Pineapple Upside Down Cake


I’ve always wanted to try making pineapple upside down cake but I always thought the method was too complex. How did the pineapples get on top with such perfection? #mindblown. As I began to research different recipes I came across Chef John’s easy peasy recipe for the pineapple upside down cake I made today. It’s a lot easier than most would think and would make a great dessert as an end to any dinner party. The cake is soft and scrumptious, while the pineapple adds a great sour-y combination.

I’ve adapted the recipe from here.

You will need one 9 inch pan for this recipe.

Pineapple layer

1/4 cup butter

3/4 cup coconut sugar (or you can use brown sugar)

2 tablespoon pineapple juice (I got the pineapple juice from the plastic container which held the pineapple)

1/2 pineapple (already cut and cored from supermarket – it comes in a plastic tub and its fresh. You could always core your own pineapple but I found this much easier)


1/2 cup butter 

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup organic cane sugar

1 egg

1/2 + 1 tablespoon of milk

Instructions to prepare pineapple layer

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2.  Melt 1/4 cup butter in saucepan. Set to medium-low heat. Keep an eye on the butter because it burns easily.
  3.  Add coconut sugar and the pineapple juice. Cook for 4-5 minutes till sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. Place the sauce pan to the side and cool for a minute. Spread mixture into the baking pan.
  4. Slice pineapple into round discs and chop into four pieces. Make sure you remove the tough core part that is on the inside part of the pineapple – its tough and chewy. Place the pineapple on top of the sugar sauce as close together as possible. If there is any space, quarter the pineapple further and fill in the gaps.


  1. Melt 1/2 cup butter at medium-low heat till a darker brown – be careful you do not burn it. It will have a slightly nutty smell. Allow the butter to cool but not solidify
  2. Combine all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and sugar together in a bowl with a whisk.
  3. Create a mound in the middle of the flour with your hands and crack in one egg and add milk. Whisk the egg and milk lightly in the center of the bowl but do not incorporate all the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add butter (make sure the butter is a cooled otherwise the egg can scramble) and mix well. Use a spatula at this point since it is easier to get the batter together.
  5. The cake batter won’t be thin and pourable but a bit stiff. Start ‘pouring’ the batter on top of the pineapple layer in the pan and gently, with the top of your spatula, spread out the batter in the pan. Don’t worry about a perfect smooth top because the cake will rise and it will be the bottom of the final product anyways.

Place pan in oven for 15-20 minutes depending on how quickly the cake turns golden brown. Best way to check if the cake is done is by poking the center with a toothpick, which should come out clean. Also the pineapple syrup will bubble from the sides of the cake up to the surface. Don’t worry, it should happen! Finally once the cake is out, let cool for 4-5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.

Finally the tricky part that gave me anxiety: Taking the cake out of the pan! DUM DUM DUM.

Essentially, you need a plate bigger than the pan. You place the plate on top of the pan and flip the pan till the cake is on the plate. Some syrup will run off the cake to the edges of the plate but you can wipe that up with a warm, damp paper towel.

Cut into slices and serve!

I think it would go great with fresh whip cream or ice cream. Warm and cold. Perfection.



2 thoughts on “Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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