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Rum Pineapple Upside-down Cake


For the cake

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 110g white sugar
  • 40g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g all-purpose flour
  • 4g baking powder
  • 1g salt
  • 40g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 20g desiccated coconut, lightly toasted in a dry pan

For the topping

  • 40g soft dark brown sugar
  • 40g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 x 227g tins pineapple rings in fruit juice, drained, 1 tbsp juice reserved

For the syrup

  • 100ml ginger ale or ginger beer
  • 20g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp spiced or golden rum


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Grease and line a 20cm square loose-bottomed cake tin with nonstick baking paper. Melt the sugar and butter for the topping in a large frying pan over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium-high and fry the pineapple rings for 2 mins on one side; remove from the heat. Arrange, fried side down, into 3 overlapping lines in the prepared tin, then pour over the caramel from the pan.
  2. For the cake, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, followed by the vanilla. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, ground almonds and spices in another bowl, then fold into the batter until just combined. Stir in the milk, then spoon the mix over the pineapple.
  3. Level with the back of a spoon, then bake in the centre of the oven (with a tray below the cake tin to catch any caramel) for 35 mins until golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 2 mins, then turn out onto a serving plate; peel off the baking paper.
  4. Meanwhile, put the ginger ale, reserved pineapple juice and 20g sugar in a small pan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally, then increase the heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 mins until reduced by a quarter and thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 mins, then stir in the rum. Pour half the syrup over the turned-out cake, then leave to cool for 20 mins. Drizzle the remaining cooled syrup over the cake and scatter with the toasted coconut.

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