Forget the cake mix, make this easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from scratch! Serve warm and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you’ll feel like you’re in heaven!
Last month, Bryan and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary! Gosh, hard to believe it has already been 10 years. Every year, I worked on a new and special dessert for the day, like the baked Alaska last year. This year, one dessert immediately popped out in my mind, pineapple upside-down cake!
Not long after we started dating, Bryan talked about pineapple upside-down cake in a few occasion. For Bryan, it’s something he grew up seeing in the back of a box of yellow cake mix. My mother-in-law made that often when Bryan was younger, so it’s something reminded him of childhood. I had no clue what kind of cake it was for a while, until I tried it in restaurant one day. That definitely wasn’t seen in Hong Kong, at least back in the days. Over the years, I have only made pineapple upside-down cake once and it was with a box of cake mix.
This time, I want to make it from scratch. I followed the recipe from The Kitchn. It’s easy and the result was perfect. For the glaze, the butter and sugar was first melted in a saucepan until slightly darker and bubbly. Then, the glaze was poured into the cake pan and cooled. Instead of worrying whether the fresh pineapple is sweet or not, use the canned ones. They are guaranteed to be sweet and they won’t release juice during the baking process. I didn’t use any maraschino cherries, because I don’t like them. If you do, add them. Cake batter is very basic. Cream the butter and sugar together. Then add eggs. Blend in the flour and pineapple juice. Scoop the batter over the pineapple rings and bake.
This cake tasted absolutely fantastic! The whole apartment smelled like pineapple cake when baking. I wish you can smell it. Someone really needs to work on a candle with that smell! After the cake was baked, patiently wait for 10 minutes before removing from pan. The cake was beautifully browned and moist. The cake top was sweet with a hint of caramelized flavor. Mild pineapple flavor can be tasted throughout the cake. The cake was so amazing when served warm. Where have I been for the past 30-something years? Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Warm, cold, and sweet. It made a satisfying end of the meal dessert!
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 can (8-ounces) pineapple rings (reserve ½ cup pineapple juice)
- Vanilla ice cream (optional for serving)
- 180 grams all-purpose flour (1½ cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 198 grams sugar (1 cup)
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (177˚C). Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter and ½ cup light brown sugar. Cook until bubbly and slightly more brown, stirring often. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Make sure it’s evenly spread.
- To make the cake, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and beat until smooth, about 1 more minute.
- Turn the mixer to low speed, add the flour and ½ cup pineapple juice to the butter mixture alternately in 3 additions, by starting and finishing with the flour. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Roughly drain 7 – 8 pineapple rings and fit them into the prepared cake pan. Spoon the batter over the pineapple and spread evenly. Tap the cake pan lightly on the counter to settle the batter. Bake in the oven until dark golden-brown, about 42 – 47 minutes. Test the doneness with a toothpick. The toothpick should come out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Run a knife around the cake pan and carefully flip the cake pan over onto a serving plate. Slowly lift the cake pan away. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.
- The canned pineapple I used is Native Forest. Use any brand you like.
- I really do not like maraschino cherries, so I didn't add any. It's up to you.
- For storage, keep the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- I usually make this cake before dinner. Half way through dinner, I put the cake in the oven to bake. When we are done with dinner and rest for a bit, the cake is ready to be served.