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The best upside-down cake

The best upside-down cake

Martha Collison's recipe has pineapple rings nestled in sticky rum caramel, topped with coconut sponge. Perfect with cream, custard or simply on its own with a cup of tea.

5 out of 5 stars(3) Rate this recipe
  • Serves10
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook1 hr
  • Total time1 hr 20 mins
  • Pluscooling

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  • 2 x 140g pineapple rings in light syrup (100ml pineapple syrup reserved)
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 250g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 4 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Eggs, beaten
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • Whipped cream or custard, to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4 and line the base of a deep, 20cm round cake tin with a circle of baking parchment large enough to come a few centimetres up the inside of the tin (see tip – this will stop the syrup leaking out if the tin is loose-bottomed).

  2. Tip the reserved 100ml pineapple syrup into a small frying pan or saucepan and add the caster sugar. Cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture turns a deep caramel colour. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp rum, the lemon juice and 2 tbsp of the desiccated coconut. Pour into the lined tin and spread with a spatula so it coats the bottom.

  3. Place 1 whole pineapple ring at the centre of the tin, then cut the remaining rings in ½ and arrange in the tin around the middle ring. If you need to make a second layer to use up the pineapple, that’s fine. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.

  4. Beat together the butter with the brown sugar using an electric whisk, until light and fluffy, then add the eggs. Beat well before adding the flour, remaining coconut and the remaining 1 tbsp rum, then mix again until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the top of the pineapple and spread evenly using a spatula.

  5. Place on a baking sheet, then bake for 50 minutes-1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before carefully inverting onto a plate. Remove the tin and baking parchment, then serve warm.

Cook’s tip

Use this cake as a canvas for other variations. I’d recommend using robust fruits similar to pineapple – cherries, apricots and pears will work well. Thinly sliced citrus fruits work a treat too, but avoid soft berries which release too much water. If the fruit doesn’t come in syrup, swap for 100ml water and increase the sugar by 25g. Another tips is that for most cakes, I simply line the bottom with a circle of parchment the same size as the base of the tin. Because this cake has syrup and fruit at the bottom that’s prone to leakage (and I use loose-bottomed tins), make sure you cut your circle larger than the bottom and fold it up around the edges of the tin and place the tin on a baking tray to avoid a messy oven.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,131kJ/ 510kcals



Saturated Fat












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