Pineapple upside-down cake

by Venancio Guerra

Pineapple upside down cake is a retro favorite that’s stood the test of time for good reason. Moist, tangy and easy to make, it’s a great make-ahead dessert served with ice cream or custard.


  • 425g tin pineapple rings in juice (drained weight 250g)
  • 4 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 235g/8oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 175g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/170C Fan/Gas 4. Butter the sides of a deep 20cm/8in the cake tin.
  2. Drain the pineapple slices and leave them to dry on kitchen paper. Put the soft brown sugar and 60g/2oz of the butter in a small frying pan and melt over medium heat. Spoon into the prepared cake tin. Cut seven of the pineapple rings in half to make semi-circles and arrange around the tin – you may only need six of the rings depending on how tightly you pack the slices. Place the remaining whole ring in the middle of the tin.
  3. Cream the remaining 175g/6oz butter and the caster sugar together until pale and light. Gradually add the eggs, mixing well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix again.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl, add the milk and mix until smooth. Carefully spoon over the pineapple slices and spread level.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 1 minute and then carefully turn out onto a serving plate and leave to cool. This cake is best served slightly warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream, lightly whipped cream, or custard.

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