A.Q.
If your vegan pineapple upside down cake comes out soggy, it's probably because of an excess of liquid in your batter or the caramelized pineapple topping. Make sure you drain your pineapple well before adding it to both parts of this cake, and don't add and extra liquid when mixing the batter.
Yes it is! And this vegan pineapple upside down cake is a great option for a vegan diet if you're craving that amazing caramelized pineapple flavor!
Yes you can! Just place it in an airtight container, then store in the fridge. It should stay fresh for up to 3 days.
I prefer soy milk because it's got the right thickness and consistency, but you can also use almond milk, oat milk, or any other plant milk you like!
I like to let the cake cool a bit, as I mentioned above, but once it's flipped it's fair game! I love warm pineapple upside down cake! If you want neat slices, however, you may want to let it cool fully to room temperature.
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a star review rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
Other Vegan Recipes You'll Love!
- Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
- Vegan Pumpkin Smoothie
- Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Banana and Cacao
- Sweet Potato Patties with Chickpeas and Creamy Avocado Sauce
- Vegan Couscous Salad with Charred Corn
Equipment you may need
- ¾ cup (150 g) organic cane sugar
- ⅔ cup (145 g) vegetable oil - I used canola oil
- ½ cup (114 g) vegan butter - melted; divided
- 1⅓ cup (315 g) crushed pineapple - drained (¼ cup of juice reserved) and divided
- ½ cup (122 g) plant milk - I use soy milk
- ¼ cup (59 g) pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour - measured by weight or with spoon-and-level method
- 1½ teaspoon (6 g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
- ¼ cup (59 g) maraschino cherries - drained
- ⅓ cup (73 g) organic light brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spread ¼ cup melted vegan butter in an 8-inch cake pan.½ cup vegan butter
- Sprinkle brown sugar over butter and stir to spread evenly. Add 8-10 cherries, spaced evenly.⅓ cup organic light brown sugar, ¼ cup maraschino cherries
- Spoon 1 cup drained crushed pineapple in between cherries and pat with the back of a spoon to distribute evenly. Set aside.1⅓ cup crushed pineapple
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt¾ cup organic cane sugar, 1½ cups all-purpose flour, 1½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Stir in remaining ¼ cup of melted vegan butter and vegetable oil, followed by remaining ⅓ cup of crushed pineapple, plant milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and pineapple juice, stirring just until combined after each addition.⅔ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup vegan butter, 1⅓ cup crushed pineapple, ½ cup plant milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ cup pineapple juice
- Pour batter over pineapple mixture in cake pan and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto a cake plate. If any of the pineapple sticks to the pan, just scrape it off and gently add to the top of the cake.
PIN this vegan pineapple upside down cake recipe for later!
Last Updated on January 24, 2022 by Chenée Lewis
I made this recipe exactly as written. The plant I used was soy. We love Pineapple Upside Down cake, and are transitioning to vegan. This cake was so good. Cannot even tell there is no dairy in this. It will be our go-to.
So glad to hear it! Thanks for the feedback!
Made this awesome cake again! Last time, I used a cast iron enameled baking pan. I let it cool completely. It wouldn’t loosen enough to come out upside down. Didn’t matter! The “crust” on top was out of this world!
Hi Kimberly! Sorry it didn't loosen up enough for you! But I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway 🙂
Making this right now! Suddenly allergic to eggs vegan baking has been a life saver! PS, your style of writing out recipes amounts with the steps incredibly wonderful I read aLOT of recipes and never seen that before. Heartfelt thanks!
You're so welcome! I hope you liked the cake!
This recipe was super easy. Smells Heavenly and cams out perfectly!
So great to hear! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Couple of my friends are coming over to my place and one of them is vegan, definitely going to bake this cake for our dessert! Sounds so delicious and easy enough to make!
Yay! Hope everyone likes it!
What can I use if I don’t have cherries?
You could try it with blueberries or even pecans! I haven't tried those but I imagine they would be delicious. Let me know how it works!
This pineapple upside down cake was melt in your mouth good and nobody even knew it was vegan. We are trying to eat with more plant based options at my house and this cake was a perfect choice,
Wonderful! I'm happy that it worked for you
I love pineapple upside down cake! My mum used to make it when I was young and it brings back childhood memories! Great to have a vegan version. on my to make list!
Wonderful! I hope you enjoy!
What an incredible cake! I love pineapple upside down and I'm so impressed this one is vegan! 😀 It looks lovely <3
I love pineapple upside down cake too! So good!
Absolutely the best Pineapple Upside-down cake that I've had. It got rave reviews from all of my family.
Yayy! So glad to hear it! 🙂
I love making upside down cakes! I think they are so much fun to present to your guests 😉 Going to save this recipe and will try some time soon!
Yes! this one is always a hit!
I'm in love with this recipe! It's so delicious and full of flavors
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Yum, I love how the sweet and tangy flavors work together for this cake! I'm a huge pineapple fan (pineapple on pizza is def my preference) so this just hit the spot!
I love pineapple on pizza too! So glad you enjoyed the cake!
Upside down cakes are such a classic; I love that you reinvented the recipe and modified it to include ingredients that embrace the began lifestyle.
Thanks so much! It's always a hit!
Pineapple upside down cakes used to by my favourite cake ever. I can't believe I have never made it at home before!! This needs to change. Definitely giving this a go this weekend, thanks so much for the recipe 🙂
I hope you love it!
Great vegan recipe! Awesome crumb & great flavor. We loved it!
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed!