Pineapple upside-down cake

Pineapple upside-down cake

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

There’s a fantastic South American barbecue restaurant near where I live. You sit at the table and they relentlessly pile different meats on to your plate until you can’t take it any more and press a red button on the table to make them stop! At that point, they come around with barbecued pineapple and – even though you’re bursting at the seams – no one can resist sweet, caramelised pineapple slices. This cake is my nod to that. If you feel like evoking the 1970s for pudding one evening, you can do a lot worse than having a crack at this. It is a bit old-fashioned, but I dare you to try not to reach for another slice once you’ve had a taste.


Quantity Ingredient
110g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the tin
155g caster sugar
1 can pineapple slices in juice
75g glace cherries
2 large eggs
50g ground almonds
100g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
23 cm round sandwich tin, (not loose-bottomed)
electric whisk
wire cooling rack
serving plate


  1. Butter a 23 cm round sandwich tin and evenly scatter in 30 g of the sugar.
  2. Drain the pineapple slices. Put the first ring into the centre of the tin. Cut the remaining slices in half and arrange the crescents around the centre ring like a fan; there should be room for about 12 halves. Place cherries in the ring holes, including in the centre.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Beat the butter and remaining sugar together until fluffy, using an electric whisk. Add the eggs, one by one, beating thoroughly each time, then beat in the ground almonds. You’ll need to scrape down the sides of your bowl, to fully mix all the wet ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and spices.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture using a silicone spatula, making sure not to leave any unmixed flour at the bottom.
  6. Pour the cake batter over the pineapple slices and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when prodded into the centre of the cake.
  7. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then put your serving plate face down on top of the sandwich tin and turn the whole thing upside down to get the cake out of the tin (you may need to prise a pineapple slice gently from the bottom and replace it on the cake). Serve with coconut ice cream.


  • This recipe has a level 2 (intermediate) difficulty.


  • Upside-down cakes work with any soft fruit you can get out of the garden, or even with apples. Fruits such as blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries and raspberries all work well with apple. The cooking time is usually the same no matter what fruit you put in and they really taste and look ace, so get to it.
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