Pineapple-Coconut Upside-Down Cake


Excerpted From Cast Iron Cooking By Dwayne Ridgaway — Quarry Books

Upside-down cake is a classic cast-iron dish that, while baking, caramelizes in the skillet to create gooey, tasty topping that, when inverted, oozes down the sides, moistening every bite. This dish combines the traditional pineapple with coconut, rum, and the unique flavor of cardamom. Inspired by island cooking, these flavors are tropical in approach and mouthwatering in taste.

Year Round
  • Prep Time:
    20 min
  • Cook Time:
    1 hr
  • Ready In:
    10 mins

Ingredients for the Topping

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 can sliced pineapple

Ingredients for the Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softene
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut-flavored rum
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice 
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, plus 1/4 cup toasted for garnish

Preparation Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F
  2. For the Topping: Melt the butter in a well seasoned 9” cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and melt, stirring constantly, until bubbling, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add pineapple rings in one even layer, and set aside.
  3. For the Batter: Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add ¼ cup coconut flakes and stir in thoroughly.
  4. Beat in vanilla and coconut rum. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Add the pineapple juice and beat on low to incorporate, add remaining flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter over the pineapple, smoothing the top evenly. Bake on the center rack of the oven until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. To remove from the skillet, run a sharp knife around the edge to release the sides.
  6. Invert a cake plate or service platter over the skillet and invert the cake onto the plate, keeping pan and plate firmly pressed together. The cake should drop from the skillet onto the plate. 
  7. Drizzle the cake with additional coconut rum, top with toasted coconut flakes, and serve.

Suggested Cookware