Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Fresh Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in Salted Caramel

How can anyone claim title to this wonderful fruit filled dessert?  There are so many versions of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake that I could fill a book with them and all of them are good.  I will say that this is a family recipe, tweaked to have some trendy changes that suit our current tastes.  When Mama made this cake she didn’t have access to the delicious rums available today or fresh pineapples, and the caramel on which her cake batter and pineapple floated had never heard of salted caramel, though she added salt to it to balance out the sweetness and enhance all the flavors of the recipe.  Now you can get fabulous rum in a tiny bottle just the right size for this recipe, and calling attention to the salt in the caramel is in vogue, fresh pineapple is available in almost any food store you enter, so here we are:  Fresh pineapple, salted caramel and rummy cake batter, thus this quick and easy dessert is a mere few minutes from creation.

The thing to remember about making any recipes that call for butter, sugar and liquor is that you can always lighten up a little with simple substitutions (using unsweetened applesauce in the place of some of the granulated sugar and reduce the amount of  butter and fat). Using other liquid  flavors in the place of liquor is always an option, so adapt your recipes to your families taste and standard.  You are the head chef in your kitchen.


1.                                   Coat a 9-in. cakepan with cooking pray and set aside.

2.                                                           Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 stick soft unsalted butter
  • 1 c. dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. dark rum (or 3 tbsp pineapple juice+ 1 tbsp molasses)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
    • In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar and 1 stick of butter whisking occasionally until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and cook until caramel thickens and furs a deep brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in run  and 1 tsp. salt.  Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl to coat.  Set aside and let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

3.                                                             Cake Batter

  • 1 stick soft unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c whole milk
    • Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, remaining salt and cinnamon.  In a large bowl, using electric miser on med speed, beat together granulated sugar and remaining butter until fluffy.  Add vanilla. beat in the eggs, 1 at a time.  Add 1/2 the dry ingredients and half the milk, and use the mixer to stir the ingredients in, then add balance of dry and milk.  Stir to incorporate then stir on high speed briefly to make sure all ingredients have blended.

4.                                                                Pineapple

  • 1 medium pineapple, prepared and cut in rings.
    • Peel, core and slice pineapple in rings.  Arrange pineapple rings atop the caramel in cake  pan., filling in between rings with pineapple chunks.

5.                                                                Final Steps

  • Slowly pour batter over pineapple and spread  over all to the sides of the pan.  An offset or rubber spatula works well for this.
  • Bake until a toothpick  inserted in center of cake come out clean, 48-52 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake.  Invert on a serving plate and Yum!
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