This Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake is full of incredible buttery caramel flavor. It is fluffy and light, with an incredible caramelized pineapple topping. It is a simple cake to make; nobody will know it is gluten-free!
This gluten free pineapple upside-down cake has the most tender crumb. It is absolutely perfect, from the level of fluffiness to the caramelized pineapple top. A traditional pineapple upside-down cake is made with maraschino cherries, but I love using raspberries to avoid food coloring.
Make this gluten free pineapple upside-down cake without maraschino cherries for a cookout, dinner party, or any occasion.
If you love making cakes as much as I do, check out my delicious gluten free cake recipes.
Why This Recipe Is Great:
- Sweet and Tropical Flavor: The combination of caramelized brown sugar, juicy pineapple slices, and moist cake creates a delightful balance of sweetness and tanginess. Pineapple adds a fun tropical twist.
- Beautiful Presentation: One of the things I love most about this type of cake is its appearance. This cake features pineapple rings and red raspberries on the bottom of the pan, which become caramelized in the brown sugar and butter. It forms a beautiful topping when the cake is flipped over.
- Moist Texture: This gluten free pineapple upside-down cake has a buttery, moist cake batter that bakes into a tender crumb. The pineapple juice seeps into the cake during baking, adding extra moisture and flavor.
You may also want to try my Gluten Free Hummingbird Cake. It is also tender from baking with pineapple!
This cake is gluten-free and soy-free. See the Substitutions section below /for a dairy-free option.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend - I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour Blend. Other blends should work, but you want to keep an eye on the batter and the moisture content. Some blends need more liquid than others, so you may need to add more flour or liquid if you use a different blend than the one I tested. For more information, this article talks more about what gluten free flour blends work best in which types of recipes.
- Xanthan Gum - Add one teaspoon if your blend doesn't contain xanthan or guar gum (or another binding agent).
- Baking Powder and Soda - This gives rise to the cake.
- Sugar and Brown Sugar
- Eggs - Use size large.
- Pineapple Rings - Packed in juice. (Don't dump out the juice!)
- Milk or Non-Dairy Milk
- Butter - Use unsalted butter. See Substitutions below for a dairy-free swap.
- Vanilla Extract - Use pure vanilla extract.
- Raspberries - See Substitutions below for other ideas, including the classic maraschino.
- Maraschino Cherries - I do not like all the food coloring in jarred cherries, so I swapped fresh raspberries. You can also use fresh pitted or frozen cherries.
- Dairy-Free Swap - To make this cake dairy-free, swap the butter for plant-based butter.
- I used almond milk in this recipe, but you can use any non-dairy milk or regular milk to make this gluten free pineapple upside-down cake recipe.
- Gum-Free Swap - If you can not have xanthan or guar gum, use my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend to make this cake. It contains psyllium husk as the binder. I have tested my flour blend in several cake recipes, so I know it will work in this recipe.
Tips For Sucess:
- I recommend using either the spoon or the leveling method to measure your gluten-free flour. Spoon Method: You can also use a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Use a knife to level along the top to remove the extra flour. Leveling Method: Put the measuring scoop into the flour and fill. Do not pack the flour. Use a knife to scrape along the top to remove the extra flour.
- Do not use a stand mixer. Mixers tend to overmix the cake batter, leaving the cake denser.
- Be careful not to burn your butter and brown sugar mixture. It needs to cook on very low heat.
If you love cake as much as we do, you will also want to try this Gluten Free Honey Cake recipe!
How To Make Gluten Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:
Step 1: Add the gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large
Step 2: Add the pineapple juice, eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and milk to a smaller bowl and whisk.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Step 4: Mix the wet and dry ingredients into the cake batter. Do NOT overmix the batter, or your cake will turn out denser. You can see the texture of my cake batter in this photo.
Did you know?
Every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio. These differences affect the moisture level of your batter. If you think your batter is too thick, add more liquid; if you think your batter is too runny, add more gluten free flour.
Hands down this non-stick spray is amazing. It is totally inexpensive and it will save your gluten free cakes and muffins from sticking!
Step 5: Add the butter and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Heat on low and allow the brown sugar and butter to melt together. Cook on low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring very frequently.
Step 6: Spray a cake pan with baking spray; arrange the pineapples and raspberries inside each ring.
Step 7: Pour the semi-cooled caramel sauce over the pineapples. Try to spread it out evenly without moving the pineapples and raspberries.
Step 8: Spread the cake batter over the butter and brown sugar caramel. Spread the cake batter evenly in a 9-inch cake pan.
Step 9: Bake the cake at 350º F for 30-35 minutes. The baking time will vary quite a bit depending on the size and depth of the pan you use.
To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake must be baked longer.
🔑 Sandi says: If you use a springform pan, you must have a pan underneath because the springform pan may leak. I had a pan, but I would use a closed-bottom cake pan if I had to make the cake again.
Step 10: You can see how some brown sugar came out of the bottom of the pan. The extra pan underneath prevented this from making a mess in the oven.
Step 11: Let the cake sit on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Place a large plate over the top of the cake pan. Carefully invert the pan so the cake drops out onto the plate. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
Serving Suggestions and Storage:
Serve the cake when it has completely cooled. Some of my friends love it with fresh whipped cream. We enjoyed it plain.
Store in this awesome airtight cake tote container in the refrigerator. It will keep fresh for up to 3 days in the fridge. You can also freeze the cake. Wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a large zipper bag.
You may also love this simple Gluten Free Sponge Cake recipe!
This is a good question. I always refrigerate my cakes. Gluten free baked goods spoil a lot faster than their gluten counterparts. To prevent spoiling, store in the fridge.
You can easily make this cake recipe in a large 12-inch cast iron skillet. You want to grease the skillet so the cake will release easily.
Yes, you can make this cake 1-2 days ahead. Be sure to store it in the refrigerator.
More Gluten Free Cake Recipes:
- Gluten Free Orange Poppy Seed Cake
- The Best Gluten Free Vanilla Cake
- Gluten Free French Apple Cake
- Rich Gluten Free Chocolate Cake
The Best Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake
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- 2 cups gluten free flour blend * see notes
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder aluminum-free
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup milk or non-dairy milk
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 20 ounces pineapple rings in juice be sure to save the juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup fresh raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk to blend.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk the eggs, non-dairy milk, melted butter, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until the two are just barely mixed. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes while you make the brown sugar butter mixture.
- In a small saucepan, add the butter and brown sugar. Heat on low heat until the sugar is completely melted. Whisk often to prevent burning. Cook for 1-2 additional minutes and remove from the heat.
- Spray a 9-inch cake pan with oil. (If you use a springform pan, you must have a pan below it in case the sugar mixture leaks out the bottom a little.)
- Line the pineapple rings in the pan and add a raspberry or two to each center.
- Pour the brown sugar butter mixture over the pineapple rings. Top with the cake batter. Use a large spoon to spread the cake batter out evenly.
- Bake the cake for 30 minutes until done. To test to see if it has finished baking, insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is finished baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to be baked longer.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it sit in the pan for 5 minutes.
- Place a large round plate over the top of the cake and quickly (and carefully) inver the cake so it comes out on the plate.
- Serve warm or allow the cake to cool to serve.
- I tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure flour blend. If you are gum-free, my DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend also works well in this recipe.
- If your blend doesn't have xanthan, guar gum, or another binder, you must add 1 tsp.
- Every gluten free flour blend has a different grain-to-starch ratio. These differences affect the moisture level of your batter. If you think your batter is too thick, add more liquid; if you think your batter is too runny, add more gluten free flour.
- Make this cake dairy-free by using plant-based butter and milk.
- Use maraschino cherries, frozen cherries, or raspberries in the pineapple rings.
- Store in the refrigerator in a covered cake container. It will keep fresh for up to four days.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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