Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This post should be about a lovely warming ginger loaf, golden and studded with finely chopped stem ginger and glazed with ginger syrup, a bake that was beautifully soft on the day it was baked and then the next day it was fit only to be a doorstop, to say the recipe needs a bit of tweaking would be an understatement . While I work on that here is a repost of a very old fashioned cake but as retro is in so enjoy this perfect autumn warmer with some softly whipped cream.

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This is a desert that is more of a pudding than a cake. My Mum used to make this when we were small and maybe that is why I think of it as great comfort food. I hadn’t made it in years and then a friend of mine was saying that she loved pineapple in deserts and I remembered how much I loved this. I love deserts that are served warm, with whipped cream or ice cream melting over the sides. When tipped out this pudding cake should be a deep caramel colour and should smell amazing.

This is also very retro, having come from my Mums Margaret Patton cookbook, a book that has long since lost its spine from use and age. It is adapted here to be GF, for a non GF version just use regular flour and omit the xanthum gum.

The original recipe calls for glace cherries to be placed in the centre of each pineapple ring but I haven’t been able to get a clear answer anywhere on whether glace cherries are GF. The internet failed me there so I just left them out.

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  • 5 oz / 140 grms butter
  • 5 oz / 140 grms sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6oz / 170 grms of Doves farm plain flour
  • ½ tsp of xanthum gum
  • 1 ½ tsp of GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons milk.

For the topping

  • 2oz / 56 grms butter
  • 2oz / 56 grms dark brown sugar
  • I small tin of pineapple rings in juice


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until soft and light, use a gentle speed at first otherwise you will end up with butter and sugar all over your walls, the counter and yourself!
  2. Whisk eggs with a fork and beat gradually into the butter mixture, this is a pain if you don’t have a standing mixer as you keep having to start and stop unless you can convince someone to hold the mixer while you pour.
  3. Sift flour, xanthum gum and baking powder in to the batter and fold in, mix the milk and vanilla and fold alternately into the creamed mixture.
    The mix should be a soft dropping consistency, if it isn’t then you could add a drop more milk or a tablespoon of the pineapple juice.
  4. For the topping melt the 2oz butter in a 8 or 9 inch cake tin, I used a nine inch as I prefer a ratio of more pineapple to sponge. I have a heavy bottomed tin so I melted the butter in the tin over a low heat you could also just melt the butter in a pot or in the microwave and pour it in to the tin.
  5. Top the melted butter with 2 oz brown sugar and arrange pineapple rings over the butter / sugar mix. If you are going to use the glace cherries now is the time to place them in the centre of the pineapple rings.
  6. Spoon over the cake batter and smooth out, gently, with a spatula or knife.
  7. Bake at gas mark 4 , 325f, 160c for an hour. If the top starts to brown you can loosely cover the tin with tinfoil. The cake is done when the sponge has pulled away from the sides of the tin and springs back when you press it or a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then run a knife around the edge to loosen. Place your serving plate over the tin and carefully turn it over so that the cake slides out on to the plate.
  9. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Rachel Allen’s Rhubarb Crumble Cake Gluten Free


We are properly into Autumn now so I am happily breaking out the big soft scarves, bookmarking all my favorite winter warmer dinners and planning all the deserts I can enjoy with a generous serving of warm custard as an extra indulgence. Stewed fruit, crumbles, pies, cobblers anything warm, puddingy and comforting that is what I am looking for to match this crisp cool weather.

My boyfriends Mum has a garden I truly envy, she can grow anything there from cabbage to courgettes and is very generous with the harvest. This year she had a bumper crop of rhubarb and gifted me huge bundle of pink and green streaked stalks. Not wanting to waste any bit of this bounty I washed, chopped and froze what I didn’t use so on a day a month later when I really wanted desert I had a stash of fruit ready to use.


Crumbles are always lovely but I am a massive fan of fruit sponges, apple squares and the like so this Rachel Allen recipe combining fruit, sponge and crumble was exactly what I was looking for and happily worked really well with gluten free flour.

Rachel Allen Rhubarb Crumble Cake adapted for Gluten Free

Pre heat the oven to GAs 4, 180, 350f

Butter and line a 9″ loose bottomed tin

For the rhubarb filling

400 grams rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3cm chunks

100 grams light soft brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Place the rhubarb, sugar and ginger in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water and simmer on a low heat, with the lid on for about four to six minutes.

You want the rhubarb to be just cooked but not too soft.

There was a lot of juice at this stage and as gluten free flour is very high in starch I was worried that it would absorb too much of the juice and end up stodgy and damp rather than beautifully moist, to avoid this I strained the juice and poured it back in to the pot, simmering over a low heat until it had reduced down a little to a light syrup. Allow both the syrup and the rhubarb to cool.



100 grams Doves Farm gluten free plain flour

1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

75 grams cold butter, cubed

75 grams light soft brown sugar

25 g flaked almonds

Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl,

Using your fingertips rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs

Use a fork to stir in the sugar and flaked almonds

Place the bowl with the crumble topping in the fridge to chill while you start the sponge


Sponge base

100 gram softened butter

100 grams soft light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons of milk

175 gram Doves Farm plain flour (or you can use GF self raising flour)

pinch of salt

3/4 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or in an electric mixer until soft and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add in the ginger and milk beating until combined

Sift over the flour, salt and baking powder and fold into the cake batter.
Spoon the batter into the tin and smooth it out evenly

Place the cooled cooked rhubarb on top of the sponge and pour over the cooled syrup.

Spread the crumble topping over the rhubarb and place the tine in the pre-heated oven

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden and cooked in the centre

Leave the  the cake to cool a bit before removing the tin and placing on a serving plate. Serve this puddingy cake slightly warm or at room temperature with some whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or lashings of warm custard.