Strawberry Coconut Upside-Down Cake (gluten free, vegan)

Strawberry Cake

I’ve only recently forayed into the world of upside-down cakes, and I have to say, I thought they would need a lot more work and finesse! They just look so impressive, with that syrupy sweet layer of perfectly arranged fruit, caramelized to perfection – surely that requires a master baker? Not so, my friends! Even the most humble of bakers can achieve this sticky glory. It’s really just a matter of combining a little bit of fat and sugar with the fruit of your choice, and letting heat do the rest. And while this cake tastes quite sweet indeed, it’s actually relatively low in sugar content – just under half a cup in total – making it a suitable companion for your morning coffee (if you’re a cake in the morning kinda person).

I can’t do sweets so early without feeling like I’m on a rollercoaster ride the rest of the day, so I served this after a dinner I hosted for my parents a couple of weekends back. They looked pretty pleased. Strawberry and coconut is such a great combination, and much more interesting (I think) than the typical pineapple you see on this type of cake. The light coconut milk adds some fantastic richness, moisture, and coconut flavour to this cake without overpowering the strawberries, while using strawberry puree rather than applesauce infuses the whole cake, rather than just the top layer, with berry goodness.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Strawberry Coconut Upside-Down Cake (yields 1 9-inch cake)

Recipe inspired by Buttermilk and Pear Upside-Down Cake

~ Gluten free, vegan, soy free ~



  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 3 tbsp flax + 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pureed strawberries
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  • about 10-15 strawberries, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the flax and warm water in a small bowl and set aside to let it thicken.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  4. If the flax eggs have thickened, whisk it together with the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour the melted coconut oil into your 9 inch cake pan, followed by the coconut sugar. Shake it around a bit to evenly spread the sugar, or use a spatula if necessary.
  6. Apply a single layer of strawberry slices across the entirety of the pan.
  7. Mix together your wet and dry ingredients, and then gently pour the batter on top of the strawberries.
  8. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. The outer edge will start to brown and you may see some bubbling.
  9. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening the edges with a spatula and carefully flipping the cake over onto your serving plate.


  1. This cake is best served the same day; the edges will develop a nice sticky crust from the oil and sugar which goes soft by the next day. It’s still perfectly delicious to eat, but you lose that crisp texture.
  2. If you prefer a thicker cake, you could use an 8 inch pan instead, but that will increase the baking time. I am going to try this next time, and will post the updated baking info accordingly. If you decide to be brave and try it out for yourself, please let me know how it turned out and how much longer it needed in the oven!

Strawberry Cake 2

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