A lovely pineapple upside-down cake recipe that’s extremely simple to make. The batter is lightly scented with vanilla and citrus — we like to use lime or lemon. Then, the gooey topping is made of butter, brown sugar, warm cinnamon and fresh pineapple.
We absolutely love serving this cake warm with a little whipped cream, but ice cream would be just as delicious.
Think of this as a “modernized” version of classic pineapple upside-down cake. There’s no caramel on top, instead this cake has a moist, delicious and gooey topping. The cake itself is also a little more airy than the classic.
Fresh pineapple shines in this upside-down cake recipe…
As the cake bakes, the pineapple releases some of it’s juices and sweetness which runs out into the brown sugar topping. So when we can, we use fresh pineapple, which is a little lighter in flavor than canned.
If you’re in a pinch, canned pineapple will work, just be sure to use pineapple in the lightest syrup you can find. Otherwise, we have found the cake becomes too sweet for our taste.
After serving this to a few friends we were asked where the cherries were (something commonly added to pineapple cakes). For us, we’re happy to skip them, but if an upside-down pineapple cake seems naked without them, add them.
You May Also Like
- This pineapple upside-down cake recipe from Paula Deen looks really good and a bit richer than ours.
- Our cake recipe calls for a 1/4 of a pineapple, this spicy avocado pineapple salsa would be perfect for using up the rest.
- For something different, you could also try our blueberry pie recipe, it’s perfect for summer.
What You Need to Know: When you first beat the granulated sugar and butter, beat for 3 to 4 minutes. The mixture should look light and fluffy, not like wet sand. This step incorporates air into the batter, giving the cake a little extra lift once baked. Second, after beating the butter, sugar and eggs, hold back on the mixing. Go easy when you add the flour as well as the sour cream. Over beating will actually make the cake heavy so mix on low speed just until smooth.
Special Equipment: 9-inch x 2-inch round cake pan, bowls and an electric mixer.
- 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup (100 g) lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime or lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 ounces (225 g) fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (about 1/4 pineapple)
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour (we use unbleached Gold Medal all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 cup (125 g) sour cream, or plain yogurt
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177C) and position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Using the back of a spoon, spread 1/4 cup (55 g) of the butter over the bottom of a 9-inch by 2-inch cake pan. Scatter the brown sugar evenly over butter. Arrange pineapple wedges in one even layer in the cake pan then sprinkle cinnamon on top.
- In a large bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup (115 g) butter, granulated sugar and lime (or lemon) peel with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add one egg and the vanilla then beat on medium-low speed until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl, add the second egg and beat until just combined. Try not to over-mix.
- Stir baking powder, salt and flour together then add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until only a few streaks of flour remain then repeat with the remaining two thirds of flour mixture, beating after each addition. Add the sour cream (or yogurt) and mix just until smooth.
- Spoon cake batter on top of the pineapple then use a spatula to spread into an even layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake rest in pan for 5 minutes, then invert it onto a plate to cool. If some pineapple slices stick to the pan, use a spatula to transfer them back onto the cake and spread a little of the gooey brown sugar sauce over them to cover it up.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftover cake up to 3 days. It’s also nice to rewarm slices in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
Leftover Pineapple: Beyond enjoying juicy pineapple in fruit salads or alone, you can also broil slices or sear slices in a pan with some butter. Serve warm with a little whipped cream or ice cream.
Reference: Recipe adapted and inspired from Alice Medrich’s “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts”