Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

pineapple upside down cake
Nathiya Prathnadi/Moment Open/Getty Images
Total Time 55 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 40 min
Yield 9 servings

Pineapple upside down cake can make a festive dessert for your next luau ... or just a tasty treat after an everyday dinner if you don't hold a lot of Hawaiian-themed parties.

Like the vast majority of cake recipes, most recipes for pineapple upside down cake contain eggs and dairy, placing them off-limits for those of us with egg and dairy allergies (not to mention vegetarians and vegans).

But this pineapple upside down cake recipe is different: it's already egg-free, and it can be made fully vegan by using milk and butter substitutes, or adapted for other diets by using dairy products. The end result is a delicious cake for snacking, dessert — or even breakfast, if you dare.


  • Topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or butter substitute (dairy-free margarine or palm oil shortening)
  • 1/2 of a ripe pineapple, roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • Cake:
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or butter substitute
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup milk (rice, soy, or coconut)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While heating, place brown sugar and 4 Tablespoons of butter or butter substitute in a 9 inch square pan. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until butter product has melted. Stir sugar and butter product together in pan, and then spread a layer of pineapple on top. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together remaining butter product and sugar. Mix in applesauce and milk substitute.

Dump flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon on top of the wet ingredients. Gently mix together until dry ingredients are just moistened. Batter will be thick.

Spoon batter on top of pineapple in baking pan. Gently smooth top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean.

To serve, cut into 9 squares. Gently lift cake slice out of pan and invert on serving dish. Serve warm or room temperature.

Choosing the best pineapple: Yes, pineapples are prickly creatures, but choosing the best one can really make your dessert.

To do this, use your nose — a ripe pineapple will smell like a pineapple, while one that's unripe won't have a real fragrance. Steer clear of any that smells a bit of alcohol, since it will have gone past ripeness into over-ripeness.

Next, focus on the leaves: Are they green and fresh looking, or are they brown and deteriorating?

Ignore the color of the actual fruit — even green pineapples can be ripe — but choose one with good-looking leaves. Finally, a ripe, juicy pineapple will be heavy and will feel firm, but will give slightly when you squeeze it.

Using these tips, you should be able to source the perfect fruit for your allergy-friendly pineapple upside down cake recipe.

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