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Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This time of year, with many Christmas and holiday gatherings, people like sharing sweet and tasty foods.  There are fruit cakes, figgy pudding and chocolate Yule logs.

Often forgotten, and undeservingly so, is the pineapple upside down cake.  This poor cake is fruity, delicious and kind of tropical, which may be a nice sentiment, given the likelihood for freezing temperatures this time of year.

This dessert is especially popular with our Mexican neighbors just south of the Rio Grand.  They call it Volteado de piña.  It is often eaten at Christmas or Navidad.

Mexican, santa, sombrero, navidad, window, statue, doll
By Fluous (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Being around almost 100 years (1920s to be exact), this dessert was made popular by the Dole Company (formerly Hawaiian Pineapple Company).  They figured out how to cheaply make rings from pineapple and can ship them inexpensively.

pineapple upside-down cake, whipped cream, cherry, gluten free, plate, dessert
Pineapple upside-down cake topping

With the low cost and availability of the pineapple combined with the country’s spirit of trying new and adventurous things during the 1920s, the pineapple upside down cake was introduced to the United States and grew in popularity.

So, let’s have some fun, and turn on the oven in homage to our roaring ’20s heritage, with a 2010’s gluten-free twist.


Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down cake
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 1 20-oz can sliced pineapple (drained)
  2. 5-10 Maraschino cherries
  3. 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  4. 3/4 cup organic dark brown sugar
  5. 1/4 cup brandy
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 tsp cream of tartar
  3. 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  4. 3 tbsp organic honey
  5. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  6. 1/3 cup organic coconut flour
  7. 2 tsp organic vanilla
  8. 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Grease a 9" baking pan
  3. In pan, stir in melted butter, brown sugar and brandy
  4. Spread mixture evenly in pan
  5. Arrange pineapple slices on top of mixture in an even row
  6. Place cherries in middle of pineapple slices
  7. In a mixing bowl, mix cream of tartar, coconut flour, baking soda and salt
  8. Slowly add in eggs (1 at a time) and butter
  9. Mix in honey and vanilla
  10. Beat until combined (about 1 minute on medium speed)
  11. Pour mixture over the pineapple in pan
  12. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick can be placed in the middle of the cake and pulled out clean
  13. Take out of the oven and cool for about 5-10 minutes
  14. Flip over onto a serving tray
  15. Top with whipped cream, coconut shavings or pecans
  1. Instead of honey or brown sugar, you can use a sweetener of choice.
  2. You can omit the brandy, but it does add a rich flavor and most of it gets cooked off anyway
  3. We made the cake batter in a bowl and just used a whisk. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer like Kitchenaid
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For other “healthy” desserts, check out our Food page.

pineapple upside-down cake, whipped cream, cherry, gluten free, plate, dessert

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