April 22, 2020

Pineapple Coconut Upside-Down Cake

One behavior that I'm trying to consciously change amidst the COVID-19 crisis is to be less wasteful.  Now more than ever it seems that resourcefulness is critical because ingredients aren't necessarily as readily available as they were before.

I'm actually enjoying the process of reinventing foods that I previously would have tossed.   It's almost like a game for me - how creative can I be with leftovers?  I had some pineapple chunks that were on its last legs and an open carton of buttermilk which is how how I found myself making this Pineapple Coconut Upside-Down Cake.  I don't often make pineapple upside-down but when I do I'm always reminded of my Dad.  It's his favorite cake.

The recipe comes directly from epicurious.com which I tweaked only slightly by adding some sweetened coconut to the party.  There's no need to bust out your stand mixer for this cake.  It easily came together using a hand mixer.  The trick is to make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.

Buttermilk is the star ingredient in this recipe because the baked cake came out so light, fluffy and tender. Some upside-down cakes err on the side of too sugary in my opinion, but I found this one to be just right.  A dollop of lightly sweetened crème fraîche and this dessert could want for nothing.  In fact, I helped myself to two slices! 

Pineapple Coconut Upside-Down Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 fresh pineapple, halved lengthwise, cored, and peeled
1/4 cup sweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a bowl. Cut pineapple crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wedges.

Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep) lightly on side and generously on bottom of pan using 1/2 stick butter. Sprinkle all of brown sugar evenly over bottom and arrange pineapple over it, starting in center of pan and overlapping slices slightly.

Beat together remaining stick butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing just until batter is smooth.

Spread batter evenly over pineapple and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan on a rack, then invert cake onto a plate and remove pan. Cool to room temperature.


  1. Also, since the beaters can't reach the bowl's edges, you'll be scraping down the sides frequently. kitchenaid mixer

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