When I had a plethora of pineapples left over from a TV shoot recently, I knew that one of the recipes I wanted to do was an upside-down cake. It’s kind of a classic. I didn’t want to do a large one though, but rather adapt my very popular recipe for clementine upside-down cakes. It’s the perfect kind of cake to handle a soft fruity topping, and it has been featured a few times on the Huffington Post, so I figured people out there have enjoyed it a lot.

And I simply love baking, so any excuse really.



* Cooks notes ~ I used palm sugar because I adore the flavour. So much so that I have been known to nibble on a block of it like candy. It complements the tropical pineapple so well. You can just as easily use brown sugar though, and these are perfect served with whipped cream flavoured with vanilla. Vanilla and pineapple is another flavour marriage made in heaven, so I’ve also included two teaspoons in the batter.

What is your favourite kind of upside-down cake?


pineapple upside down cakes

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: about 15 cakes 1x


  • cake
  • 225g butter – room temp
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g flour
  • 2t baking powder
  • 4 large eggs – room temp
  • 2t vanilla extract
  • pineapple topping
  • 1 large pineapple (about 550g) peeled and cut into very small dice
  • 40g butter
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 180 c / 350 F
  2. Beat the butter, vanilla and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing to fully combine between each addition
  4. By hand sift the flour and the baking powder over the mix and fold it in to combine
  5. To make the toping, melt the butter and sugar in a large pan until melted and bubbling. Add the pineapple and toss lightly for around 3 – 4 minutes. Divide the topping between the 15 muffin cups in a greased pan. it will be about a dessert spoon per cup.
  6. Using an ice-cream scoop, evenly measure out the cake batter and dollop onto each pineapple mix (about 3/4 of the way up the pan).
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 mins, until golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan.
  9. Gently pry the cakes away from the edges with a small spatula and invert them out to serve.




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  1. These look adorable and are just the thing to remind those of us not so fortunate as to live in CT, that summer is not too far off now! They would be nice with caramelised bananas too.

  2. Hi Sam, love the way your site looks. Your pineapple cakes look delicious! Never heard of palm sugar before, does it have a mild flavor? if so what does it taste like? Thanks

  3. Sam

    Hi Cheri, you can get palm sugar at Asian supermarkets and it has a delicious almost caramel flavour. Its got a soft, sometimes even chewy texture and comes in solid cakes. You need to grate it to break it up. It really is just sugar with a lot more flavour and I love to use it with fruit. Especially tropical fruit. Fantastic with banana’s too.

  4. Are these made in mini muffin pans? Maybe that should be obvious but it don’t see it in the recipe. Thanks!

  5. Sam

    Hi Kaye – no these are made in normal muffin pans.

  6. These look great! I’ve tried your clementine cakes and they were great. (I used orange instead of clementines.) What would be the flavour difference if I used brown/white/icing sugar instead of palm sugar?

  7. Sam

    Hi Minh-e – use brown sugar it will be very much the same.

  8. Hi there. I’m a passionate home cook and am fairly well experienced. I found this recipe truly disappointing. I followed your recipe, using brown sugar. I cooked the cakes for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. None of them looked like yours. The cake was dry, didn’t have enough pineapple (and I used about 3-4 grams more pineapple than suggested) and had no syrupy goodness or even moisture. I had 15 cakes that I had planned to share throughout my neighborhood with people who have been quarantined in California due to COVID-19. These weren’t worthy of sharing, I’m sad to say. It was a waste of good ingredients. I would suggest either revisiting your recipe and tweaking it, or deleting it all together.

    On a up note, your photos are very nice.

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