I am sure you remember enjoying a pineapple down cake at some point in your life, maybe you made one at school, or it was something your granny made for you, and became a special treat. But this is such a lovely cake to make, and the result is always spectacular, plus, as I always say “it contains one of your ‘Five-a-day’ ” so it is almost healthy eating!You don’t have to limit yourself to pineapple either, any soft eating fruit will do – I have used pears, eating apples, plums and apricots, and am planning to try rhubarb once it is season.
Before you bake, just turn your oven on and set to:180c or 160c if you have a fan oven.
Ingredients and equipment: (btw I am listing everything so if you are fairly new to this, you can check you have everything to hand)
Equipment: 7″ or 20 cm silicon or metal shallow round cake tin, mixer, or wooden spoon, teaspoon(tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp), scales (to measure ingredients), knife for fruit, small pan, large bowl, cup (to break eggs into), paper cake liner or greaseproof (if you’re using a metal cake tin) and a baking sheet, and a dinner plate. Plus oven gloves or a folded tea towel.
(Upside down topping bit) 50g butter (preferably) or marg, plus 50g sugar (brown is good) plus fruit – 4-5 apples/pears or large tin pineapple rings and seven cherries or seven plums/apricots -optional choc chips or tsp cinnamon if you like it
Cake part – 100g butter or marg (I prefer stork) best left out of fridge for half an hour or so, 100g sugar (ideally golden caster, but ordinary caster, demera or soft brown all ok) -2 eggs, 2 tbsp plain yoghurt or milk , 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence (these are inter changeable) and 100g self raising flour
Method: Select the fruit, and prepare as you would for eating, ie wash and core, remove stones & stalk etc. With apples & pears, slice into four or five cross sections, or for plums, apricots, etc half, the riper the better really (see my photo of the plums) Or open a large tin of pineapple rings, you will need 7 of them, and seven glace cherries. Melt the 50g butter and sugar in the small pan til they become a soft golden brown liquid.
Now if you are using a silicon cake tin, pour the liquid in, if a metal tin, then line with a cake liner, or greaseproof paper, and then add the butter/sugar liquid.
Now arrange the fruit ‘face down’ as when you are done, the bottom will be the top of your cake (see picture) If you wish you can add some cinnamon to this, sprinkling it over everything, or a few choc chips ( these would be especially great with pears I think). If using pineapple rings, pop a cherry in the middle of each ring.
Now put the 100g butter or margarine in the mixing bowl and beat for a minute or so to soften, then add the sugar,and beat til the colour of the mixture lightens slightly. ( ‘Creaming’ it as my old cookery teacher used to say.) Break each egg into the cup first, remove any shell and then beat into the creamed mix, then whisk in the yoghurt or milk and the vanilla. Finally slowly stir in the flour, until everything is mixed to a smooth paste.
Then using the spoon, carefully spread this mixture onto the top of the fruit, making sure that is is roughly level, so it will bake evenly. (See picture)
This can then go into the oven for 30 mins or so, til golden brown, and firm to touch. (If you are using a silcon baking tin, I usually like to put this onto a baking tray as it makes it easier to lift out)
Then leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 20 mins.
Then loosen the edges with a knife, and put a dinner plate, face down onto the top of the cake tin, and holding the plate to the cake tin, quickly turn over both together, using a tea towel. Then remove the cake tin and you have a delicious, and impressive looking treat! Enjoy with custard, cream or greek fat free yoghurt as a tasty pudding or just scoff the lot .