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Grain-Free Pineapple Cake (Paleo)

Grain-free pineapple cake made with no refined sugar or dairy for a gluten-free, paleo dessert. This healthier take on pineapple upside down cake is magically delicious!

This post is sponsored by Harry & David.

Paleo Pineapple Cake made grain-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free

Full disclosure: I’ve never been super into pineapple upside down cakes, because the ones I’ve tried have been too sweet or glazey, and the fruit tasted…well…the opposite of real. WUHL! This paleo pineapple cake is the cake that took my opinion, threw it down, flipped it, and reversed it. Moving forward, I’m a believer, a lover, a recommender, a coveter of the pineapple cake. The key? Fresh pineapple (and raspberries should you choose them), and just the right airy-yet-dense, sweet-but-not-too-sweet cake recipe.

Have you ever made an upside down cake? I admit, I was skeptical for a number of years regarding grain-free upside down cakes, because I was concerned they would break apart during the right-side upping process. I can assure you, this one right-side upped like a champ!

So.. all the barriers?: broken. We have a fresh-in-taste, lighter take on the classic that happens to be perfect for those who are sensitive to gluten (and/or grains), refined sugar, and/or dairy. And in spite of the “x-free” ness of this recipe, it all tastes legit marvelous. Read: it’s perfect for serving at brunch to those with food intolerances and no intolerances alike.

Paleo Pineapple Cake - no grains, dairy, or sugar!

If you remember the Fish Tacos with Orange Salsa I posted last month, you know I’ve been working with Harry & David to bring you seasonal fruit-infused eats. As part of their  Signature Classic Fruit-of-the-Month Club®, the fruit I received this month were two otherworldly pineapples.

Ingredients for paleo pineapple cake

Wanna know about the sweetest, juiciest, most delectable two pineapples I’ve ever eaten in my life? They came out of this box from Harry & David. Cereal. I used a pineapple corer to make the rings for this cake, and as I was coring the pineapple, the juices were literally overflowing and I was scrambling to catch them with my face. After I removed the flesh, I drank more juice straight from the cored pineapple, and was immediately jettisoned to a space of tropical relaxation. It’s seriously amazing what a little fresh produce can do for your heart chakra. You think I’m joking. This is real.

Fun fact: do you know how to tell when a pineapple is ripe? I have two methods. Method one: gently pull on one of the stems. If it releases easily, it’s ready to eat! If it’s firmly stuck into the pineapple, it needs more time to ripen. Second method: scratch that circular nub on the bottom center of the pineapple and smell it (exactly like a scratch n’ sniff). If it smells sweet and pineapple-y, the way pineapple flesh does, it’s ready to go!

Upside down pineapple cake - a grain-free recipe that happens to be paleo friendly!


This cake…studded with raspberries, topped with fresh, juicy pineapple that when baked into the cake turns into a caramelized bliss situation, creating a tropical flavor infusion and otherworldly moisture throughout the whole dang cake. It’s sinful. Yet, it’s not.

Upside down grain-free pineapple cake. A paleo-friendly dessert without gluten or sugar.

I based this recipe off of my Almond Flour Fig Cake, the main difference being I used fresh pineapple slices and raspberries for the topping rather than figs. This cake recipe is your gateway drug to all the upside down cakes…and right-side up cakes…and layer cakes…you guys, it’s just so MOIST! If you have an intolerance to almond flour, you can proceed with this recipe for Paleo Vanilla Cake, which calls for coconut flour (simply use an 8 or 9-inch cake pan rather than a baking sheet)!

Pineapple it up! …and be sure to check up on H&D’s Signature Classic Fruit-of-the-Month Club® Collection.

Grain-Free Pineapple Cake (Paleo)

Grain-Free Pineapple Cake (Paleo)

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake made grain-free, refined sugar-free, and paleo-friendly. Add raspberries for a pop of color and flavor!



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch spring form pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper (to do so, trace the pan on parchment and cut out a circle that fits perfectly in the bottom). Note: you can also use a cast iron skillet or regular cake pan to make this cake!
  2. Add all of the ingredients except for the pineapple and raspberries to a blender. Blend until completely smooth (note: the batter will be very thick - this is normal).
  3. Arrange the fresh pineapple rings and raspberries on the bottom of the pan. Pour in the cake batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth it into an even layer. 
  4. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the top appears golden brown and feels firm when poked. Turn off the heat of the oven and leave the cake in the hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes more. 
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool 20 minutes. Release the mold on the spring form pan and turn the cake over onto a cutting board, serving plate, or cake stand. Peel off and discard the parchment paper. Cut into thick slices and serve!


*You can also use melted (and cooled) coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil, etc.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1 grams
Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g


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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

Sunday 16th of April 2017

Dang girl, this cake is stunning! I've never made a pineapple upside down cake because I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to baking. But you are making me want to change that because this looks amazing and the way you describe it is like WHOA. Come to mama.

Also, the Fruit of the Month Club is such an awesome idea. That would make a great Mother's Day gift. Thanks for the idea! :)

Becky Winkler

Friday 14th of April 2017

This is so beautiful, Julia! And that fruit of the month club sounds like the best thing in the world. Love the tips for telling if a pineapple is ripe, too!

Lindsay | With Salt and Pepper

Friday 14th of April 2017

I am totally on board with this cake!!! You know I don't love sweets, but fruit anything I'm completely in love with. I'm with you, most pineapple upside down cakes I've seen or tried are over saturated with sugar. But this one you have here sounds so fresh and legit flavorful! Love it :-) Have a great weekend!

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