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How do you make a pineapple upside-down cake? GBBO technical challenge explained

You'll be head-over-heels for this yummy bake.

Matt Lucas Great British Bake Off 2020
Published: Tuesday, 22nd September 2020 at 8:48 pm

Finally, The Great British Bake Off returned to Channel 4 and it was of course filled with many delicious creations.


The lucky Great British Bake Off judges and hosts got to sample a mix of Battenberg and pineapple upside-down cake among others.

If you're feeling particularly inspired after tonight's episode, we've got the perfect pineapple upside-down cake for you - and don't worry, it's not too difficult!

So, channel you're inner best Great British Bake Off contestants impression and start baking!

What is a pineapple upside-down cake?

This yummy cake variation throws the whole process of making a cake up in the air. Instead of baking from the top up, the process starts on the hob with the sticky topping, usually made up of pineapples, butter, sugar - and if you like, rum. Once that bit of the cake has cooked, the mixture is covered with cake batter and put in the oven to bake. What makes it so special is the delicious flavours at the bottom of the cake are flipped to the top when served.

Pineapple upside-down cake recipe

This scrumptious recipe from Olive will serve eight.

Preparation and cooking time: 2hrs


  • Pineapple - 1 small, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
  • Soft light brown sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Unsalted butter - 115g, softened (additional 50g for the tin)
  • Golden caster sugar - 175g (additional 3 tbsp)
  • Glacé cherries - 7 (optional)
  • Eggs - 3
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • Plain flour - 225g
  • Baking powder - 2 tsp
  • Milk - 50-75ml



Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the pineapple on a baking tray and cook for 10 minutes. 


Sprinkle some of the brown sugar on the pineapple and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let the chunks cool on the baking tray completely.


Add butter to the sides of a 22cm, solid-based, round cake tin. Sprinkle 3tbsp of caster sugar over the butter. Arrange the pineapple pieces in a layer on the bottom of the tin – the design is up to you!


If you’re adding cherries, do so here.


Mix the 115g of butter and the sugar in a bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, mixing between each one, and then add in the vanilla.


Add the flour via a sieve, before combining the baking powder, pinch of salt into the mixture – make sure you fold the batter with a metal spoon. Add in milk to make a smooth batter.


Pour the batter over the pineapple slices and make sure the top is as smooth as possible. Cook for 50 minutes-one hour until a metal skewer comes out clean. 


Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then gently flip onto a plate.

Bake it different

If you want to switch up your bake and fancy a little snack, why not make BBC Good Food's mini pineapple upside-down cakes with coconut? This recipe will serve six and will take around 45 minutes to complete.

The ingredients are very similar to above, but with some notable additions below:

Ingredients for the topping:

  • Butter - 50g, plus extra for greasing
  • Soft brown sugar - 50g
  • Rum - 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Canned pineapple rings - 6
  • Glacé cherries - 6

Ingredients for the sponge:

  • Butter - 140g
  • Caster sugar - 140g
  • Large eggs - 2 (beaten)
  • Self-raising flour - 140g
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Desiccated coconut - 50g
  • Milk - 6 tbsp
  • Custard - to serve (optional)

The Great British Bake Off is on Tuesdays on Channel 4 at 8pm. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.


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