Simply the BEST Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe! Picture a fluffy buttery vanilla sponge with a luscious topping of caramelised pineapple and cherries. This classic cake is SO SIMPLE to make even if you have never baked before.
Love pineapple? Try my mini Hummingbird Cakes!
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Did you tune into The Great British Bake Off this week? If you are among the millions who did, chances are you are craving a slice of Pineapple Upside Down Cake!
This retro classic was the technical challenge set by Paul Hollywood on GBBO on “cake week” and I wanted to bake it the minute the show was over.
To simplify things, I baked my Pineapple Upside Down Cake as a traybake / sheet cake and it was a HUGE success!
I can honestly say this is one of the easiest cakes you will ever make with a lovely texture – delicious served warm with custard or ice cream for dessert.
Take a look at the recipe video and step by step tutorial, put on your apron and… ready, set, BAKE!
Here’s what you will need:
Upside down Cakes are usually made in a round cake tin. I have used a rectangular cake tin as I find it easier to slice and share – use whatever you prefer, but adjust the cooking time. I kinda love how graphic and beautiful this pineapple upside-down traybake is tho!
- Light brown sugar and butter for the caramel topping
- Pineapple rings – you can use fresh or tinned pineapple for this recipe. I prefer to use Dole Pineapple rings from a tin as they are all the same size – much easier than using fresh pineapple. If you want to go fresh it might be best to use a Pineapple Peeler, Corer, Slicer and Wedger
- Maraschino or glacé cherries. I love adding these to create the classic look but if you don’t like them just leave them out!
- Cake layer: Butter or Stork, Caster sugar, flour, milk, eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and eggs
- Apricot jam and pineapple juice (or lime juice) for the glaze
HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves (but not after). Bring to a gentle simmer and take off the heat.
Spread the caramel over a lined 9×13 inch rectangular cake tin. Arrange the pineapple slices over the caramel in a single layer, slicing in half if needed, to fit tray.
Add the flour, sugar and raising agents in a mixing bowl and mix together to combine. Top with the softened butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, milk and eggs. Beat all the ingredients in one bowl using a hand or stand mixer, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.
Carefully spread the cake batter over the pineapple and level. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.
Cool the cake in the tin for 20 minutes. Lift out of the tray using overhanging paper and put on a wire rack to cool further. Carefully invert, peel lining off and transfer onto a platter (see tips below).
Brush warm apricot jam over the cake to cover. The glaze will protect the cake, add a lovely shiny glaze and add lots of flavour of course!
Add the cherries, if using, Serve warm with custard or ice cream or cold if you prefer. Store the cake in the fridge and eat within a couple of days.
HOW TO FLIP A PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
The only very slightly tricky part to this otherwise easy peasy recipe is flipping the cake over to reveal the pineapple topping. Follow my tips for flipping success!
Leave your pineapple upside-down cake to COOL DOWN. If you attempt to flip it while still warm, it will very likely fall apart.
Lift the cake out of the tin using the overhanging liner – I use these reusable cake liners which are sturdy and allow you to lift a large cake in one piece.
Place cake on a wire rack and position a second wire rack over the top of the cake (sponge side). Hold the wire racks securely and quickly flip the cake over. Peel off the liner to reveal the glorious pineapple topping underneath!
Transfer to a cake platter using a cake lifter (as it is a rather large cake).
TROUBLESHOOTING AND TIPS
My cake is sinking in the middle! This could be due to unevenly mixed batter, too much baking powder or over beating the batter. You shouldn’t have this problem with my recipe which uses a very simple all in one method.
How do I know my pineapple upside-down cake is done? Your cake should be golden, well risen and springy to the touch. A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean. If the knife comes out with batter on it then you should bake the cake for a little bit longer and check again after 5 minutes.
My cake is browning too much! This is usually due to the oven being too hot or heat being uneven. Many ovens run slightly too hot (or not hot enough). If your cake looks like it is browning too quickly then tent with foil – but don’t allow the foil to be in contact with the cake.
Can I use self raising flour? I haven’t tested this recipe with self raising flour but you should have absolutely no problems using it provided it is FRESH. If your flour has been gathering dust in the pantry for several years it will have lost its oomph! See recipe notes.
Can I replace the pineapple with another fruit? You can use bananas or mango in the same way using this recipe. Slice the bananas widthways and arrange so they cover the bottom of the tin.
POPULAR TRAY BAKES
- Retro Sprinkle Cake (a.k.a School Dinner Cake)
- Old fashioned Tottenham Cake
- Apple sponge cake (a.k.a Eve’s pudding)
- Best Chocolate Cake Traybake EVER
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- 115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter cubed
- 200 g (1 cup) light soft brown sugar
- 12-14 pineapple rings from a tin, drained
For the Cake
- 350 g ( 2¾ cups) plain flour (all purpose flour)
- 330 g (1 ⅔ cups) sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200 g (7/8 cup) softened butter or margarine such as Stork
- 4 medium eggs
- 120 ml (½ cup) whole or semi skimmed milk room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 1 lemon zest only
For the icing & decoration
- 3 tbsp smooth apricot jam
- 2 tbsp pineapple or lime juice
- maraschino or glacé cherries optional
Make the topping
- Line a 9x13inch rectangular cake tin with baking paper or a reusable cake liner.
- Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat when the caramel comes to a simmer.
- Spread the caramel over the bottom of the tin, edge to edge, and top with the pineapple slices, cutting them in half to fit if needed.
Make the sponge
- Preheat the oven to 170C (340F). Mist a rectangular tin with cake release and line with baking paper (preferably a strong cake liner) letting the edges hang over the sides.
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonade of soda in a large mixing bowl and mix together to combine.
- Add the softened butter, eggs, milk, vanilla and lemon zest.
- Start beating at lowest speed setting until ingredients come together. Increase the speed to maximum and beat until the batter is completely smooth – about 30 seconds to one minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Gently spread batter over the pineapple slices and level using a spatula.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden and feels springy to the touch. A skewer or knife inserted in the centre should come out clean – if not cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Leave cake to cool in tin for 20 minutes. Lift the cake out of the tin using the overhanging paper and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Heat the jam and juice in a saucepan until bubbles appear. If the jam is not smooth then pass it through a sieve.
- Brush the cake with the warm jam to cover.
- Add the cherries if using, slice and serve.
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- Digital scales – I use a scale for all my bakes but it is especially useful for mastering tricky skills like macarons or mirror cakes
- Traybake tin (9×13 inches)
- Measuring spoons
- Cake lifter – for transferring cakes safely
- Wire rack (if you have two, it makes it much easier to flip the cake)
- If you are using self raising flour then add only 1 tsp baking powder (no baking soda).
- Unless specified otherwise all your ingredients including butter eggs and milk should be at room temperature in order to achieve a smooth batter. If one or more of the ingredients are cold they will cause your batter to split or look curdled.
- If your milk is cold from the fridge then heat briefly in the microwave or saucepan until just tepid. Make sure the milk is body temperature – not too hot!
- Place cold eggs into warm water for five minutes to bring them back to room temperature.
- Cut cold butter into cubes and leave for an hour on your counter to warm up or use margarine (Stork).
- Store cake in the fridge in a covered container and consume within a couple of days.
- Leave your pineapple upside-down cake to COOL DOWN. If you attempt to flip it while still warm, it will very likely fall apart.
- Lift the cake out of the tin using the overhanging liner – I use these reusable cake liners which are sturdy and allow you to lift a large cake in one piece.
- Place cake on a wire rack and position a second wire rack over the top of the cake (sponge side). Hold the wire racks securely and quickly flip the cake over. Peel off the liner to reveal the glorious pineapple topping underneath!
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