Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel

wedge of pineapple upside-down cake with rum caramel on a black plat. The cut cake is int eh background
I love to entertain dinner guests –  I find it gives me the inspiration to try new recipes and new ideas. This is especially true of desserts; we don’t eat dessert regularly as a family, but when we entertain I don’t want to repeat what I did previously (maybe more for myself than my guests).
You might not think of “cake for dessert” as extra-ordinary, but this Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Rum Caramel is something unforgettable and it was the culmination of a lot of ideas. I know I started by saying I don’t like to do the same thing twice, but I get requests for this dessert. When served warm from the oven, our guests love it! (Some have even loved it again cool from the fridge the next morning too!) And better still, it’s quick and easy to make.
An overripe pineapple was the starting point for this recipe, I used a version of the cake mixture which began as Kawakawa Tea Cakes and then Apple Cake with Blackberries. Keep the ratios of the key ingredients, the flour, sugar, rising agents, oil and plant-based milk, the same and add your own flavourings. Take notes as you go, be inventive and design your own signature pudding.
The cake can be made ahead of time and still tastes delicious after 3 days, but I have listed the method in the order I follow to serve it warm.


Pineapple upside-down cake with Rum Caramel

Rum Caramel


  • 200g brown sugar
  • 60g plant-based butter
  • 250ml plant-based cream
  • 30-60ml rum


Make the rum caramel by puting the brown sugar, plant-based butter and cream into a small pot, heat until the ingredients are melted, whisk then together and add 30ml of rum, taste and add the rest if you would like it stronger.

The cake

  • a ripe pineapple

Dry ingredients:

  • 270g plain white flour
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 45g dessicated coconut
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 280ml oat milk or plant-based milk of choice
  • 125ml canola oil
  • 30ml lime juice
  • 10ml vanilla essence
  • A ripe pineapple (or unsweetened tinned pineapple


Line a 21-23cm cake tin with baking paper on the base and sides.

Pour in enough caramel to coat the bottom of the tin.

Trim pineapple, slice into 3-5ml slices and arrange in a partially overlapping circular pattern on top of the caramel, then chill in the fridge until you are ready to bake the cake.

Measure the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and the wet ingredients into a jug.

To serve warm Upside-Down Pineapple Cake with Rum Caramel

Just before you serve dinner.

Preheat oven to 160ºC fan bake, ensure a rack is in the middle of the oven.

Whisk together the dry ingredients to aerate, and the wet ingredients to emulsify the liquids.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while stirring.

Pour the mixture into the pre-prepared cake tin and place in the preheated oven.

Check after 30 minutes, rotate if the cake is cooking unevenly, bake for another 10-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.

Let the cake rest in the tin for 10 minutes before removing.

Seve with extra rum caramel or for an extra special dessert serve with Hokey Pokey Ice Cream.

If you love a fruity upside down cake you might like to try a spiced plum version or a warm sticky toffee pudding cake with a chocolate whisky sauce.

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