Upside-Down Pineapple Cake: A spiced and sticky caramel pineapple top on a light and tender butter cake with a hint of coconut. The best part? It’s all baked together as one cake!
Do you have a habit of bookmarking recipes but never got around baking/cooking them? I definitely have this habit. So when I found a can of pineapples as I was clearing and taking stock of my pantry, I decided it’s time to finally bake an upside-down pineapple cake.
The upside-down pineapple cake has two components: i) pineapple caramel top; and ii) cake batter.
Pineapple Caramel Top
A brown sugar caramel is typically made with butter, brown sugar and cream. However, this is made with just butter and brown sugar. So the consistency of this caramel is very sandy as the sugar cannot completely dissolve in the butter. I added a little cinnamon for a spiced flavour but it can be omitted if you don’t like it.
One tip with the caramel top is to work quickly after cooking and spread it in the cake tin while it’s still hot. This is because when cooled, the caramel will harden and become stiff. If this happens, you can just warm the caramel again. Don’t worry about the end-result becoming a hard caramel after baking. The pineapple juices will be released during baking, making the caramel top liquid-y and sticky.
The can of pineapples I have are pineapple rings, which I drained well before nesting them in the caramel. On hindsight, I would prefer the pineapple to be of small chunks so that I can squeeze more pineapples in and it’ll also be easier to cut the cake.
The cake batter is a simple butter cake. I reduced the sugar drastically for the cake as the caramel top is already super duper sweet. I also added coconut flakes on a whim. It gave the cake a slight coconut flavour which complements well with the pineapple.
Overall I think this upside-down pineapple cake is a very versatile cake and a great everyday cake. The pineapple can be swapped with whatever fruits that you have on hand (I’m imagining plums, peaches, apricots etc). While the pineapple top is really sweet, the cake itself is not as sweet, so I can still eat a pretty big slice in one sitting. And here’s the step-by-step photos and recipe!
|1) Combine butter and brown sugar in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat until butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly.||2) Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and sea salt.|
|3) While the caramel is still hot, scrape it all into the baking tin, spreading it all over the bottom of the baking tin.||4) Arrange pineapple rings / chunks on top of the caramel, nesting the pineapples as close to each other as possible. Set aside.|
|5) Cream softened butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla.||6) Until light and fluffy.|
|7) Add the eggs gradually while creaming on medium speed.||8) Until fully incorporated.|
|9) Sift in flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Add in ground almond and desiccated coconut.||10) Fold until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.|
|11) Scrape the batter on top of the pineapples.||12) Gently use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly in the tin.|
|13) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the cake portion of the cake comes out clean.||14) Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Invert it out on to a serving plate.|
Spiced Upside-Down Pineapple Cake
Pineapple Caramel Top
Pineapple Caramel Top
- Get ready an 8-inch baking tin. Grease with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine butter and brown sugar in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat until butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat.50 grams unsalted butter, 75 grams brown sugar
- Stir in cinnamon and sea salt. While the caramel is still hot, scrape it all into the baking tin, spreading it all over the bottom of the baking tin.1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp flakey sea salt
- Arrange pineapple rings / chunks on top of the caramel, nesting the pineapples as close to each other as possible. Set aside.200 grams pineapple
- Preheat oven to 170°C (conventional) / 160°C (convectional).
- Place softened butter, brown sugar, salt and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream on medium for 3 minutes, scrapping down the sides with a rubber spatula every minute. Cream on medium-high for 2 more minutes, then scrape down the sides. The mixture will be light, fluffy and pale brown (beige) in colour.125 grams unsalted butter, 60 grams brown sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 1 tsp vanilla
- Beat the eggs in a small measuring cup. Add the eggs gradually while creaming on medium speed, until fully incorporated.2 eggs
- Sift in flour, cornstarch and baking powder. Add in ground almond and desiccated coconut. Fold until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.80 grams all-purpose flour, 20 grams cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 50 grams ground almond, 30 grams desiccated coconut
- Scrape the batter on top of the pineapples. Gently use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly in the tin.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the cake portion of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Invert it out on to a serving plate. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Warm it in the microwave (10-20 seconds) briefly before serving.