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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel Recipe

by AI Chef
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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel recipe

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel is a delightful twist on the classic dessert. It features a soft and moist cake, layered with fresh pineapple slices, and garnished with maraschino cherries. The star of this version is the dark rum-infused caramel that brings a rich, complex flavor, making this cake an irresistible tropical treat.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake has been a beloved dessert for many years. It traditionally consists of a basic cake batter that’s baked with a layer of caramelized pineapple slices and maraschino cherries at the bottom. When the cake is inverted after baking, the pineapple and cherry topping is revealed on top, hence the name “upside-down”.

Fresh Pineapple and Maraschino Cherries recipe

The origins of this cake can be traced back to the early 20th century in the United States, and it gained popularity with the advent of canned pineapple.

In this modern twist on the classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, a caramel made with dark rum is used. The rum imparts a deep, rich flavor to the caramel, adding complexity and a hint of warmth. This complements the natural sweetness of the pineapple and the lightness of the cake, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. This twist elevates the cake to a more sophisticated level, making it not just a nostalgic treat but also a gourmet dessert.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel is perfect for various occasions. It’s a great option for summer gatherings, as the tropical flavors are refreshing and vibrant. It’s also a wonderful choice for celebrations like birthdays or anniversaries, where you want to serve something special.

Moreover, it’s an ideal dessert for themed parties, such as a Caribbean or Hawaiian luau. Its versatility and crowd-pleasing nature make it suitable for both casual and formal settings.

Rum Caramel Sauce

Equipment Needed

List of kitchen tools and equipment necessary for making the cake:

  • 9-inch round cake pan or cast-iron skillet
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Small saucepan (for making the rum caramel)
  • Cooling rack
  • Knife (for loosening the cake from the pan)
  • Serving plate
Cake Batter Preparation

Assembling and Baking the Cake

Arranging pineapple and cherries in the baking dish:

  • Arrange the pineapple slices at the bottom of the cake pan over the caramel.
  • Place maraschino cherries in the center of each pineapple slice and around them as desired.

Pouring the rum caramel over the fruit:

  • Note: This step has already been done before arranging the fruits in the previous section, as the caramel is poured first into the bottom of the pan.
cherries, pour caramel, and spread the cake batter

Adding the cake batter:

  • Carefully pour the cake batter over the arranged pineapple and cherries in the cake pan.
  • Use a spatula to smooth the surface of the batter.

Baking the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to a specified temperature (e.g. 350°F or 175°C).
  • Bake the cake in the preheated oven for a specified amount of time (e.g. 40-50 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once baked, allow the cake to cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting it onto a serving platter. Be cautious as the caramel will be hot.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 8 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 350 calories 15g fat


List of ingredients for the cake batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Fresh pineapple slices (enough to cover the bottom of your baking pan)

List of ingredients for the rum caramel:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnishing ingredients:

  • Fresh pineapple slices (for layering on the bottom of the pan)
  • Maraschino cherries (enough to place in the center of each pineapple slice)


Preparing the pineapple and cherries:

  • Cut fresh pineapple into slices and remove the core.
  • Drain maraschino cherries and set aside.

Making the rum caramel:

  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and dark rum.
  • Heat on medium, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens into a caramel sauce.
  • Pour the caramel into the bottom of the cake pan.

Making the cake batter:

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and mix until the batter is smooth.

Assembling and Baking the Cake:

  • Arranging pineapple and cherries in the baking dish
  • Pouring the rum caramel over the fruit
  • Adding the cake batter
  • Baking the cake
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel

Serving Suggestions

How to serve the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel:

  • Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.
  • Optionally, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to complement the flavors.
  • Garnish with additional fresh pineapple slices or maraschino cherries if desired.

Beverage pairings:

  • Pair the cake with a glass of cold milk or a hot cup of tea or coffee.
  • For an adult twist, serve with a glass of dark rum or a dessert wine that complements the tropical flavors.

Storage and Leftovers

How to store the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel:

  • Allow the cake to cool completely.
  • Store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Keep it in the refrigerator to preserve the freshness of the fruit and caramel.

Shelf life:

  • The cake will last for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • For longer storage, consider freezing the cake. Wrap it tightly and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Substitutes for ingredients:

  • Can I use canned pineapple instead of fresh? Yes, you can use canned pineapple rings or slices, just be sure to drain them well.
  • What can I use instead of rum? You can substitute rum with apple juice or a non-alcoholic rum extract for a similar flavor without the alcohol.

Alterations for dietary restrictions:

  • How can I make this cake gluten-free? Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Make sure to check the other ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free as well.
  • Can I make this cake vegan? Yes, you can substitute the butter with a vegan butter or coconut oil, use a plant-based milk, and replace the eggs with flax eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg).


The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Rum Caramel combines traditional flavors with a tropical twist. The rich rum caramel adds depth and warmth to the cake, while the pineapple and cherries provide freshness and tang. It’s a perfect dessert for special occasions or just to brighten up a regular day.

Enjoy the combination of flavors and textures, and don’t hesitate to make it your own by experimenting with different ingredients or garnishes.

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