Yes, it is unashamedly kitsch, but I make no apologies for this cake. I simply adore a Pineapple Upside-down Cake. I was something I grew up with: a staple that my mum would make and serve for pudding with custard or cream. As a girl I loved the kaleidoscopic pattern of the pineapple rings bestrewn with those unnaturally red glacé cherries.
Today, living in a household who aren't keen on pineapple, it's not a recipe I tend to turn to that often. But recently, a longing for a piece of this cake swimming in a bowl of thick custard was all too much, so I baked one. What's more those pineapple doubters all managed a slice or two.
Pineapple Upside-down Cake
4 tbsp honey or 1 oz brown sugar 1 tbsp softened butter 1 can of pineapple rings (approx 6 - 7 rings), drained glacé cherries 110g butter 110g caster sugar 100g self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 free-range eggs 1 tbsp milk (if needed) pistachio nuts for decoration (optional)
Heat the oven to 180℃ (160˚ fan) / 350℉ / gas 4 Grease a 20cm round cake tin (not a loose-bottom one) and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
If using the honey, heat it gently in a small pan with the tbsp of softened butter until just combined, then pour into the cake tin. Alternatively, spread the softened butter onto the bottom of the cake tin with a piece of kitchen towel and sprinkle over the sugar.
Next arrange the pineapple rings in the tin, popping a cherry in the centre of each ring and in any other gaps to create the jewel-like top of your cake.
Put the remaining ingredients, aside from the pistachio nuts, into a mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until it is of a well combined dropping consistency. If the mixture seems a little thick, add the milk.
Spoon the mixture carefully into the cake pan, and smooth the top.
Bake in the oven for 30 - 35 mins until it is golden. Leave the cake on a wire rack to cool for 5 mins before inverting onto a serving plate. Chop a good handful of pistachios and sprinkle on top. Serve warm with cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.
Photography: Buttercup Days Props: Keep It Vintage