Pineapple RightSide-Up Cake (you can turn it upside-down too!)

Have you ever made a pineapple upside-down cake and had all the goodies stick to the bottom of the pan? I have. I hold my breath as I invert the pan and then sigh with either frustration or relief as I unveil the cake. Granted, it is easily remedied by prying the caramelized fruit from the pan and carefully put back in its rightful spot on the cake, but it is a touch disappointing. Baking the cakes in a jar and leaving them right-side up solves that and if you really want to serve them upside-down, just flip the jar over onto the plate.

Trading the maraschino cherries for fresh thyme leaves gives this classic pineapple dessert a more exciting and summery taste and a little plain yogurt cuts some of the sweetness. 

Pineapple Rightside-Up Cake with Fresh Thyme:

1 small pineapple

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar, well packed

1/4 cup rum

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon Fresh thyme leaves

Cake Batter:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar, well packed

2 eggs

1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (scoop and sweep)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat or full fat will work)

1 tablespoon rum

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – here is a recipe for making your own

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F

Have ready eight 8-ounce jars or ramekins (I’ve used recycled jam jars)

slicing pineapple

To slice the pineapple: Using a very sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of the fruit, so that it will sit flat on your cutting board. To remove the sides, start at the top and cut downward. Be sure you cut in deep enough to remove all of the hard spiny spots.

slicing pineapple

Once all of the exterior is removed, you will want to slice the pineapple in half, top to bottom. Slice the half into quarters and then remove the woody core of the fruit. Cut the cored piece in half again and then slice into 1/4-inch pieces.

Place the fruit into a pot and add the butter, sugar, salt and rum. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes to reduce the juices slightly. The timing will depend on the size of your pineapple.

At the end of the cooking, add the thyme to the pineapples.

To mix the cake:

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add half the flour mixture and mix just until blended. Mix in the yogurt, rum and vanilla. Add the remaining flour and blend well, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.


Fill each of the jars or ramekins about a 1/4 full with pineapple and some of the juices.

Divide the cake batter evenly over the pineapple.

Add more pineapple and juice to the top, but just a thin layer.

pineapple cake

Bake for about 35 minutes or until cake is set.

pineapple cake

Serve warm or room temperature with a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

pineapple cake

and a sprig of thyme.

pineapple upside down cake

If you want to serve them as individual upside-down cakes, just run a knife around the outside edge of the jar and invert them onto a plate.

Related posts:

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Polenta Pineapple Cake

Grilled Pineapple