Pineapple Upside Down Cake: Guilt- and Gluten-Free

I made this Pineapple Upside Down cake for our Sunday family dinner.  My stepbrother’s fiance’s mom was in town from Austria and she is gluten-free. So I whipped out my Babycakes Covers the Classics Cookbook and baked up this cinnamony and warm cake.

Since I did not want to spend a fortune on xanthum gum, I used ground flax seed. While that worked for the mini donuts we recently made (because they were small), it didn’t work as well work this full-sized cake. Even though it was more crumbly than I cared for, the taste was the best of any pineapple upside down cake that I’ve ever had!
The other changes I made included:
-Replacing the 1/4 cup of  vanilla and 1/4 cup of hot water (I still added 1 teaspoon of vanilla) with warmed,  reserved juice from the can of pineapple

-Using extra light virgin olive oil since I was out of coconut oil

-Replacing arrowroot with cornstarch

Baking gluten-free foods does require extra ingredients, but I love that it adds a variety of flours and tastes to our diets.

Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake


  • ½ cup melted refined coconut oil or canola oil, plus more for brushing the pan
  • ¼ cup vegan sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 6 ½-inch-thick pineapple slices
  • ½ cup garbanzo and fava bean flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup arrowroot
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9-inch cake round with parchment paper and lightly coat with coconut oil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle the bottom of the cake pan with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Arrange the pineapple slices over it. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, potato starch, arrowroot, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, cardamom, and baking soda. Add the agave nectar, the ½ cup coconut oil, the applesauce, vanilla, and hot water. Stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter over the pineapple.

Bake for 20 minutes, rotate, then continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes more. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife along the pan’s edge and invert onto a serving plate.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: