Before recently being reintroduced to the Pineapple Cake; my stereotypical view of this classic was tinned pineapple dotted with fluorescent glacé cherries, sitting atop a tooth achingly sweet sponge. Don’t get me wrong, I love nostalgic desserts and I will dive face first into a beautiful trifle if I see one; but some things are screaming for an update.
So please place all those old school memories of Pineapple Upside Down Cake, put them in an imaginary box and throw them out. Get ready to taste a moist caramel sponge, juicy poached pineapple and a butter/date topping to die for. All perked up with the zest of a lime.
Winter meets Summer here with this charming petite cake; if you’re feeling particularly cheeky this weekend, top this indulgence off with lashings of burnished toffee sauce. Ingredients – Makes 6 individual pineapple upside down cakes
Note: For this recipe, you need six small tart tins that are 3-4cm deep. I don’t have these, as probably many of you don’t, so I used disposable aluminium tins from the supermarket. If you can’t get hold of these, feel free to make this as a large upside down cake using a 23cm cake tin.
For poaching the Pineapple
- 150g caster sugar
- 300ml water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 vanilla pod, split down the centre and de-seeded
- 1 small pineapple, peeled
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 150g light soft brown sugar
- 100g dates, pitted and chopped
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g light soft brown sugar
- 100g caster sugar
- zest of one lime
- 3 medium eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Place six individual 3-4cm tart tins onto a baking tray (see notes.) Brush each case with softened butter.
To start, take your peeled pineapple and cut into six circle pieces about 1 1/2 cm wide. Next, using a small cutter or sharp knife, cut out the core from the middle of each pineapple piece so that you’re left with six rings. Place all of the other poaching ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the pineapple rings and simmer for 10-15 minutes until soft. Remove from the poaching liquid and leave to cool completely. Once cool, place each ring into the bottom of the individual moulds.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
For the date topping, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Mix in the chopped dates. Divide the mixture up between your six moulds and spread over the cooled pineapple.
For the sponge; cream together the butter, sugars and lime zest until pale and fluffy. Slowly add in the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Lastly, mix the flour and baking powder together before mixing into the sponge mixture in three additions. Divide the mixture between the six tins and level on top of the pineapple using a knife.
Bake for 35-45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Leave to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out.
Serve warm with toffee sauce, ice cream or pouring cream! Keeps well for 2-3 days.