An upside down cake with the tropical taste of a pina colada cocktail!
About six years ago my husband and I went on a cruise for our anniversary. Our youngest was just about two years old at the time, and this trip was the first time that my husband and I were separated from the kids for an extended period.
It was hard…at first. But once we realized that we had zero cell reception or internet we settled in and had some serious fun. Of course, the never-ending pina colada’s helped quite a bit. Those cocktails were everywhere. Waiters would walk circle the pools or the beach stops with trays of drinks. They’d call out over and over again, “pina colada, mai tai, sex on the beach.” over and over again.
Those pina coladas were perfect for our time in the tropics but quickly turned into a distant memory upon our return to dry land. Pina coladas don’t taste quite the same when you are surrounded by your kids in land-locked Ohio. I haven’t had one of those cocktails since.
I loved how sweet pineapple gets when it is grilled or heated, which is exactly why I wanted to try my hand at an upside down cake. And when I think if of pineapple my mind immediately turns to coconut. I use coconut in so many fruit-filled baked good, just look at this banana cream pie or this blueberry coffee cake. So adding coconut to this cake seemed so natural. Adding rum along with the pineapple and coconut was a genius idea.
The cake is made with buttermilk, which keeps it tender and moist all the way through. I used actual rum in the fruity bottom as well as in the cake. If you would like to make a non-alcoholic version, then rum extract would be a great substitute. The amount of rum used might depend on taste. I used four tablespoons total, but you can adjust that if you wish. The sweet pineapple and cherries resting in that caramel topping work well to balance the rest of the cake flavors.
This soft and simple cake is perfect if you want a little island taste without leaving your home!
20 minPrep Time
40 minTotal Time
- ¼ cup butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon rum
- 1 20 oz can pineapple rings, drained
- 8 maraschino cherries
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoon rum
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat until butter melts and sugar has melted. Remove mixture from heat and whisk in the rum. Place caramel on the bottom of a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Arrange pineapple rings on top of caramel and place a cherry inside each pineapple ring.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at time and then beat in vanilla and the rum. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Mix in the coconut.
- Pour cake over the fruit. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake is golden and begins to pull away from the side. Allow cake to rest in the skillet for 10 minutes. Place a serving tray over the skillet and carefully invert cake onto the plate; serve.