Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (family recipe)

This is a family recipe I uncovered while digging through some of my favorite recipes and reminiscing about my childhood treats.

Sliced cake

I was on the phone with one of my sisters talking about the different desserts we baked and ate while growing up, and she reminded me of this amazing pineapple upside-down cake one of my older sisters used to make.  How could I have forgotten?! I immediately called her to get the recipe and made it the next dessert on my baking list.

Pineapples on top of caramel coating

Thinking back now, it seems like we were always baking at home. I guess that’s what happens when six women (5 sisters, 1 mom) live together with a dad who loves to cook.  Our house forever smelled of food and love, and was a revolving door for guests stopping by to try some of my dad’s famous cooking. When I had friends sleep over, I remember my dad dressing up in a Chefs hat and apron and greeting us in the morning with a handwritten menu he’d created with that day’s specials. Food was our language of love and there’s nothing better than food to nourish the soul. I guess that’s why baking makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.

Cake straight out of the oven

As for this recipe, while I grew up enjoying every bite of it, I have to admit it’s the first time I bake it. Once again I had to decipher the measurements and directions, all written in Spanish when I received it, but it’s now been tried and tested, so the version below is Bella approved.  Given that it’s my first time making it (from a recipe in Spanish w/ obscure measurements) and there are no disasters to report, it’s safe to classify it as an easy level recipe. The only tweak I made was the baking time.  The recipe originally called for 1 hour, but I had to leave it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours for it to fully bake.

Hope you enjoy a taste of my childhood!

Caramelized pineapples on top of the cake


~ 1 can of sliced pineapple in their own juice (alternately, you can use fresh pineapple, peel and cored, and cut into slices)


~ 1 cup sugar

~ 1 cup water

~ 1 tablespoon butter


~ 16 oz (=2 cups) all-purpose flour

~ 16 oz (=2 cups) sugar

~ 16 oz (= 2 cups) butter

~ 6 eggs

~ 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

~ 1 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan (or springform cake pan).

Pour water and sugar into a saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar has thickened and turned amber in color. Add one tablespoon of butter and stir into the caramelized sugar with a wooden spoon until completely melted. Note that the sugar may fizz a bit when you add the butter but will immediately smooth after stirring.

Pour caramel into a cake pan, making sure you evenly coat the entire bottom of the pan. Arrange the pineapple slices over the caramel.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition.

Combine the flour and the baking powder. Lower the speed on your mixer and add the flour and baking powder little by little while beating. The batter should be thick and creamy.

Spoon the batter into the cake pan and bake in the oven for 90 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean form the center of the cake. After about 60 minutes, check on your check regularly (every 5 – 10 minutes) to make sure you don’t over-bake).

Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cake turned upside-down, or is it right-side up?!

Ready to serve!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *