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How to make a classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

How to make a Pineapple upside-down cake
No-nonsense Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with lemon sauce

This is a very quick and easy-to-follow recipe for a very yummy and moist pineapple upside-down cake.

You can download and print our Pineapple Upside-Down cake recipe.

The first time I ever baked pineapple upside-down cake was during my cookery lesson back in High School when I was 12 or 13 years old. As a matter of fact, I still have the original H.E book from back then. For many years I was just using it to make my favourite banana cake. Never did it occur to me to turn more pages and try other top recipes from my school days!

This classic cake was recently dragged to the surface of my memory by a lovely Armenian lady. She asked me to bake it with her two little boys - apparently, it was a cake that her mum used to make back in Armenia. Well, I was very surprised, to say the least that she knew about pineapple upside-down cake! I was under the impression that it was a typical English cake from the 80's that only us school kids were told to bake in cookery class many moons ago.

Seems like Pineapple Upside-Down Cake could well be a favourite cake in many a country!?

Please leave a comment and let me know where you know this tasty cake from! It would be very interesting to know.

Out of curiosity, I looked at a few other pineapple upside-down cake recipes online, but was put off by the 'complexity' - Many recipes talked about using buttermilk (hard for me to get as I live in Spain and I've never seen it here) and using other ingredients that left me thinking 'maybe I'll just stick to making a banana cake'.

However, I grabbed my childhood recipe book and jumped to the index. I was so happy to discover this long-forgotten, simple and effective pineapple upside-down cake recipe. It's really no fuss and is quick to make. There is even a simple recipe on how to make an accompanying 'pineapple and lemon sauce' – YUM.

Be sure to give it a try - not only will you be the star of family gatherings, but you will also leave everybody with wonderful memories of a very yummy, retro-style 'Pineapple Upside-Down Cake'.

(I made a second pineapple cake a few weeks later for a friend's birthday - you can see the photo at the end of this blog post.

So, here's the recipe…

A classic pineapple Upside-down cake

How to make an easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

This no-nonsense recipe serves about 5 people. (2 people if you are greedy like me! - My sister and I demolished the whole cake in a few minutes)

A simple recipe for a classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients for making a Pineapple Upside-Down cake


  • 1 small can of pineapple rings (you will need 4 rings. KEEP the pineapple juice!

  • 4 glace cherries

  • About 2 full tablespoons of golden syrup (Lyle's Golden Syrup is perfect for this! More info on this syrup after the recipe!)

  • 100g / 4 oz self-raising flour. Use a packet of baking powder if you only can get plain flour. You can also mix the flour with wholemeal flour if you like.

  • 100g / 4 oz soft margarine or butter.

  • 100g / 4 oz caster sugar. You can also use brown sugar if you prefer.

  • 2 eggs. Optional - a dash of mixed baking spice. A handful of sultanas


  • First, start by turning on the oven. 180ºC, or gas mark 4. Place the shelf in the middle of the oven.

  • Grease a medium-sized cake tin or cake vessel. If you use a large cake tin then you will need to double all the ingredients.

  • Spoon in the 2 spoons of golden syrup to cover the bottom of the baking vessel (I used a pyrex dish).

  • Drain the pineapple rings and place them on the syrup. Put a glace cherry in the middle of each ring.

Making a classic pineapple upside-down cake
Pineapple rings, syrup and glace cherries
  • Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add in the margarine/butter, sugar, and eggs.

  • (Now is the time to add in the mixed spice and sultanas if you want them in your cake).

  • Beat well until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Making a classic pineapple upside-down cake. Cake mix
Cake mix, with sultanas and mixed spice
  • Spread this mix carefully into your baking vessel, making sure to cover all of the pineapple rings.

  • Bake for about 45 minutes until the cake is firm.

  • Use a skewer to test if it is fully baked in the middle.

If you see your cake is still raw in the middle, turn the heat down, place foil and a sheet of newspaper underneath the baking vessel, and then also place foil over the baking vessel - this will prevent your cake from burning on the top and bottom.

Disclaimer - if you do this, then keep checking on your cake, do not leave it unattended!

When your cake is thoroughly baked, turn it out onto a plate. Serve with either custard - or pineapple and lemon sauce…

Pineapple and lemon sauce

How to make homemade lemon sauce
Homemade lemon sauce


  • Syrup from the pineapple juice.

  • A glass of cold water.

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cornflour or arrowroot.

  • 1 rounded teaspoon of sugar.

  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.


Put the syrup from the tin of pineapples into a measuring jug.

Add enough water to make 250ml / 1.5pt liquid.

Put this into a small pan and add a rounded teaspoon of cornflour or arrowroot, a rounded teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

Bring all this to a boil, stirring all the time, until thick. Leave to cool.

About 'Lyon's Golden Syrup' for baking.

A 454g tin of the classic Lyle's Golden Syrup is the syrup that I use. (Also referred to as 'Lion's/Lyon's Golden Syrup')

You may also use other golden syrups, such as the one by 'Silver Spoon'. You may of course also know other brands of golden syrup to use. But my personal favourite is Lyle's Golden Syrup.

You can purchase it in the beautiful classic 454g tin, or get it in the squeezy bottles. If you select his brand from the internet, be sure to check that it is actually the 'Golden Syrup', as Lyle and Tate now do many other sauces and syrups in squeezy bottles whose packaging looks very similar - such as the maple syrup, strawberry or chocolate syrups, and the treacle.

If you are based in Barcelona like me - then you can pop down to the English supermarket to buy your Golden Syrup - A Taste of Home. Barcelona, Spain.

Classic pineapple upside-down cake. Golden syrup
Pineapple Upside-Down birthday cake!

You can download our Classic Pineapple Upside-Down cake recipe...

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe
Download PDF • 45KB

This 'PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN' Blog Post is brought to you by

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