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Light Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Vegetable oil subs in for butter in this fruit-topped, vanilla-scented cake, reducing the saturated fat; whole-wheat flour boosts the fiber and lends a nutty flavor.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 ripe firm pineapple (skin removed), cut into 16 thin wedges and cored (see note, above)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cook's Note

Preparing Pineapple: Slice off top and bottom ends so pineapple sits level on board. Slice off skin in wide strips. Then, for this cake, cut pineapple lengthwise into thin wedges, and slice off core from the tip of each wedge. Cut into "sticks" and arrange in groups of four in baking pan, alternating direction.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with oil; line with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Brush paper with oil. Sprinkle bottom of pan with 1/4 cup sugar. Trim pineapple wedges to no more than 4 to 5 inches long; arrange in pan in groups of four, alternating direction.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  3. Step 3

    In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, oil, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Pour batter over pineapple. Tap pan firmly on counter to settle batter, then smooth top.

  4. Step 4

    Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 20 minutes in pan; invert onto a serving platter (peel off and discard paper).

Source
Everyday Food, 2008

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Reviews (19)

  • 7 Jun, 2013

    I've never made or even eaten pineapple upside down cake before, so I have no basis of comparison, but this was very, very good. The cake was light, springy (not too dense or too sweet) and the fresh pineapple made for great flavor, color, and texture that wasn't drowned out by heavy syrup or excess sugar. I cut the pineapple for the top very evenly just like the picture, and my cake turned out very pretty.

  • 25 Apr, 2010

    you can use canned pineapple , add some walnuts between pineapple slices ,
    sprinkle cinnamon between the pineapple layer and the cake batter ,,,
    sooooooo delicious ...
    you can use canned pineapple , add some walnuts between pineapple slices ,
    sprinckle cinnamon between the pineapple layer and the cake batter ,,,
    sooooooo deliciouse ...

  • 25 Apr, 2010

    you can use canned pineapple , add some walnuts between pineapple slices ,
    sprinkle cinnamon between the pineapple layer and the cake batter ,,,
    sooooooo delicious ...
    you can use canned pineapple , add some walnuts between pineapple slices ,
    sprinckle cinnamon between the pineapple layer and the cake batter ,,,
    sooooooo deliciouse ...

  • 4 Mar, 2009

    How do you store? Fridge?

  • 11 Jan, 2009

    Oooooh...Suly, that sounds GOOOOOOD! :) I'll definitely give it a try.

    I didn't think the cake looks THAT bad. I mean, you can arrange/cut the pineapple however you want, really. This recipe and picture just give a different way of doing it. If you think about it, I'll bet it's easier to cut and eat when the fruit is cut that way.

  • 22 Apr, 2008

    in response to motherguth, the nutritional information can be found in the back of the food issue that the recipe appears in (near the index), this recipe specifically calls on 316 calories per serving (of 8) as I recall, but this cake can easily serve 12 good portions so even less!

  • 22 Apr, 2008

    You can even boost flour to 3/4 c. white, 3/4 c. wheat and improve nutritional value. Also I sub out the butter milk with 2c. vanilla activa yogurt and it keeps the cake super moist. If you are using canned pineapple, use the uncut circles for a more refined look. I cut them into quarters and make a fanned arrangement with a full circle in the center. Lastly I cook it in an 8x8 pan instead of a 9x9 for a deeper cake. It doesn't dry out as much that way with the altered flour ratio!

  • 25 Mar, 2008

    I must agree w/ Mistica, the cake -not attractive.

    I used a large can of chunks I needed to use up

  • 19 Feb, 2008

    Wow! This was absolutely delicious. Hard to believe it's a light recipe. The fresh pineapple was fantastic on this cake.

  • 10 Feb, 2008

    People !!! It's just about eating less calories than we used to ! Without loosing the flavor !!! Try banana insted of pineapple ...Delicious !

  • 1 Feb, 2008

    This is a delicious way to enjoy pineaple.fresh and light .I have made it twice this week . this recipe is a keeper.

  • 27 Jan, 2008

    For those who are concerned about nutritional brreakdowns -use the website eatingwell com. All their recipes come with a breakdown. For those concerned about Diabetes, unless you are new to this disease you should already be aware of what is good and what is bad and modify accordingly. Finally if in doubt - don't make it or eat it!

  • 24 Jan, 2008

    Pam, I 'm shocked. As a fellow Canadian you should be more concerned and educated about health care matters. Particularly, since you seem to have a lot of voice and little knowledge to back your statements. Diabetes is a multi-system disorder of one's metabolism. Have you heard of modifiable and unmodifiable health risks? Type 2 diabetes can result from no family history....cont'd

  • 24 Jan, 2008

    I watch carbs and sodium, so please include nutritional breakdown.

  • 23 Jan, 2008

    As a diabetic and having a husband with heart disease, nutritional info would be very helpful in planning how to tweek certain recipes. Can't wait to try this recipe.

  • 22 Jan, 2008

    Okay, based on the review of SarahR, I am going to try this. But I'm going to use my iron skillet and cut my pineapple in rings. This cake is just plain ugly!

  • 22 Jan, 2008

    I agree about the nutritional information...this would be very helpful. While it sounds great, I would like to know the nutritional value and know if it is something I can eat

  • 22 Jan, 2008

    I find it extremely frustrating that none of your recipes include nutritional information -- especially for the "light" recipes.

  • 10 Jan, 2008

    Once I saw this recipe in the issue, I could not stop thinking about it! I went to the store that night and bought a fresh pineapple and this cake did not disappoint. Moist and nutty with vanilla undertones. The pineapple looks and tasted great - just what I was looking for!