From childhood right to your table, this cake probably brings back a memory or two! Having gone without pineapple upside down cake since I went vegan, imagine my delight when I accidentally make the perfect cake for it when experimenting with an apple swirl loaf cake. There was no swirl to be found in that cake, but the magic formula for that very specific texture was there! Forgetting the maraschino cherries those next few grocery trips put a crimp in my plans, but now here we are!
Light, fluffy and delicate, this cake is perfect warmed up (or straight out of the oven). Not to spill all my secrets at once or anything, but you might try apple or pear slices in lieu of the pineapple and cherries for something really special – but then it wouldn’t look so delightfully like something straight out of the 50s! Take note that a light brown sugar won’t brown up properly, so use something dark.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Makes a 9 x 13 inch pan
2 cups all purpose flour (gluten-free version is here; use brown for the rice portion)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, whisked
1 tablespoon boxed egg replacer + 1/2 cup lukewarm water, whisked well
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil, or other neutral oil
1/2 cup non-dairy margarine, melted
1 cup demerara sugar, or other dark brown sugar
9 pineapple rings, drained
9 maraschino cherries, drained
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and add the soy milk mixture, the egg replacer, vanilla and canola oil. Mix to combine. In the bottom of your 9 x 13 inch pan, combine the melted non-dairy margarine and brown sugar and spread out as evenly as possible. Place the 9 pineapple rings over the mixture, placing a cherry in the middle of each ring. Pour the cake batter over the fruit and spread out, again as evenly as possible, with a spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake bounces back at your touch and you can see the bottom layer start to caramelize around the sides of the pan. Let cool in the pan on a baking rack, for about 15 minutes. Loosen the edges with a butterknife, then turn over onto a serving plate. Serve hot, warm or even at room temperature.