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Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake - Torta de Piña


Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake - Torta de Piña

Pineapple Coconut Upside Down Cake - Torta de Piña

Marian Blazes

Pineapple upside down cake is popular in Latin America, especially in Venezuela, where it's often the choice for birthdays. There are many versions of this cake, but most involve placing caramelized slices of pineapple in the bottom of the cake pan, then topping them with the cake batter. Once baked, the cake is inverted so that the pineapple slices are on top and the caramel syrup soaks down into the cake.

This version of the cake has toasted coconut and a bit of rum for extra tropical flavor. You can make this cake in a 9-inch round cake pan, or a loaf pan, or bake it into individual "cupcakes". If you want to make this in a 12-cup bundt or tube pan, increase all of the ingredients by one third.

Prep Time: 20áminutes

Cook Time: 1áhour, 15áminutes

Total Time: 1áhour, 35áminutes

Yield: 1 pound cake or 10-12 minicakes


  • 1 small pineapple, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rings (or 1 large can of sliced pineapple)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter rum flavoring (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the coconut out in a thin layer on the bottom of a cake pan, and toast in the oven until golden brown, stirring once or twice. Remove and let cool.

  2. Butter the inside of your pan of choice.

  3. Place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a heavy saucepan or skillet, along with a punch of salt. Heat over medium low heat, until sugar melts, bubbles, then starts to turn golden brown. Swirl pan until sugar is evenly golden brown, then add pineapple slices to the pan (the caramel may harden for a minute or two, but the juices from the pineapple will soften it again). Cook pineapple slices at a low simmer until they are also caramel brown, and the syrup thickens. Remove from heat.

  4. Carefully use the pineapple slices to decoratively line the bottom of the cake pan. Pour any remaining syrup over the pineapple slices and set aside.

    Place the softened butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat, until sugar is incorporated and mixture is fluffy.

  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add the rum, vanilla, coconut and butter rum flavorings, then the remaining cup of flour. Mix in the toasted coconut and the lime zest.

  6. Spread batter over the sliced pineapple in the cake pan. Place cake in the oven and bake until it just barely springs back from the touch (underbake it just slightly). Remove cake from the oven and place a cookie sheet over the top of the cake, pressing down to flatten any dome shape. Invert cake and let cool for 10 minutes.

  7. Turn cake right side up again (as it was in the oven) and loosen the edges by running a knife around between the cake and the pan. Place the cookie sheet over the cake once more and flip the cake out onto the cookie sheet, so that the pineapple is now on top. Let cool completely before slicing.

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