This pineapple upside down cake recipe was inspired by my oldest son who asked for a breakfast other than omelets or frittatas made with leftovers. I wanted to create a breakfast recipe that would have the muffin/bread feel without the flour or added sugar. This pineapple upside down cake was the result, and I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty delicious.
Coconut Flour Paleo Pineapple Upside Down Cake
When I set out to create a healthier pineapple upside down cake, I wanted it to be filling and nutritious as well as yummy. I decided to use coconut flour and used my coconut flour biscuit recipe as the base. I like using coconut flour because it’s packed with fiber and healthy fats.
I also add a lot of eggs to this cake. I know eight eggs sounds like a lot, but they don’t make the cake taste eggy and they’re necessary. The coconut flour works like a sponge and since it lacks the gluten of wheat flour, it needs the eggs for the protein structure. I also like the eggs for their vitamin D, minerals, and protein.
I do recommend lining the bottom of your pan with a layer of parchment paper. It makes removal from the pan much easier and keeps all the pineapple from sticking. I used a springform pan, but you can use whatever shape you’d like.
Fresh or Canned? All the Fruity Possibilities
Traditionally, the fruit for pineapple upside down cakes use canned pineapple rings with maraschino cherries placed in the center of each ring. That is just fine and dandy, but if you happen to see a great deal on fresh pineapple and want to give it a try, I highly recommend it. The taste difference between fresh and canned fruit is enormous! Using fresh pineapple for this cake gives it a more intense pineapple flavor that I just love.
As for those syrupy bright red maraschino cherries… just know that it is possible to find healthier maraschino cherries. However, fresh cherries work just as well and are absolutely delicious.
Side note: Has anyone ever made an upside down cake with a different kind of fruit? I’d never thought of it, but this recipe for an upside down orange cake opened up a whole world of possibilities!
No Caramel Syrup?
Nope. Not in this cake. I know that the delicious caramel topping around the pineapple is kind of the trademark of pineapple upside down cake, but I just didn’t feel it was necessary.
I was trying to create a healthy breakfast cake, so I decided to skip it. And frankly, the cake was tasty enough that we didn’t even miss it. The fresh pineapple juice soaked into the cake a little bit and the honey in the cake batter itself gave a nice sweetness. I do sometimes top the cake with a little vanilla whipped cream or whipped coconut cream though.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Prepare a 9-inch round baking dish or spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- If using fresh pineapple, peel, core, and cut into ½ inch slices.
- Arrange the pineapple slices on the bottom of the baking dish you are using.
- Place the cherries around and in the center of the pineapple slices.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the coconut flour, butter or coconut oil, eggs, honey or maple syrup, salt, and baking powder to form a thick dough. If necessary, thin with pineapple juice or coconut milk to get a spreadable consistency.
- Spread the batter over the pineapple and cherries.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-40 minutes until cooked through and no longer soft in the middle.
- Loosen the edges of the cake and carefully flip over onto a plate or baking sheet.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Substitute an overripe banana and extra juice to thin in place of the honey or maple syrup if desired.
- If you are using fresh cherries, you can cook some down with a little water and honey or maple syrup to make a cherry sauce.
What is your favorite healthy dessert? Share below!