Pineapple, ginger and chocolate upside-down cake {vegan}

Pineapple, ginger and chocolate upside-down cake // vegan

(cliccate qui per la versione italiana)

For my very first post I would like to share my favorite go-to recipe for vegan chocolate cake (that is super soft and moist!). I decided to pair it with pineapple and fresh ginger, which go really well together, but you can substitute them with any other fruit if you’d like!

I first heard the words “upside-down cake” while watching Desperate Housewives many years ago – remember when Gaby *baked* that perfect pineapple cake? Being Italian, to me it sounded like a dessert that only an American housewife with perfectly combed hair and a spotless apron might bake. Little did I know that it’s super easy and completely versatile too: you can use any fruit and pick any batter you prefer! You will see more upside-down goodness on Marta’s Plants in the months to come.


by Marta Giaccone

yields one 26cm/10in cake
prep time: 10 min, cooking time: 45 min, total: 55 min


1 cup / 130 gr oat flour (you can make it by pulsing rolled oats)
1 + ½ cup / 200 gr flour of choice
2/3 cup / 60 gr cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/3 cup / 80 ml + 1 tbsp maple syrup, divided
1/3 cup / 80 ml light vegetable oil
1 + ½ cups / 375 ml milk of choice
½ cup / 125 ml fresh pineapple juice or more milk
2 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional)
3cm/1inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
about 6 fresh pineapple slices
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pineapple, ginger and chocolate upside-down cake // vegan


  1. Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.
  2. In a large bowl sift and mix the dry ingredients; in another bowl mix the wet ingredients (including cocoa nibs and grated ginger) and then add to the dry ones.
  3. Stir well until you have a smooth batter (it will be quite liquid).
  4. If you use a 26cm/10in pan with the removable bottom I find it convenient to line the bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides with coconut oil.
  5. Spread 1 tbsp of maple syrup on the bottom (it will be difficult/ridiculous/nearly impossible as parchment paper is very! waterproof, but don’t worry, do what you can).
  6. Arrange as many pineapple slices as you can on one single layer (I got 3 plus nearly 3 halves) on the bottom of the pan. I finely chopped the remaining 2 slices and added them to the batter. Then pour batter in the pan.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick in the center until it comes out clean.
  8. When ready, leave out to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Now there’s a problem: the top of the cake will be round, so if you turn it upside down the bottom (or top) will crease or anyway look very weird. So what I did, once the cake was cold, is I very carefully sliced the round top off with a long sharp knife, just enough so the top was flat (I ate the “discarded” bit of course!).
  10. Then I opened and removed the sides of the pan, placed a flat plate over the cake, turned it upside down and slowly peeled off the parchment paper (my favourite part!).
  11. The inside should be really moist. After the first day I put it in the fridge and it was actually way better! It keeps for about a week in the fridge. Enjoy!

Pineapple, ginger and chocolate upside-down cake // vegan

Pineapple, ginger and chocolate upside-down cake // vegan

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