An upside-down cake is one of those desserts that literally takes the process of making them and turns it on its head; the glaze is poured into the pan followed by the batter and baked together. This inversion also makes it a simpler cake to make, because of this, many bakers have found it obliging to go full-on nuts with variations to the recipe.

They've substituted different fruit for the traditional pineapple slices that go with the glaze, switched from a pound cake to other types like sponges, and are even layered their cakes with creams or chocolate.

For this upside-down cake, we'll be sticking to a traditional pound cake formula for the batter and some pineapples slices for the fruit. However, we'll be throwing in some orange flavor into the mix in the form of some quality orange liqueur--preferably Cointreau--for the glaze.

The recipe

Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 g) water
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau
  • 7 pineapple slices in syrup (1 can, 20 oz)

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 stick plus 1 tsp (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

The directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the syrup, combine both sugars and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture while it cooks for 2 minutes and remove from the heat once the sugar dissolves and the syrup begins to bubble. Stir in the orange liqueur.
  3. Place the pineapple slices into the bottom of an 8-inch round pan, arranging six of them into an outer ring and place the last one in the center. Pour the syrup over the pineapple slices and set aside.
  4. To make the cake, combine the softened butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until light fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time while still mixing, making sure to fully incorporate each between additions. Add the vanilla extract.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Mix the flour into the batter in two phases, stopping and scraping down the bowl in between.
  6. Pour the batter into the round pan and place into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set to cool for 5 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a plate.
  7. Slice and serve or store in the refrigerator.

Serves: 10 slices

If you enjoyed that recipe, check out other cake recipes like this one for a vegan pound cake. Or try this one for a carrot cake with buttercream frosting.