Monday, October 8, 2012

Vegan Gluten-Free Upside Down Pineapple Cake

First-World Problems: dilemmas that arise from having too much. 
 *          *          *

As a teenager from a middle class family living in Canada, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t occasionally blurt out a shallow, petty, or insignificant comment about a problem that many people in the world would be glad to have.

The most prominent example that comes to mind is whenever I hang out with my artsy fartsy, yearbook editor friend Tammy. We’re both foodies, so whenever we do something together, it generally involves food. Often times, we’re torn between spending our money at our favourite sushi place or at our favourite burger joint (or on macarons at our favourite macaron bakery).

I don’t mean to come off as petty or superficial. I know that I am incredibly, incredibly lucky to live the life that I do. I am thankful. I am thankful for so much.

I am thankful that I live in Canada. I am thankful that I have basic human rights. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to go to school to educate myself. I am thankful that there are so many books at the library that are free for the borrowing.

I am thankful that I have such awesome friends who have made me into a better person. I am thankful that I have such a great family that supports me (mostly). I am thankful that my mom wholeheartedly backs my baking ventures and doesn’t hesitate when I ask her to buy vodka so I can make my own vanilla extract.

I am thankful that I can try new things, like this Vegan Gluten-Free Upside Down Pineapple Cake. I am doubly thankful that I can attempt the cake, fail, and have the chance to try again.

This is one of those cakes that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating, as it contains no butter, no eggs, and no cream. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list—stirring together the cake batter is a cinch.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?

Click below for the recipe.

Vegan Gluten-Free Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Slightly adapted from: Babycakes Covers the Classics

Yield: 1 10-inch cake

Pineapple Topping:
  • coconut oil, for brushing
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored, sliced
Dry Ingredients:
  • ½ cup garbanzo and fava bean flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ¼ cup arrowroot
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients:
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup agave nectar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup hot water


Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 10 inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with coconut oil. (I used a springform pan; if you use a springform pan, make sure you set the pan on top of a cookie sheet to catch any juices that drip.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the cinnamon-sugar mix. Arrange the pineapple slices over it. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (garbanzo and fava bean flour, rice flour, potato starch, arrowroot, remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt). Whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients (coconut oil, agave nectar, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract, and hot water. Stir with a rubber spatula until batter is smooth. Pour the batter over the pineapple.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotate, and then continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes more. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife along the pan’s edge and invert onto a serving plate.


  1. It's nice to stop and reflect from time to time on just what you have to be thankful for. A beautiful post and a beautiful cake!

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