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All The President's Labradors

Tuesday's Letters Eat 36: 'U' is for Upside Down Cakes

Have I made an Upside Down Cake this year?? I can't remember and I am beastly careless. I am cooking a plain and ordinary Upside Down Pineapple Cake, and some muffin sized individual cakes: pumpkin and cherry, golden kiwifruit and vanilla, pear and ginger, raspberry and orange and lemon. You will see I also attempted a chocolate pecan cake, but I broke it trying to remove it from the tin.

I had hoped to use bananas, but they were all quite green and so I was thwarted.

I used Stephanie Alexander's recipe, but I used brown sugar instead of caster for the small cakes. At the end of the post I'll write about the small cakes.


Upside Down Pineapple Cake   serves 6-8

  • 175g softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar - or brown
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tspn extra baking powder
  • 1 tbspn coconut or almond meal.

For the Caramel:

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tin pineapple rings, drained, or a real pineapple

Preheat the oven to 180*C and grease and line a 26cm round tin. My tin was a 26 x 18cm rectangle.

Cream the butter and sugar. It will be light, pale and creamy.

Add the eggs and beat briefly.

Sift the dry ingredients together and then fold into the batter.

Make the caramel by putting the sugar and water in a heavy based pan. Bring slowly to the boil, and then do not stir at all. It will gradually turn golden brown. Then it is ready. It needs a close eye. Quickly stir through the butter. 

Pineapple and caramel
Pour into the base of the cake tin. Put the pineapple rings onto some kitchen paper, and then pat dry. Arrange the pineapple rings on top.

Finishing off
Spoon in the cake batter. There always seems to be less than I think there is and so I use a large spoon, dipped in a cup of boiling water, to smooth the cake evenly into the tin.

Bake for about 50 minutes. The cake will be quite brown on top. Cool in the tin a little and then turn out onto a plate. The cake will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. (This cake was off to be eaten by The Dutches)

Upside down Pineapple cake
I made another batter for the small cakes, which I cooked in a muffin tin. I lined the base and poured the caramel in, if needed. They took about 25 minutes to cook. I used two ice cream scoops of the batter and flavoured them. That made two little cakes. You may, of course, adapt any of these to one large cake.

Little cakes in progress
Lemon: melt a tablespoon each of butter and sugar in a small pan. When bubbling, add two thin lemon slices and cook for a minute. Place in the bottom of the muffin place.  Add some grated lemon rind and a squeeze of juice to the batter, mix and then scoop on top of the lemon slices.

Raspberry and Orange: Pour some caramel into the muffin pan base and top with some raspberries. Add some orange rind and a squeeze of juice to the batter, mix and then scoop on top of the berries.

Pear and Ginger: Pour caramel into the base of the tin and then add some pear slices. Mix a little ground ginger, or even grate some fresh, and mix well, and then scoop on top of the pear.

Pumpkin and Cherry: Spoon some cherry conserve into the two muffin bases. Microwave a little butternut pumpkin till soft. Mash with a little butter and cinnamon or nutmeg.(No pumpkin spice here!!) Mix the pumpkin into the cake batter and then spoon over the cherry conserve.

Golden Kiwifruit and Vanilla: Pour some caramel into the base and top with a thick round of golden kiwifruit. Mix two scoops of batter with some vanilla seeds from half a vanilla pod and then spoon onto the kiwifruit.

Ta da!!!

Individual USD Cakes



Hurrah for upside down cakes! Many of them! I have never had pineapple upside down cake although I always think it must be delicious!

And Pumpkin and cherry! I am intrigued! You are so clever!


Oooh I do like the look of those!


Wow, that's a lot of effort in those little cakes. I hope whoever ate them, enjoyed them!!


Mmm, sounds and looks delicious! I think I've done one upside down cake, back when I learned how to cook, but not since.


I've never made an upside down anything and I feel the lack of it suddenly - all those little ones look delightful!

Judy Edmonds

Much better than Ukrainian udon noodles! I love upside down cakes, they always look like magic and are really quite easy. Especially good with lab fur, I imagine! everything I create, cooking/textile/etc, has a little Sirius fur in it for good luck :)


oh look at all that delicious upsidedown-ness! im still quite addicted to your honey pear cake, which is also kind of upside down. i love the variety of the little ones, so clever!

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