Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Gluten-free Pineapple Upside Down Cake | The Baking Beauties


I’ve never had Pineapple Upside-Down Cake before. At least, I don’t think I have. If I have, I don’t recall. But for some reason, I wanted to make a gluten-free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. After taking a peek over a few recipes, I combined them and created this moist, delicious, gluten-free version. When I turned them out of the pans (I used two 8″ pans), my daughter was amazed. “How’d you do that??”. :) She thought it was pretty neat.

You could substitute the cake part with your favorite gluten-free cake mix, prepared according to the directions on the box.


Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can sliced pineapple
  • 16 maraschino cherries
Gluten-Free Yellow Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter and divide between two 8" cake pans.
  3. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly to cover the butter (divided as well).
  4. Next, arrange pineapple rings around the bottom of the pans, one layer deep (I had 5 rings per pan). Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each pineapple ring (and a few in the middle if you would like).
  5. In a large mixing bowl, mix the white rice flour, tapioca starch, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.
  6. Mix the eggs, sugar and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, pineapple juice and vanilla and mix well.
  7. Pour the batter over the pineapple layer (dividing the batter between the two pans).
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cool for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a plate. Do not let the cake cool too much, or it will be stuck to the pan.

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22 Responses to Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  1. Susan April 1, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Looks beautiful Jeanine and I bet it tasted great

  2. betty r April 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Oooh Jeanine I can almost taste it..right off the page! And it looks so pretty!

  3. Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks for another old favorite I haven’t had for years. It looks as if I have halve the recipe, great, as ther is only me to eat it. – Margaret

  4. Jeanine April 2, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks, Mom & Betty. It was really good. :) I don't know why I've never had it before!

    Margaret, I'm so glad that you're enjoying some recipes that you have been missing for a while. I'm glad that I can share them with you. :)

  5. Lee Ann April 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    Oh man that looks soooo good!
    I just bought a new book “gluten-free baking classics” and it has been fabulous! Even the pizza crust.

    Thanks for playing BINGO! Maybe next time I’ll win.

    Oh, and just was curious about the Miracle Whip. I haven’t used it in so long. Does in not still have modified food starch? I would love to have egg salad with Miracle Whip!

  6. Jeanine April 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi Lee Ann,
    I actually like baking GF, when it's from scratch. But altering other recipes, which use pre-made things (graham wafers, for example), then it's a bit frustrating.

    And I did some searching, and you can go ahead & make yourself an egg salad sandwich. :)
    (hope that's clickable?? if not, copy & paste it). Kraft labels their gluten items very clearly. If the food starch were from wheat, they would specify that. I feel sort of safe with Kraft, wheat is wheat, not 14 other scientific sounding names. :)

  7. Lee Ann April 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm #


    Thanks so much for doing that research! Funny how it’s the little things you miss, but egg salad just doesn’t seem right without Miracle Whip!

  8. Kevin April 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    That pineapple upside down cake looks so good!

  9. Summer May 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe.

    My son was asking for upside down cake and I really didn’t want to have to go to all the work of using my old recipes and not being able to eat it.

    It turned out amazingly well and was decadently delicious. I served it to company and I got rave reviews.

    I did cut down the brown sugar to 1cup and I think I will cut the butter down to 1/3 next time. I also used pineapple chunks for one of the cakes because I was out of rings and it created a neat mosiac effect.

  10. MB June 27, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    This recipe is absolutely INCREDIBLE! I've used the white cake portion of it in many other recipes as well. This recipe has not only become a staple in our home, but is the main request for family get-togethers now. Thank you!

  11. dutchie August 14, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Thank you for this recipe I mad eit fopr my mother-in-law who said she hasn't had a pineapple upside down cake for 30 years.

  12. Nayanna Arts December 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    This came out great! Very spongy! I had to make changes to use what I had on hand (plus we don't use sugar anymore) so I juggled a little with using honey. Everything tasted yummy! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Anonymous March 29, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Wow….this cake is awesome. I did reduce brown sugar on the bottom of the pan to 1/4 cup per pan. It was delicious. I also replaced olive oil for the mayo and next time I'll try replacing apple sauce for part sugar. I also topped with blueberries and it was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. okiemorse July 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I mixed and baked just as instructions recommend. Thought cake batter was too runny, but inexperienced with gluten free baking, so I baked as suggested. It is nice and brown on top, and super liquidy under the crust. Not enough flour.

    • Jeanine July 23, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      Sorry to hear that, maybe you underbaked it. I’ve used this recipe multiple times, as have others, and the amount of flour is correct.

  15. Susanne January 8, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    Is the recipe for 2 cakes or do you stack them? Planning to make this today. Thank You

    • Jeanine Friesen January 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Yes, it makes two 8-inch cakes. No, I do not stack them. If you want one cake, try halving the ingredients to bake in one 8-inch pan.

  16. susan April 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    You mention pineapple juice in ingredients then say add milk to liquids which is it. Thanks

  17. Diane Decker March 22, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    Long before going gluten-free, I made pineapple upside-down cake with crushed pineapple mixed with the brown sugar and chopped cherries. I baked it in a sheet pan for a big crowd and people went crazy. There seems to be much more pineapple flavor when you are not wrestling with big slabs of pineapple. The gooey topping/cake ratio was much higher, which might have upped the wow factor even more. I will try your cake recipe, since I can no longer use Duncan Hines (or whatever it was) pineapple cake mix.

    • Jeanine March 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      That sounds like quite the cake, Diane. I love the idea of using crushed pineapple, I bet it would make a great saucy topping!

  18. Sue May 21, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    My mother gave me some frozen pineapple chunks recently (she can no longer eat pineapple), so I decided to try this recipe for my birthday cake. Oh my, how delicious and SWEET!

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