pineapple upside down cakes

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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

A recipe for small pineapple upside down cakes
Print Recipe
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes



  • 225 g butter - room temp
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 225 g flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 4 large eggs - room temp
  • 2 t vanilla extract

pineapple topping

  • 1 large pineapple about 550g peeled and cut into very small dice
  • 40 g butter
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dark rum optional


  • Preheat oven to 180 c / 350 F
  • Beat the butter, vanilla and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, allowing to fully combine between each addition
  • By hand sift the flour and the baking powder over the mix and fold it in to combine
  • To make the topping, melt the butter and sugar in a large pan until melted and bubbling. Add the pineapple and toss lightly for around 3 - 4 minutes. Add the rum and flambe if you are using it. 
  • Grease the muffin pan well with butter and flour or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the topping between the 15 muffin cups in a greased pan. it will be about a dessert spoon per cup.
  • 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).
  • Bake for 25 - 30 mins, until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool in the pan.
  • Gently pry the cakes away from the edges with a small spatula and invert them out to serve.
Author: Sam Linsell




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

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