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Vegan Strawberry Upside Down Cake

Vegan strawberry upside down cake with slice cut out on white serving platter on marble background

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5 from 9 reviews

This Strawberry Upside-Down Cake is fluffy, hearty, and topped with the juiciest strawberry compote. A wholesome warm-weather dessert that’s gluten & oil-free.

Ingredients

Scale

For the Strawberry Layer:

  • 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (39 g) coconut sugar*
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (.5 kg) fresh strawberries, tops removed and sliced
  • Pinch of salt

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups (200 g) oats, ground into flour
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/3 cups (315 ml) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup (100 g) coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease or spray a 9″ nonstick cake pan. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the bottom of your pan, then spray or grease again; set aside.
  2. Strawberry Layer: Add the coconut milk, sugar, tapioca flour, vanilla, and a pinch of salt to a medium bowl; whisk until the tapioca flour has dissolved. Fold the sliced strawberries into the sugar mixture, then spread this evenly over the base of the cake pan.
  3. Cake Layer: Whisk the oat flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller, bowl, mix the coconut milk, sugar, vinegar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then gently mix the two together, until no lumps remain. Pour the cake mixture over the strawberries, using a spatula to smooth out the top, if necessary. “Drop” the cake pan onto the counter a few times, to remove any bubbles that may have been trapped in the batter.
  4. Bake: place the cake in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 32-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove the cake from the oven and run a butter knife along the edge of the cake. Place the entire cake pant on top of a baking rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, carefully flip the cake onto a plate or serving dish; let the cake sit for an additional 5 minutes before removing the pan, to allow the sauce to absorb into the cake. Carefully remove the cake pan from the cake; if you greased the tin well there shouldn’t be any sticking, but if any caramel or strawberries do stick to the top, use a spoon to remove them from the pan and place them back on the cake.
  5. Serve slightly warm, or wait until the cake cools to slice and serve as desired. This cake is best enjoyed the day it is baked, as it will become soggy over time.

Notes

  • Substitutions: coconut sugar can be replaced with another granulated sweetener, like brown sugar or white sugar. Tapioca starch can be replaced with cornstarch, but I do not recommend using arrowroot powder in this recipe as it tends to “break” more quickly and your sauce may turn lumpy. I do not recommend replacing the coconut milk – you need the creaminess and thickness for this recipe to work. I have not tested this recipe with any other combination of flours.
  • Fresh vs. Frozen Fruit: I do not recommend using frozen strawberries for this recipe, as the fruit needs to be cut first and frozen fruit tends to release more liquid in baking. You can, however, swap the strawberries for another berry of your choice!