Cakes, Cakes and Desserts, fruit, Recipes

Upside-Down Spiced Pineapple Cake

Upside-down cakes are among my favorite cakes: their buttery, caramelized fruity top, and the tasty cake beneath it, is always pleasing.

Over the years, I’ve posted here a few versions for this tasty cake, using different types of fruit. However, I recently realized that I’ve never posted a recipe for the most popular version of the cake – the one with pineapple on top. Looking at the ripe pineapple I have just bought, it was evidently the time to rectify this.

Granted, as the pineapple version has been abused for decades; with recipes calling for using canned pineapple in heavy syrup, paired with commercial box cake mixture, and decorated with overly sweet and artificially colored preserved cherries, it’s no wonder it got bad reputation. However, when prepared with batter made from scratch from fresh ingredients, and with juicy ripe fresh pineapple, the cake is delightfully tasty, aromatic and beautiful.

As I often do, I used brown sugar for the top layer, to enhance the deep caramel color, and to add its unique flavor to the topping. I also added a bit of spiced dark rum to the batter, along with cardamom powder and vanilla. All paired so well with the tropical fragrance of the pineapple, and gave the cake wonderful aroma.

The cake is perfect for serving on a summer day, with fresh fruit juice and a splash of spiced dark rum. Try it and enjoy.


* For more of my upside-down cake recipes, click HERE.

* For instructions on how to clean and cut fresh pineapple, click HERE.


Makes: 8-10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes


For the fruit layer:
1/3 stick (40 grams) butter, soft
¼ cup brown sugar (see notes)
½ tsp cardamom powder
¼ large fresh pineapple, cleaned and cut into large pieces (check HERE for instructions)
For the batter:
2/3 stick (75 grams) soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 L eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 Tbs spiced dark rum
1½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
Dash salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Prepare a 10” (26cm) deep cake pan.
  2. The fruit layer: Spread the butter in a thick layer over the bottom of the pan, and a thin layer over the sides. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cardamom powder over the bottom, avoiding about ¼” (½ cm) from the sides (this will help with releasing the cake from the pan later on). Arrange the pineapple pieces on top and place in the fridge, until the batter is ready.
  3. The batter: in a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, cardamom powder and vanilla, and whisk again, to a creamy mixture. Add the milk and rum, and whisk again (the mixture will look separated, but it’s fine). Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix to a smooth batter. Pour the batter over the fruit layer, from the center out.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Let the cake stand for 1-2 minutes in the pan. Place a plate (the size of the pan or larger) over the pan. Using oven mitts (remember, the pan is still hot!) hold both plate and pan together, and turn the pan upside down over the plate. Place on a work surface and carefully remove the pan. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.

32 thoughts on “Upside-Down Spiced Pineapple Cake”

  1. I have never liked Upside Down Pineapple cake. Funny taste and those cherries!
    But your cake sounds lovely especially with the Cardamom and Rum. As soon as I’ve been to the store for the Pineapple there will be Upside Down cake. For sure!
    Thanks Ronit :))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mary, I’m glad you liked my version. Upside down cakes indeed have bad reputation, due to all these horrid ingredients, but once made with real fresh ones, it’s a totally different story. I hope you’ll enjoy the cake and erase the bad memories! 🙂


    1. Thank you Bernadette, I’m glad you liked the cake. The rum and cardamom added a special aroma to it.
      I wouldn’t recommend using a spring form pan for this type of cake, as the butter and sugar at the bottom might leak out, creating a mess.. 🙂


    1. I’ve been there too Judi, as there are so many recipes I like and save, yet somehow never get to actually make them. But I’m still hopeful that one day…
      I agree about staying away from most canned foods, especially fruit in heavy syrup. 🙂


  2. Your cake is absolutely beautiful! I agree with you, there is nothing like a cake made with real ingredients (meaning no cans, new mixes)! I love a good pineapple upside down cake, and other fruits as well. The cake is simple (why would anyone use a mix?) and the results are fantastic, as everyone can see from your cake!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you David, I’m glad you liked the cake. It was delicious and so aromatic.
      It is beyond me, why anyone would use box cake mix, when it’s so simple to make it from scratch.
      I’m afraid some people are so used to artificial flavors by now, that they can’t appreciate real flavors. A real shame!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You showed up this cake just at the right time: several pineapples getting ripe at the same time in my garden! I already prepared ice cream, jam, curry, chutney and was looking for a cake right now! The use of cardamom sounds good (I also like pineapple+mace (nutmeg)!
    I agree that lots of consumers can’t appreciate real flavours anymore: pistachio (as ice cream), vanilla, and fruits, who should really be in a yoghurt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Felix, I’m glad this recipe came on time. By the photo you’ve sent, I’m sure it is even better than mine, with using such fresh ripe pineapples. I love the idea of using nutmeg or mace instead of the cardamom. Will give it a try next time!
      Indeed so sad that by now so many people are used to artificial flavors and aroma, not to mention the horrible food coloring! We can only do our best by suggesting fresh alternatives. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks absolutely amazing!! We went to our local farmer’s market and got a whole pineapple 🍍 ! Now we simply diced ours up and had it as a snack, but I was talking about wanting to make a pineapple upside down cake and you have inspired me!!!! 🙂👍🍍🍍🍍🍍

    Liked by 1 person

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