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Back in time to an upside-down world


FUNKY FRUIT Upside-down pineapple cake is a ’70s classic.


Redmond Cabot

My big brother was celebrating a mini-milestone birthday party, so we thought we’d re-create a lunch from his time of birth.
For the starters, we decided on quiche, which was big in those days, a smoked-salmon quiche being the height of style. The main course had to be a classic beef Bourguignon – Delia Smith style here; none of your Jamie Oliver newfangled versions.
We toyed with making a baked Alaska for dessert, but then we remembered that upside-down cakes had been all the rage for a while back then. And the cake would involve tinned fruit – that did it for us!

Upside-down pineapple cake
This recipe is a gem to me! Equal measurements of the main ingredients, makes it really easy. Then there’s the very clever trick of spreading butter and sugar around the cake-tin edges, which leads to a delicious caramelisation and a gooey but crusty edge. And of course, the visual delight of turning out a lovely sponge cake with pineapple rings and glistening red cherries brings delight to even the most cynical. It’s bright, it’s glistening, it’s tacky, it’s tasty; Yeah baby! It’s the ’70s!

What you need

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g Demerara brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 50g softened butter
  • 50g Demerara sugar
  • Around seven pineapple rings from a tin, drained
  • Glacé cherries

What you do
For the cake mix, just add your sieved flour, softened butter, sugar, eggs and baking powder to a mixing bowl and use an electric whisk to whisk up nice and light and relatively fluffy. Pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
For your topping, hand-beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Using a plastic spatula, or the corner of the butter wrapping, spread this all over the base of a 20cm tin and a quarter of the way up the sides. Then lay the pineapple rings all over base, and plop the cherries in the middle of rings.
Spoon in the cake mix over this, smoothing it out until it is level, and bake for around 35 mintes until a skewer comes out clean. Let stand for five minutes, then turn it out ‘upside down’ onto an attractive plate. You’ll be delighted with the vision facing you!
Serve with cream or ice cream, as you wish.

Red Cabot is interested in food, nature and small things. He sells his food at Westport Country Markets in St Anne’s Boxing Club, James’s Street car park, Westport, every Thursday, from 8am to 1pm.