A classic favourite using canned pineapple and maraschino cherries, this bright and breezy retro cake is served upside down — the perfect fun centrepiece for afternoon tea.
The vanilla cake is studded with pineapple pieces and infused with pineapple juice and a splash of rum. Between the pineapple and the rum, and the ever-so-sweet golden brown caramelized topping, you will be in absolute heaven.
The Pineapple upside-down cake
Pineapple upside-down cakes were all the rage from the 1960s right through the 1980s. “Upside Down” refers to the way the cake is made. Like a French tarte tatin, the cake is assembled and baked with fruit at the bottom and the batter on top.
But when you turn the cake out of the pan, the pineapple pieces, studded with sweet candied cherries are literally the crowning glory of this cake!
How to flip a pineapple upside-down cake
- Allow your pineapple upside-down cake to cool for 10-15 minutes before you attempt inversion.
- Place your cake platter (or any plate that’s larger than your cake) over the pan — plate surface should be facing your vanilla cake layer.
- Carefully but quickly flip everything over so that the bottom of the cake pan is facing upwards, and then set down your cake platter and carefully remove the cake pan (careful, it will still be hot!)
- If, when lifting off the inverted cake pan (slowly!), you can tell that the base is sticking, tap the base gently and/or shake gently. This will help loosen it. That said, with the amount of butter used in the base to make the caramel “sauce” that soaks into the pineapple topping, it is highly improbable that you’ll encounter sticking issues.
This cake tastes best warm, so while you still want it to cool a bit, I don’t recommend waiting too long to dig in or making it very far in advance of serving!
Pineapple upside-down cake should be refrigerated and eaten quickly. Whether the fruits were fresh or canned, they make the cake susceptible to mold. You can keep it on the counter for just a day or two and about five days in the fridge.
In 1925, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company sponsored a contest calling for pineapple recipes. It is said that 2 500 of the 60 000 submissions were recipes for pineapple upside-down cake.
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups milk
- ¼ cup butter
- 15 ml baking powder
- 10 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 ml salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tin pineapple rings
- 30 ml pineapple tin juice
- 100 ml butter
- 1 ⅓ cup brown sugar
- Maraschino cherries
- 30 ml dark rum
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees
Topping (bottom of cake tin)
- In a sauce pan, heat the butter then add the brown sugar and pineapple juice
- Add the rum and bring to a boil
- In a greased cake tin, arrange the pineapple rings in the bottom
- Place a cherry in each pineapple centre
- Beat the eggs, sugar and butter then add the vanilla
- Add the dry ingredients and mix the wet ingredients in
- Pour the mixture over the pineapples
- Bake for 30 minutes then remove from the oven
- Use a sharp knife to loosen the sides
- Place a plate over the tin and flip over then pour the hot rum mixture over the cake