Recipe Test: Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Loving It Vegan

I had a birthday after approximately 50 days in isolation. I knew it would be likely that I'd be at home, so on my last grocery shopping trip--approximately a month before this--I picked up some canned pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. I couldn't really decide on a frosted birthday cake and I wasn't sure I wanted to go to the trouble. But I haven't had pineapple upside down cake--which is so delightfully retro--in probably a decade.

It's my father's favorite cake and he always gets one for his birthday, so I guess it was a little bit of nostalgia and family connection, too. I made and ate a lot of pineapple upside down cakes when I was growing up. We had to have one for every significant occasion, because my father loved them so much. Christmas, Thanksgiving, his birthday, a celebration dinner of another sort--anything.

I'm not even that fond of maraschino cherries. But I had to have it. So I found a recipe at Loving It Vegan that I could make.

I wasn't able to get a large can of pineapple rings, so I just had two little ones. Hence, I wasn't able to line the sides of the cake with pineapple ring halves. But I did get to cover the top, at least! Also, I don't have a 9-inch round cake pan that isn't a spring form, and although the recipe doesn't tell you this, attempting to make a pineapple upside down cake in a spring form pan will lead to abject disaster--all your brown sugar syrupy goodness will run out the bottom! So I used an 8 x 8 inch square pan.

It was wonderful. The cake isn't exactly what I remember--we tended to use a yellow cake mix, which is a bit softer and more moist than this one--but it was still amazing. There is nothing that quite beats the magical moment when you flip a cake like this over. It just seems like an ordinary, boring cake, and then: Colors! Fruit! A steamy, buttery brown sugar syrup running down all over everything!

As good as it was fresh from the oven, I think this cake was even better the next day, with the leftovers reheated a bit in the microwave.

So happy (now belated) birthday to me! I hope all of you are well. Whatever you've had to give up or change, I hope you're able to find alternatives that soothe you in your feelings of loss.


  1. Happy belated birthday! How wonderful that you were able to make this nostalgic cake for yourself; it looks beautiful!

  2. Happy birthday! And what a beautiful way to celebrate. I love pineapple upside down cake.


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