Here is a lovely cake you can make over the weekend, with fresh pineapple. I’ve long been a fan of pineapple upside down cakes, but I find the cake part often ends up being very dense, instead of having a nice light crumb you would expect from a basic vanilla cake. This recipe works – it’s from none other than Flo Braker in her Baking for All Occasions cookbook, a baker whose recipes I trust very much because they are very precise and they work.
I usually buy pineapple already peeled and cored. Not that I mind doing that myself, but I just find it incredibly useful to have this step done in advance for me. It also allows me to check the inside of the pineapple to see how beautiful its flesh is – I like a pineapple with a soft, sunny yellow interior.
The cake batter comes together easily, and the streusel topping kicks it up a notch, and gives it bonus brownie points in the texture category.
I used just less than half of a pineapple for this recipe. The rest, I love eating just by itself, with some chopped fresh cilantro. Yes. Try it sometime (unless you hate cilantro, of course). It’s one of the most refreshing fruit snacks I know.
If you're tired of eating dense pineapple upside down cakes with canned fruit on top, it's time to try this cake. Fresh fruit, layered into the batter, plus a tender streusel topping make this cake a winner!
Recipe from Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions.
- 6 tbsp (50 g) all purpose flour
- 6 tbsp firmly packed (75 g) light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp softened butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups (270 g) medium-sized fresh pineapple chunks (about 38)
- 1 1/2 cups (195 g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp (85 g) hazelnuts, finely ground to yield 1 cup
- 8 oz (2 sticks/225 g) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar for garnish
- Before baking: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350F. Lightly coat a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan with nonstick spray, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Or, butter and flour the pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Have all ingredients at room temperature.
- To make the streusel: In a medium bowl, mix ingredients with fingertips until mixture is lumpy; set aside.
- To make the cake: Set the chunks on a couple strips of paper towels to absorb excess liquid. Set aside while preparing batter.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper. Pour nuts on top of mixture and set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes more. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. On the lowest speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
- Spoon half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the entire surface evenly with a rubber spatula. Scatter half the chunks over the top and press them gently into the batter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Sprinkle streusel over the top.
- Bake until golden, 43 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Freezes well.