Pineapple upside-down cake

Pineapple upside-down cakeTwo cake recipes in a week! This is blog democracy in action – many of you have asked for more dessert recipes, so in response, I have been baking like a demon.

This is a handsome cake. The caramel and fruit layer on a pineapple upside-down cake looks positively jewel-like, and tastes glorious, soaking into the cake to add a rich moistness to an already toothsome sponge. If, like me, you significantly lack cake-decorating skills, you’ll like this recipe, which produces a foolproof but rather beautiful piece of baking. If you can get pineapple tinned in syrup rather than juice, use that for an extra kick of gloss and sweetness; however, if all that’s available near you is the kind in juice, that will work perfectly well. (It’s what I used here.)

To make one pineapple upside-down cake, you’ll need:

50g salted butter
50g soft brown sugar
1 can pineapple rings (in syrup if possible)
Glacé cherries
3 tablespoons milk
175 g softened unsalted butter
175 g caster (superfine) sugar
3 large eggs
175 g self-raising flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
Vanilla essence

Pineapple upside down cakePreheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).

Begin by greasing and lining a 25cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper. Don’t use a springform tin – there is caramel in the pineapple layer which will dribble out of a tin with a loose bottom when heated.

Prepare the caramel by melting the salted butter, a couple of drops of vanilla essence and the soft brown sugar together in a small pan and boiling hard for five minutes. (Watch out here – the caramel will be very hot.) Pour the caramel into the bottom of the lined tin, and tip the tin carefully to make sure that it covers the base well.

Arrange the pineapple rings in a tight pattern on the bottom of the tin (see pictures), and put a glacé cherry in the middle of each one. Set the tin aside while you prepare the cake batter.

Put the milk, unsalted butter, sugar, flour, eggs and baking powder in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for two minutes, until the batter is pale and stiff. Spread the batter out over the pineapple pieces with a spatula and bake the cake for 50 minutes, until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes in its tin, until it is cool enough to handle (this sponge can be quite fragile when very hot), then place a plate over the top of the cake tin, hold it there firmly and turn the whole assembly upside down, so the cake slips out, upside-down, onto the plate. Slide the cake off the plate onto a cooling rack until it is completely cold.

9 Replies to “Pineapple upside-down cake”

  1. Just made it for a friend who’d been reminiscing about his gran’s version — this recipe is the absolute business. Could I add a teaspoon of rum into the caramel, I wonder?

  2. I'm making this for dessert tonight, so hope it goes down a treat!

    I had cunningly planned to add some dessicated coconut to the cake mix, only to find I didn't actually have any in the cupboard 🙁

    Instead I shall serve it with whipped coconut milk and see if synergy occurs..

  3. I remember having a pineapple upside down my aunt made when I was 10 and falling in love at first taste! I'd been searching for a recipe that especially looked like what my aunt made and yours comes very close, so I tried it today. Though the taste was LOVELY and it was fully cooked through, my cake didnt rise very much – it was quite thin and caved in from the middle. 🙁 So when I flipped it over, there was a sunken centre. What do you think happened? Has yours ever done that?

  4. Hi Tasha – sinking happens when the cake is underdone (although it sounds like yours wasn't), or when there's a problem with your raising agent. Was your baking powder a bit elderly? It's also worth banging the cake tin on the kitchen surface before you pop it into the oven a few times to get rid of any really big air bubbles in the mixture. Hope this helps – this is a sponge mixture that usually works very well!

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