Some golden oldies are timeless and even though thousands of recipes and variations exist on the web, this Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake is worthy of another blog post. Maybe you have never baked this type of cake before. Or, its been ages since you last pulled out your favourite recipe and now I have you running to the kitchen turning everything upside down.
A tender buttery vanilla cake topped with a mosaic of caramelized pineapple and walnuts, flavoured with cinnamon... is delicious served warm with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. A scoop of vanilla ice-cream or a light pouring of custard on top is another option you might like to try when serving as a dessert cake. To eat an upside down cake chilled would be doing this all-time favourite a great injustice, but room temperature is acceptable. Not a fan of pineapple, use other favorites like apples, peaches, plums and cherries.
As fresh pineapple is widely available, best to use fresh when possible. Are you afraid of cutting fresh pineapple (stop thinking about tinned pineapple) and having to gouge out so many eyes? Fear not… you may have noticed that some suppliers (Dole) of fresh pineapple attach a helpful diagram showing us how to cut a pineapple into chunks. Here is a picture tutorial on how to cut a pineapple the same way. Now that you have gone crazy cutting pineapple chunks, you might like to try Caramelized Pineapple with Chilli in a Sweet Coconut Broth for something different.
Traditionally, upside down cakes were made in cast-iron skillets but you can use a normal cake tin like I do. Before turning the baked cake onto a serving plate, run a blunt knife around the sticky edges to loosen. After turning out you many see a few pieces of fruit stuck to the bottom of the cake tin, fret not… just like a jigsaw puzzle you can put the pieces of fruit right back in place. A homely cake for serving family and friends or as part of an afternoon tea gathering.
Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake
For the topping:
- 250g of fresh pineapple chunks
- 50g un-salted butter
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 25g walnuts, roughly chopped
For the cake:
- 110g self-raising flour
- 110g castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 110g butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons of sour cream or full-fat milk
- freshly whipped cream, to serve (optional)
You will need a 7” (18cm) square cake tin or an 8” (20cm) round cake tin, grease the base with un-salted butter.
How to make:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon until combined. Pour mixture into the prepared cake tin, and spread over the entire base. Next, place the pineapple chunks as closely together on top of the mixture in a single layer. Push the walnuts pieces into the remaining spaces as best you can.
Sift the flour, castor sugar and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the eggs vanilla extract and sour cream/milk to the same bowl and using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together for about three minutes or until the mixture is smooth and lighter in colour. Spread the mixture evenly over the pineapple and smooth over. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the cake is well risen and golden brown.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, loosen the edges with a blunt knife before turning out onto a serving plate or a wire cooling rack. Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Serve with freshly whipped cream, if desired.
What is your favorite fruit topping when making an upside down cake?