Jun 15, 2012

Lime Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Someone once told me `even if you make one new recipe every single day for the rest of your life, you wouldn´t  use a fourth of your cookbooks and magazines´.
That was ten years, about 50 books and maybe 60 magazines, ago. You do the math.
I really thought having a food blog would decrease my to-do recipes fast, but the list is getting larger. Aha. There are more recipes to try than ever. Then there are fresh ingredients I surprisingly find at the market, new ideas from browsing other foodies, baking groups.

Take this cake for instance. Why would I want to make another pineapple upside down cake? So thoroughly baked and tested that there´s no need to add to the stack. Unless you have leftover pineapple in the fridge, the one that you´re so dutifully cleaning (the fridge), and, since you have no idea when you used the other half of it (the pineapple), expected to find it a bit fermented, but it´s sweet and perfect. So the search for a recipe begins.

This is a cake with canned pineapple and only three rings of it cut in pieces because that´s all I found. The fact that I can find off-season fruit in the market doesn´t correlate with said fruit tasting like it should. So, unless there´s no escaping a certain recipe, like a strawberry cake for my wonderful Tuesday group, I stick to the tried and trusted.

The addition of lime together with the caramel, is, not surprisingly, amazing. Lime zest has such a unique flavor. I love it. I´m talking here about the little green ones that are used for making the best caipirinha. Here they even go by the name of caipirinha limes.
A few of the limes were also starting to change colors, so that´s why they ended up in this cake. The batter for the cake part has extra egg yolks. It really is better than others I tried before. Moister and then the caramel seeps into the top layer and it gets even better.

Another plastic container in the refrigerator revealed some leftover cream cheese frosting. Since I don´t like whipped cream much but wanted to add something on the side, I added extra lime zest to the frosting. It´s a variation you should really try. It should be spreadable, not thick with a ton of powdered sugar. The consistency reminded me of honey whipped butter.
The cake was taken to a barbecue at a friend´s house. It was cloudy but between the grilling and the lime and pineapple of the dessert we pretended it wasn´t about to rain. Which it did a few hours later.

barely adapted from In The Sweet Kitchen, by Regan Daley

Makes 8 servings


For the topping:
5/6 canned pineapple rings, cut into chunks
1/3 cup butter
1 cup + 2 Tbs granulated sugar

For the cake:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 Tbs brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest from 2 limes
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled


For the topping:
Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Line the outside bottom with aluminum foil.  I use a silicone pan so there´s no mess in the oven.
Melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to color. The mixture will first be grainy, then will separate, but continue stirring and it will become homogeneous again. Let it get to a nice, deep color but be careful not to burn.
Slowly add pineapple chunks into the caramel. After the spluttering subsides, gently move the fruit around, coating it evenly with the sauce. Let boil again, stirring slowly for a few minutes, until the pineapple is golden. Remove from the heat and gently transfer pineapple slices to the bottom of the prepared pan. Add the caramel covering as best as you can. It will even out in the oven.

For the cake:
In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Add lime zest to the melted butter and reserve.
In a larger bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and yolks to break them up. Whisk in the sugar, then blend in the vanilla and brandy.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in two or three additions, stirring until thoroughly incorporated. Gently stir in the cooled melted butter. Pour the batter over the pineapple, careful not to disturb the fruit.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. It will be golden and a tester should come out clean.
Transfer to a rack and leave for a few minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate.
Serve warm or at room tº. It is best the day it is made.


  1. I relate to your food blog 'to do' list. It doesn't get shorter, but it does get more fun. :) Love the combo of lime and pineapple here!

  2. I do feel the same way, it seems that my list is getting longer and longer every single day!!!!

  3. Yes, the to do list ends up more than a lifetime of recipes to make! However, I do like coming across the latest "in" flavor or the newest techniques and bloggers have a way of bringing them out.
    This cake is very unique and I like that it brings in a secondary tropical flavor of lime. It looks so moist and tasty-great post!

  4. I can imagine the zesty freshness of the cake, looks rich and moist. A perfect desert for the rains! I seriously feel at times that one lifetime is not enough to make and relish the lifetimes of recipes :)

  5. I love the citrus flavoring in this cake…so pretty too! Looks absolutely beautiful!

  6. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen NotesTuesday, 19 June, 2012

    @Marissa - I am having more fun, definitely!

    @Mireia - I know!

    @Tina - I feel the same way, the things that come up in blogs are awesome

    @Bindiya - The relish part is so true!

  7. If I were making this with a pineapple (rather than canned), how much pineapple would I use? Lots of eggs. But it sounds good and I am going to try it.

  8. Mary, the original recipe was with fresh pineapple. You´ll need one large, cut into pieces and then caramelized as the recipe instructs. Hope you make it!


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