Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake

vegan homecooking pineapple upside down cake

pineapple upside down cake is like one of those childhood loves that deserves a bit of a glow-up. Don't get me wrong, love a bright red candied cherry and canned pineapple - it's bonkers but primarily because it is just bathing in sugar and it unlocks my insect brain. Like "backflip onto a table to break it while wearing giant inflatable hulk gloves and chugging four loko"  level of intensity. Pineapple upside down cake can be kind and delicious while also wanting to make you destroy things with joy and excitement.

I think this recipe is pretty straightforward, absolutely delicious and is a great way to use up a pineapple that you either have too much of, or is underripe and you're just impatient. I also just love the .35 seconds of pure terror when you flip an upside down cake. The suspense is PALPABLE - will it work, won't it? The good news is, as someone who has eaten cake that once fell on the floor, that any cake is generally pretty darn good. 

I glaze mine in a bit of caramel, but feel free to run with this. Throw some mezcal in there, sprinkles, orange juice. I am the wind beneath your wings pushing you up to new altitudes, sure I'll humbly take that credit; but you are the majestic creature soaring above the earth into clouds of flavour and culinary mastery.

You absolute beauty. Read this entire recipe first and make the pineapple base part first. then the cake batter. 

for the pineapple base
5 rings of pineapple, cut into half moons
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1. on medium-high heat, sear pineapples in butter until seared golden and delicious. remove from pan and add a pinch of salt to each. reduce heat to low.
2. add brown sugar and, using a spoon or whisk, combine with butter until bubbling and emulsified. turn off heat.
3. place pineapple back lined up neatly in a circle (or not, let your spirit soar on this).
for the cake
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar (plus extra for the sugar base)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons used coffee grounds (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 tablespoon tempered vegan butter (I use earth balance)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup oat milk
garnish - heavy flaked salt and a basic caramel 
* I’m using a 9” japanese cast iron pan. it is well seasoned. if you are worried it will stick, line the pan with a bit of oil/fat
1. pre-heat oven to 350f. Make the pineapple base first!
2. combine all dry ingredients together. I used coffee grounds because I was making coffee at the time and it turned out great. 
3. combine dry ingredients together in a bowl, whisk until full incorporated and pour wet to dry. fold together. batter should be thick. add more water if it is so thick it won’t leave the bowl. try not to overwork it.
4. pour batter into cast-iron and bake for about 30 minutes (until skewer comes out clean). remove from oven and let the cake settle for 20 minutes or so before trying to flip it. I garnish mine with basic caramel and heavy flaked salt. 

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Karla February 7 2021

Hi Matt! This recipe sounds amazing, I’m intrigued by the coffee grounds! I’ve never heard of tempered butter before, would simply melted butter work? For the yogurt did you use a vegan yogurt, perhaps coconut or cashew? Lastly please tell me you have a knock-out recipe for vegan caramel? Since going vegan a year ago I’ve tried about 20 different vegan caramel recipes…I miss caramel.


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