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Pineapple and custard upside down cake

Pineapple and custard upside down cake

Who remembers the old retro classic, pineapple upside down cake?!

So, this cake is a bit indulgent due to the maple syrup content but it fooled a lot of colleagues who didn’t realise it was Whole Food Plant-based!

I’ve made it with 1/2 cup and a 1/4 of maple syrup over the pineapples- both works well but for people with a sweeter tooth or not used to wholemeal flour in baking, 1/2 a cup will make it less noticeable and give the cake a more gooey texture and caramelise the pineapples nicely. The choice is yours!

Using tinned pineapple means that you can make this cake all year round for any special occasion. Serve it warm with homemade custard or plant-based nice cream.

And don’t worry it’s so easy to flip, if someone as uncoordinated as me can do it, so can you!


2 x 220g tins of pineapple in juice

1/4 or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup.

For the cake batter

1.5 cups wholewheat flour

1 cup plant milk

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

For the custard

2 cups unsweetened plant milk

1/4 cup corn starch or arrowroot powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F) Grease an 8-inch round cake pan either with a light coating of apple sauce or extra virgin olive oil.

  2. Cut the pineapple rings into half-moon shapes and arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the cake pan, covering it completely.

  3. Drizzle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of maple syrup over the pineapple slices.

  4. Now to make the cake batter, combine the wholewheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  5. In another bowl, whisk together the plant-based milk, unsweetened applesauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract until well combined.

  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don't overmix)

  7. Carefully pour the cake batter over the pineapple topping in the cake pan and make sure it’s evenly distributed.

  8. Bake the cake for 35 minutes.

  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

  10. Place a serving plate upside down on top of the cake pan and carefully flip the cake onto a plate, tapping the bottom of the pan if needed to release the cake.

  11. Carefully using a spatula, lift the cake with the pineapple on top back into the cake tin or onto a oven proof baking tray and bake for a further 10 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the pineapple is slightly caramelised.

  12. To make the custard, whisk together 1 and 3/4 cups of plant milk (reserving 1/4 cup for later) and the rest of the custard ingredients in a saucepan until well combined and smooth.

  13. Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue to whisk the mixture constantly to avoid lumps and heat for 5-7 mins until it thickens.

  14. Once the custard reaches a pudding-like consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup plant milk cool down the custard slightly and achieve a smoother texture.

  15. Serve both the cake and custard warm (the custard will thicken on standing so when warming up add more plant milk or water and whisk continuously on the stove to desired consistency)



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