Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m kind of obsessed with shoving fruit into nearly every recipe that passes through my kitchen. No matter the other ingredients involved, adding fruit makes me feel (sometimes falsely) healthier. Plus, it’s delicious. So, to Pineapple Upside-Down cake we go and, let me warn you, it’s a game-changer.

Cake? No thanks, I’m cleansing. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake? I’ll have a slice for breakfast, after lunch and after dinner please. Guys, there’s fruit in it, we’re all good. And even though I can’t stop by your house and whip up a cake for you, I have a whole wheat, low sugar recipe that will get you there in no time. 

To begin, the pan is greased and lined. This is a necessary step unless you would rather chisel out the sweet, brown-sugary and pineapple-y bites at the bottom of the cake. I mean, that doesn’t sound like the worst thing ever, let’s not pretend we haven’t, at one point, eaten cake straight from the pan, but you would risk losing some of the irresistible last bites. Very sad.  

Once lined, a generous amount of brown sugar is sprinkled, then layered with sweet rings of pineapple. 

Batter comes together in a small bowl and is then spread on top, concealing the pineapple rings.

As soon as the cake goes into the oven it becomes a waiting game. The timer ticks down and the room begins to fill with the warm and sweet scent of caramelizing sugar and fruit.

Once completely baked, the cake sits for a few minutes and then is delicately flipped out of the pan. Magic. The pineapple has become syrupy from the brown sugar and is bright yellow, contrasting with the spiced cake.

I topped mine, for decoration purposes only, with halved fresh cherries and ate immediately. Nothing is quite as satisfying as eating a large slice of warm Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Never has baking a cake felt quite as productive. The crumb is warm, soft and light, but has enough structure that it absorbs all of the sweet and caramelized fruit juices that have collected in the bottom of the pan. The cake is lightly spiced with just a hint of sweetness, balancing with the juicy fruit.

Have I convinced you of this cake’s greatness yet? 

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (Adapted from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

Serves 9

0.75 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

0.25 cups plus 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (divided)

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1 can pineapple rings (about 9 rings)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

0.25 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

0.75 cups whole wheat flour

0.5 cups all purpose flour

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

0.5 teaspoon allspice

0.5 teaspoon salt

Fresh cherries (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Lightly grease 9x13 pan and line with parchment paper. Grease with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Layer on pineapple slices, overlapping is ok. Set aside. 

3. Combine almond milk and vinegar, let curdle. 

4. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, granulated sugar, 0.25 cups of oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Sift in flours, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt and whisk until smooth.

5. Pour batter over pineapple rings. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until an inserted knife comes out clean. 

6. Let cool for at least 15 minutes and then invert onto a plate. Peel away parchment, let cool for a few more minutes and add cherries. Slice and serve warm. 

I'd love to see your finished cakes! Take a photo, post it and tag me on Instagram with #thesweetestbeet.