Pineapple Upside Down Cake

If you don't have a high-sided 10-inch cake pan, you might try making this in a springform pan. Line the inside with foil so the caramel doesn't leak, and bake on a rimmed baking sheet just in case it does.

My dad's alternative caramel topping: 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup butter. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until all sugar is dissolved. Boil until syrup becomes warm amber in color (5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup butter, carefully as it will foam up a bit. Swirl the pan so that the butter is all incorporated, stirring with a wooden spoon if necessary. Pour out into cake pan. Continue with recipe as noted.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 to 14 servings

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (200g) of firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices (Dole brand works best)

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (55 g) cake flour
  • 6 tablespoons ground almonds (from about 2 oz or 56g of blanched almonds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350g) of sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Optional:

  • 8 candied or maraschino cherries

Special equipment:

Method

1 Grease the pan with butter: Generously grease (with butter) a 10-inch diameter non-stick cake pan with at least 2-inch high sides.

2 Make caramel topping: Heat brown sugar and butter in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly,  several minutes. (After sugar melts, don't stir.)

3 Pour into pan, top with pineapple slices: Pour the caramel mixture into the pan. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Scratch - Pouring the caramel into the pan How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake - Adding the pineapple rings

4 Preheat oven to 325° F.

5 Make cake batter: Whisk the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition.

6 Pour cake batter over caramel and pineapple in pan. Spread the cake batter over the pineapple and caramel so that it is smooth on top.

Pour Cake batter over pineapple and caramel

7 Bake: Bake the cake at 325°F until a tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (internal temperature of about 205°F if you have an instant read thermometer), about 1 hour.

8 Turn out cake: Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a platter, after the cake has cooled for 5 minutes, and while the cake is still warm.

If some of the topping sticks to the cake pan (it often does), just scoop it out with a butter knife and patch the cake.

9 (Optional) Add cherries: If you want to add candied or maraschino cherries for decoration, just put one in the center of each pineapple round.

Serve warm or at room temperature.