Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes with Chopped Pineapple or Rings


This recipe for pineapple upside down cakes was originally shared with us via the website Just Baking, who I used to write for. The recipe is by Allen Williams, but he adapted this recipe from a Betty Crocker classic. We modified it a bit more to be dairy-free, we’ve added more options for dietary needs, and I’ve completely updated this post.

Dairy-Free Pineapple Upside Down Cakes Recipe - Mini Cakes with Full Size Cake Option, Vegan Option, and More

Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes with Chopped Pineapple or Rings

Allen uses chopped pineapple for more of a gooey topping. It makes the cake a little juicier, and offers more pineapple in each bite. However, we have included a pineapple ring option for a more formal presentation. (The picture at right shows Allen’s chopped pineapple version.) Allen also prefers to bake these as little cakes, but we have added a full cake option.

Special Diet Notes: Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free (choose your shortening wisely!), and vegetarian.

For egg-free and vegan pineapple upside down cakes, I recommend using 1 prepared powdered egg replacer, or 3 tablespoons of aquafaba. See our Egg Substitute Guide for more options.

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Dairy-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These sweet cakes with gooey topping have chopped pineapple in the topping (instead of rings) for easier eating and more infused pineapple flavor. But we've included a pineapple rings option.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 pineapple upside down cakes
  • ¼ cup dairy-free buttery spread
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar (preferably dark)
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsweetened or original dairy-free milk beverage
  • ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated shortening (can sub coconut oil)
  • 1 egg (see post above for vegan option)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 6 maraschino cherries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Melt the buttery spread in a small pan. Add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove from the heat.
  3. Distribute the buttery mixture evenly between 6 large muffin cups (3½″ wide openings). Top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pineapple in each well, followed by a cherry pushed down into the center.
  4. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the milk beverage, shortening, egg, vanilla and lemon and beat with a mixer to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat the batter on high speed for 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into each muffin well, to top the pineapple.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes our clean.
  7. Immediately turn the muffin tin upside down onto a cookie sheet. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Pineapple Ring Option: You can use 6 pineapple rings (1 per cake) instead of the chopped pinepple, if preferred. The rings have a prettier presentation, but we get more eating enjoyment from chopped pineapple.
Single Cake Option: Prepare and bake the recipe in an 8-inch or 9-inch baking dish or cake pan. You can use the chopped pineapple, or use 9 pineapple rings and dot each one with a maraschino cherry (one each). Bake the cake at 350ºF for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

More Dairy-Free Upside Down Dessert Recipes

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Dairy-Free Upside Down Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (with Cranberry Option)

Vegan Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tarte Tatin

Dairy-Free and Vegan Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tarte Tatin Recipe - a rustic, flavorful, show-stopping dessert with gluten-free option

Gingerbread Apple Skillet Cake

Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. i tried this gluten free and sugar free substituting 1 to 1 gf flour and stevia extract and it was still delicious! i recommend for anyone even with a tighter diet than just dairy free.

  2. Can I use flax to substitute the egg? I also cooked some pinto beans and have plenty of liquid. Can that liquid also be used for substitution of eggs? or does it have to be from chickpeas? Thank you

    • Hi Maria, yes, a flax sub would probably work, but I’d add a touch of extra leavener – like about 1/8 teaspoon baking powder. Aquafaba can be from any beans. I think most just prefer the color neutrality of chickpeas.

  3. I have had so many dairy free recipes fail lately, but these were absolutely wonderful. I needed to sub coconut oil for the spread and omit the vanilla, but they still baked perfectly. We all loved the little cakes too. Thank you for making tricky cooking so delicious!

    • Yes, so sorry! I recently updated the format and instructions and must have forgotten to write the egg in! It is added with the wet ingredients and has been fixed. Thank you for pointing this out Ashley.

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