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:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Light Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Source: Everyday Food, 2008


  • 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


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

  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. 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).

Cook's Notes

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.


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