Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes

Having a Filipino mom and growing up in California, pineapple was a staple in our home. Mom would spend time patiently carving out the little piney bits and slicing the golden flesh into chunks which my sister and I would eat out of the bowl with our sticky hands.

Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes
This photo makes me salivate!
It still remains one of my most favorite fruits, and despite the grocery stores usually flying in Maui Golds--which are amazingly awesome especially when on Maui--I still tend to pick underripe pineapples. This time, with a pineapple flown in from a plantation in Costa Rica, I hit on a deliciously ripe and juicy specimen. It was really, really hard not to abandon the cake baking and just eat it right out of the bowl. Really hard. Especially since the cake was a bust. *sigh*

January 31, 2010
Name of Cake: Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: Sliced fresh pineapple, 2 kinds of caramel, and a teeny bit of cake

Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes
First off, I used the wrong kind of ramekins. I know, Rose tells you exactly which kind to use, but I didn't check mine as I was convinced I had the right kind. Until I saw Raymond's photos I didn't remember those kind existed! The ramekins I have are wide and shallow. This is great for creme brulee but makes for a shallow upside down cake, which was our biggest complaint: not enough cake.
Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes
As you can see from the top left photo I also burnt the crap out of the caramel that goes down at the bottom of the ramekins. It looked dark (I realise now the color I had was not dark amber, but burnt), the temp looked right (it couldn't have been), but it was pretty darn bitter. This wasn't too bad in the final tasting as the pineapple caramel that gets made to top the cakes covered up most of the bitterness of the burnt stuff. If you paid attention, there was a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Individual Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes
where's the cake? so sad.
Oh--this was a surprise: I forgot to grease and flour the ramekins but the little cakes came out cleanly, with no fuss. Can you believe that? I couldn't.

If I make this again and I might not, because I'll always prefer to eat pineapple as it is, I think I'll do what Faithy did and make a little 6 inch cake. That way I won't be buying any more extra stuff, which my tiny little kitchen cannot support.

Well, I'm off to buy another eat the old fashioned way!

Update: The leftover pineapple caramel glaze really is delicious mixed into plain yogurt. The pineappley yumminess almost makes up for the whole cake being a bust!


  1. Hi Jennifer! Your cake looks yummy nonetheless despite using the wrong ramekins! :)

  2. Jennifer thats the color that my first attempt of the caramel looked! and it was bitter.. I decided to scratch and repeat.

    We apparently had very similar experiences in the making of this cake.

  3. I have to agree about the best way to eat pineapple - freshly carved, right out of the bowl. It won't last 30 minutes in our house.

  4. Would it be possible to double the cake batter for this recipe? The cake was so delicious I'd like to make it again as a larger cake.
    Give the caramel another try. It was fantastic made with the lime juice. Thanks for the Maui link. With the leftover yogurt I'm going to try their recipe...
    Blend Maui Gold® pineapple, plain yogurt, a banana and ice cubes for a refreshing tropical smoothie. And throw in some of the leftover sauce for good measure!

  5. Sorry to hear you had a problem with the caramel and that the cake layer was thin. I agree, the cake part was definitely delicious. I'd love to make it into cupcakes sometime. Especially with my addition of orange zest to the batter (which paired beautifully with the pineapple, if I may say so) :o)

  6. Faithy, thanks for your nice words. I still think you had the right idea--making a little cake! Too bad your cake was too sweet and my cake was almost nonexistent. We'll do better next time :)

    Monica, yes, when I read your experience I felt better that someone else had made the same mistake...only you were smart enough to start over.

    Lois, same, and usually it's just me!

    Vicki, I bet doubling the batter would be a great idea. The batter tasted great; I bet the cake was too. I couldn't really tell--not enough to sample properly! That smoothie does sound yummy.

    Hanaa, hmm, do you think lime zest would be too much? I think cupcakes would be a great way to make these.

  7. Bummer on your caramel. Some people actually like bitter sweet over caramelized caramel. I'd like to compliment you on your photos. They look fantastic!


  8. ButterYum, really, some people like the burnt stuff? I can't judge, I like slightly overbrowned choc chip cookies. Thanks for liking my photos--that's a big deal coming from you!

  9. Darn it all, going to all that trouble and it isn't to your liking!
    Such a shame, Jennifer.

    I love fresh pineapple and dried pineapple too. I love pineapple upside down cake also.
    I am so easy to please when it comes to pineapple! (unless a recipe exists for pineapple with cilantro...please God, no!)

  10. Melinda, I know, I was so bummed! I think with more cake it might be more palatable, but it is really hard to ignore all that fresh pineapple. Maybe a pineapple-cilantro relish would be a way to sneak in a little cilantro? I used to hate the stuff, too. I thought it tasted like soap.
    I got the bread recipe, thank you!! I hope to get to it, soon. I'm sure Marie will have it posted by next Monday, but I will be taking the lazy to heart.

  11. I think they look yummy, ECL -- I like dark caramel! Also, I love those four assembly pics put together -- very artistic!


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