Pineapple upside-down cakes

These pineapple upside-down cakes are a little burst of sweet sunshine. I made these after being gifted some sweet, ripe pineapples from a friend. The combination of pineapple, brown sugar and cardamom is divine, and when topped with a soft coconut cake batter the flavour and texture combination is next level. I hope you enjoy these pineapple upside-down cakes over the weekend … enjoy!

90g unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp ground cardamom
100g brown sugar
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks

Cake batter
125 g unsalted butter, softened
150g castor sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
30g desiccated coconut
125ml coconut milk (or dairy milk)


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. You will need 2 x 12 hole muffin pans. Grease 15 of the holes with extra softened butter, and line the base of each of the greased holes with a round of baking paper. NOTE: This cake can also be baked in a 20cm round springform cake pan, be sure to line the base with baking paper.
  2. Combine the cardamom and melted butter and divide evenly between 15 of the muffin holes (leave the remaining muffin holes unfilled), then divide the brown sugar evenly between the muffin holes. Next add chunks of pineapple to each hole, squeezing the pieces in tightly. Set pan aside whilst you prepare the cake batter.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir through the coconut. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and castor sugar until light and creamy. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Next add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  5. Now add half of the flour/coconut and mix in gently on low speed, then pour in half of the coconut milk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and coconut milk and mix on low speed until just combined.
  6. Divide batter between the muffin holes, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until firm to touch and golden brown. Depending on your oven you may need to rotate the muffin trays after 20 minutes to ensure even cooking. NOTE: If you are cooking a whole cake bake for 50-55 minutes.
  7. To check if the cakes are ready, insert a cake tester or thin skewer in the centre of a couple of the cakes if it comes out clean the cakes are ready. If there is batter clinging to it the cakes need to be cooked for a little longer, try 5-minute increments.
  8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. They should come out easily but any stubborn ones can be removed by carefully running a small palette knife around the edge of the pan.
  9. Serve warm with whipped cream (add a tablespoon or two of icing sugar and a pinch of cardamom if you like), or with vanilla or coconut ice-cream. Yum!!


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