Pineapple Upside Down Cake


I was thinking about my mom the other day and about how she always made pineapple upside down cakes when I was a kid. I loved picking off the maraschino cherries and eating them first (now I think the cherries are pretty gross and taste like chemicals). I’ve never made this cake before, so I thought I’d give it a try. I chose this recipe because it calls for rum and it doesn’t use cherries. I didn’t have any dark rum, so I borrowed some Puerto Rican rum from a friend. I also didn’t have a cast iron skillet (it’s my dream to own one), so I used my tried and true springform pan.

There’s not much to say about this cake other than it was easy to make and delicious. I really wish I took pics the same day because the glaze was glistening and beautiful, but it was dark in the house and the lighting was terrible.  I have to say the lighting wasn’t much better the next day, because it was very grey outside.


I was a little unsure about how the cake would turn out because when I cut into it, it seemed a little dry and crumbly. But if you can see by the pics, I didn’t have a problem with it, because I was eating the slice the entire time I was taking pics! I was still moist. I might make this cake again this Christmas.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake


For topping:

  • 1/2 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

For batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cardamom (I only used about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum for sprinkling over cake

Special equipment:

  • a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet (I used a 9” springform pan)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make the topping: Cut pineapple crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. Melt butter in skillet. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple on top of sugar mixture in concentric circles, overlapping pieces slightly.

Make the batter: Sift together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in granulated sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rum. Add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.)

Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in skillet 5 minutes. Invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together). Replace any pineapple stuck to bottom of skillet. Sprinkle rum over cake and cool on plate on a rack.

Serve cake just warm or at room temperature.  

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