How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Scratch

Yes Trini black cake and sponge cake are popular, but pineapple upside down cake is one of my favorites.

It is sweet and tangy and who doesn’t love those cherries and pineapple slices.

Here’s how I make my pineapple upside down cake.

Pineapple upside down cake ingredients

For this recipe, you will need:

  • flour
  • baking powder
  • cinnamon powder
  • salt
  • butter
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • eggs
  • lemon zest
  • vanilla essence
  • pineapple slices (in syrup or juice)
  • pineapple syrup or juice from the slices
  • maraschino cherries

There aren’t many optional ingredients for pineapple upside down cake. The only things I could think of are adding a pinch of nutmeg to the batter; or using milk in place of pineapple syrup or juice.

If you are in a baking mood, check out all the snack recipes I have on the blog. You’ll find cheese puffs and sponge cake on there. And I do plan on adding more soon.

How to make pineapple upside down cake

As with many cake recipes, you will want to start with softened butter. So, I usually take the butter out of the fridge a couple hours before making the cake. When the butter is nice and soft, preheat the oven at 375°F.

Cream butter and sugar

Place the butter and white sugar in your stand mixer and cream until the two become fully incorporated. This can take about 10 to 15 minutes. The sugar should essentially dissolve and the batter should have a light, fluffy texture and a pale white color.

cream butter and sugar for sponge cake

Add the eggs

Add one egg at a time to the batter and beat until it is fully incorporated. Repeat for the other eggs. At this point, the batter should be fairly runny and light.

combine butter, sugar and eggs

Toss in the zest and essence

Not everyone enjoys the smell and taste of eggs in cake, so I usually add in some lemon zest. The lemons here are from my garden but you can use whatever citrus you have available like lime or orange.

Mix in the vanilla essence.

add zest and vanilla essence to cake batter

Combine the dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, namely the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and a pinch of salt. Be sure everything is fully mixed.

At this point, you can add a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg too.

dry ingredients for pineapple upside down cake

Bring everything together

Next, add some of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed. Pour in some of the pineapple syrup or juice as well so the dry ingredients won’t go flying everywhere. Repeat until you’ve added in all the liquid and dry ingredients.

Here’s a look at my batter.

pineapple upside down cake batter

Bake

Now is the fun part.

Add about two tablespoons (25g) of butter to a small bowl and microwave until it has fully melted (about 15 to 30 seconds).

Butter your cake pan including the sides then pour in the melted butter. Give the pan a good swirl to evenly distribute the butter.

Next, sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Make sure the sugar is evenly distributed. While baking, the sugar will melt into the butter forming a super sweet caramel topping and that’s the best part of the cake, so you’ll want that sugar nicely spread out.

Pat dry your pineapple slices and place them on top of the sugar. You can leave a half centimeter between the slices so the cake batter can get in between and hold onto the slices.

Add some maraschino cherries (pat dry them too) to the center of the pineapple slices. You can cut them in half if you prefer.

pineapple and cherries on butter and sugar

Pour the cake batter over your pineapple-cherry work of art. Tap the cake pan to ensure the batter gets between the slices and the cherries.

Place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the center of the cake. The sides of the cake should also pull off from the cake pan.

Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

pineapple cake

Turn upside down

Place a flat surface like a plate over the top of the cake and flip over so the cake falls out of the pan. You should have a beautiful, caramelized topping with pineapple slices and cherries.

Set aside to cool before serving.

finished pineapple upside down cake

Pro tip: Do not wait for the cake to cool down completely before flipping over. When hot, the sugar is melted and runny. As it cools, it may recrystallize and stick to the cake pan so the flipping of the cake may not come out perfect. It’ll still taste good though and that’s the most important part!

Here are more baking recipes:

Pineapple upside down cake recipe


pineapple upside down cake featured image

Pineapple upside down cake recipe

Print Recipe
This pineapple upside down cake is sweet, fruity and delicious. It is made with all the basic cake ingredients plus pineapple fruit and slices. The caramel at the top make this cake perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword cake, pineapple upside down cake
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 12
Author We Trini Food

Equipment

  • Cake mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 200 g butter (175 g for the cake and 25 g for the topping)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (grated)
  • ½ cup pineapple syrup or juice from slices
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tin pineapple slices
  • maraschino cherries cut in half

Instructions

  • Place butter on the countertop to soften and come to room temperature (for at least 2 hours).
  • Preheat oven at 325°F.
  • Add 175 grams of butter and ¾ cup of white sugar to a stand mixer.
  • Cream until light and fluffy (about 10 minutes).
  • Add one egg. Combine fully.
  • Repeat for each egg.
  • Add vanilla essence and lemon zest and combine.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, and pinch of salt in a separate bowl.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter in the stand mixer.
  • Mix slowly and add half of the pineapple syrup. Combine fully.
  • Add the remaining dry ingredients and syrup. Mix.
  • Butter your cake pan.
  • Melt 25 grams of butter in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Pour the melted butter into the cake pan. Swirl to evenly distribute the butter.
  • Spread ½ cup of brown sugar evenly in the cake pan.
  • Place the pineapple slices on top of the sugar, half a centimeter from each other.
  • Place the cherries in the center of the pineapple slices.
  • Pour the cake batter onto the pineapple slices and cherries.
  • Tap the cake pan to remove any air pockets and to level the cake.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until a bamboo skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake and the sides have pulled off.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Place a large plate on top of the cake pan and turn over.
  • Slice the cake and serve.

Notes

Do not wait for the cake to cool down completely before flipping over. When hot, the sugar is melted and runny. As it cools, it may recrystallize and stick to the cake pan so the flipping of the cake may not come out perfect. 

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