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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake - caribbeangreenliving.com

There’s something undeniably magical about a pineapple upside-down cake. Golden caramelized pineapple slices nestled into a fluffy, buttery sponge – it’s a burst of tropical sunshine in every bite. But for Haitians, this cake isn’t just a dessert; it’s a cultural touchstone, a taste of home, and a story lovingly passed down through generations.

So, why is the humble pineapple upside-down cake such a beloved icon in Haitian cuisine? Let’s dig in and discover the reasons behind its enduring charm:

pineapple upside-down cake
pineapple upside-down cake

1. A Fusion of Flavors: The cake itself is a beautiful marriage of influences. The rich, molasses-tinged brown sugar caramelizes with the pineapple, creating a sweet and tangy counterpoint to the light and airy cake batter. This fusion speaks to the history of Haiti, a nation where African, French, and Caribbean cultures have blended together to form a unique and vibrant tapestry.

2. A Celebration of Simplicity: Unlike some intricate desserts, the pineapple upside-down cake is a testament to simplicity. With readily available ingredients like pineapple, brown sugar, and flour, it’s a cake that anyone can bake. This accessibility resonates deeply with the Haitian spirit, a community known for its resilience and resourcefulness.

3. A Taste of Home: For Haitians living abroad, the pineapple upside-down cake is a powerful reminder of home. The aroma of caramelizing sugar and warm spices instantly transports you to family gatherings, shared laughter, and the warmth of the Caribbean sun. It’s a comfort food that transcends borders, carrying with it a wave of nostalgia and longing.

4. A Symbol of Resilience: The pineapple, with its tough exterior and sweet, juicy heart, is often seen as a symbol of Haitian resilience. It thrives in challenging conditions, just like the Haitian people who have faced and overcome adversity throughout their history. The pineapple upside-down cake, with its simple yet delicious charm, embodies this spirit, reminding us that even in the midst of hardship, there’s always room for sweetness and joy.

So, the next time you bake a pineapple upside-down cake, remember that you’re not just creating a dessert; you’re tapping into a rich cultural heritage, celebrating the spirit of a vibrant community, and baking a little bit of sunshine into your life. And who knows, you might just discover why this simple cake has become a beloved icon in Haitian cuisine and beyond.

Ready to bake a taste of Haiti? Check out these tips:

  • Use fresh pineapple for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices – ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg can add a warm twist.
  • Top your cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra decadent treat.

Most importantly, share this cake with loved ones and create new memories that will be cherished for generations to come. After all, the true magic of the pineapple upside-down cake lies not just in its deliciousness but in the stories and traditions it carries with it.

Dive into Sunshine: A Tropical Twist on Pineapple Upside-Down Cake with Prunes and Rum

Let your taste buds take a vacation with this vibrant upside-down cake! Juicy pineapple slices and plump prunes bask in a bath of caramelized brown sugar, nestled within a tender, rum-infused sponge cake. This isn’t your average pineapple upside-down cake; it’s a tropical twist brimming with unique flavors and textures.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake - caribbeangreenliving.com
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake



  • Non-stick cooking spray or butter: These options create a slick surface in the pan, preventing the cake from sticking during baking. You can choose whichever you prefer based on your dietary needs and preference for added fat.
  • Unsalted butter, softened: The softened butter ensures a smooth and light cake batter. Use it at room temperature for optimal creaming with the sugar.
  • Granulated sugar: This sweetens the cake batter and contributes to the browning of the crust.
  • All-purpose flour, sifted: Sifting the flour helps aerate it, resulting in a lighter and fluffier cake texture.
  • Baking powder: This leavening agent reacts with the liquid ingredients to create air bubbles in the batter, making the cake rise during baking.
  • Large eggs, at room temperature: Use room-temperature eggs for better incorporation into the batter, leading to a smoother texture.
  • Pineapple juice: This adds moisture and a subtle pineapple flavor to the cake batter.

Tropical Touches:

  • Vanilla extract: This classic flavoring enhances the sweetness and adds depth to the overall flavor profile.
  • Brown sugar: This type of sugar adds a deeper molasses flavor and contributes to the caramelized topping created on the pineapple slices.
  • Can of sliced pineapple or fresh pineapple slices: The star ingredient! Choose whichever format you prefer, but fresh pineapple will offer a fresher taste and juicier texture.

These ingredients come together to create a delicious and visually stunning pineapple upside-down cake, with a moist and fluffy cake base topped with a caramelized pineapple and brown sugar layer.


  1. Preheat & Prepping: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously coat your 10-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter, then dust with flour.
  2. Creamy Batter: In your large bowl, use an electric mixer (optional) to beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. One by one, whisk in the eggs until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract, rum, and pineapple juice, blending well.
  3. Flour Power: Gradually add the sifted flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients, gently folding it in until just combined. Don’t overmix!
  4. Caramelize & Decorate: Spread some additional butter or spray on the bottom of your prepared pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly, creating a sweet, sticky canvas. Arrange the pineapple slices, prunes, and cherries (if using) over the brown sugar, letting their vibrant colors shine through.
  5. Golden Glow: Gently pour the batter evenly over the fruit and sugar layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Tropical Treasure Revealed: Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a serving platter. Watch as the caramelized pineapple, prunes, and cherries glisten beneath the fluffy cake – a true tropical treasure!
  7. Savor the Sunshine: Enjoy your slice of paradise at room temperature, and let the rum-infused sponge, caramelized fruit, and chewy prunes transport you to a sun-drenched beach.

Notes and Tips:

  • Use fresh pineapple slices for an extra burst of tropical flavor.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of brown sugar to your desired level of sweetness.
  • Get creative! Substitute the prunes with dried cranberries or raisins for a different twist.
  • Top your slice with a dollop of whipped cream or coconut ice cream for an added tropical touch.

This pineapple upside-down cake with prunes and rum is more than just a dessert; it’s an adventure for your taste buds, a celebration of sunshine and sweetness, and a reminder that a touch of creativity can transform everyday ingredients into a tropical paradise. So, grab your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to bake a little sunshine into your day!


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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, with a touch of Rum Barbancourt. Just the way Haitian people enjoy it!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert, Desserts
Cuisine Caribbean, Haitian Cuisine
Servings 10 – 12
Calories 431 kcal


  • Nonstick cooking spray or butter for 10 inch round pan
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour sifted
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ to 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 – 20 ounce can sliced pineapple or fresh pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • Cherries
  • Dried Prunes


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 10 inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and coat with flour.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla, rum and pineapple juice.
  • Gradually add sifted flour mixed with baking powder and stir to incorporate
  • Use additional butter or nonstick spray to prepare pan. Add brown sugar to prepared pan. Arrange the pineapple slices, prunes and cherries over the brown sugar. Reserve remaining pineapple slices and cherries for another use. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a platter and serve at room temperature.


Use a proper size cake server or plate to transfer the cake.
The cake will yield about 10-12 servings. 
  • Use fresh pineapple slices for an extra burst of tropical flavor.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of brown sugar to your desired level of sweetness.
  • Get creative! Substitute the prunes with dried cranberries or raisins for a different twist.
  • Top your slice with a dollop of whipped cream or coconut ice cream for an added tropical touch.


Serving: 1gramsCalories: 431kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 28mgPotassium: 184mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 642IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 2mg

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword fruit cake, pineapple cake
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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Corn Allergy:

Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.


  1. Are you Haitian? Because I never see pineapple upside-down cakes that contain prunes, the way my mom used to make it!

      1. Hi Gemma! I’ve made your Gemmas Pineapple Upside Down cake recipe for my birthday every year, for the last 10 years. I don’t see it on your website anymore. Is there anyway you could send it to me? Or tell me what to add to this recipe? I know there was whole vanilla bean and lime juice. Thanks you for your time and recipes.


  2. I don’t see rum listed in the recipe, but the title says with a TOUCH OF RUM. How much rum did you add?

    1. Melissa, thank you for noticing that. I usually add 1 tablespoon of rum in my cake recipe. My preferred choice is rum barbancourt which is a dark rum. If not available in your area, you can use a good quality dark rum. Thanks again.

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