Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Serve this traditional cake with coconut whipped cream for an added touch!


  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 7 pineapple rings
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the butter over moderate heat in a 9-inch cast-iron or other oven-going skillet. Add the brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts and is very thick and bubbly — the mixture is very hot. If you don’t have an oven-going skillet, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the sugar, cook and stir as directed above, then pour the mixture into a 9-inch round cake pan. Rapidly arrange the pineapple rings in one layer in the pan, pressing them down into the hot syrup, and set aside.

Cream the shortening in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar gradually, and beat well. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, and continue to beat until the mixture is well blended and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir them together. Add them to the creamed mixture along with the milk, and beat for about 30 seconds, until the batter is thoroughly combined and perfectly smooth. Spread evenly over the pineapple rings.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or broom straw inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the thick, syrupy juices are bubbling around the edges — especially evident if you are using a heavy iron skillet. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate, fruit side up. Pass coconut cream with the cake.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut or
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar


Place the cream in a sauce pan over a gentle heat, and heat until warm to the touch. Remove from the heat, add the coconut and let rest 3 to 4 hours.

Strain the cream into a metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

Whip the cream with a metal whisk until it holds soft peaks. Add sugar to taste and serve with pineapple upside cake.

To Prepare Fresh Coconut

Pierce each of the eyes of the coconut with a small screwdriver. Drain the liquid. Place the coconut on a towel on a counter and hit gently about one-third down from the eyes while turning the nut slowly. Continue turning and tapping until the coconut falls apart. Remove the white meat from the shell and trim off the brown skin with a knife.