#SundayCookingAdventures: Lower calorie caramelized pineapple upside-down cake

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These days, I don’t make many cakes, except for a birthday, a special request or if I happen to run into a recipe like this one. It’s not as rich as most cakes (partly because it’s not frosted), but it has a good sweet taste, thanks to the caramelized pineapple. The entire cake has a little more than a cup of sugar, with some light sour cream and almond flour to help keep it moist. One piece has just under 300 calories (it serves up 10 slices). Compare that to most cakes which usually exceed 500 calories.

The original recipe from the August issue of Cooking Light magazine was gluten free. My version was not, but if you substitute gluten free flour for the all-purpose flour that I used, you’re good to go.

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Careful when you make the caramel sauce. The alcohol in the rum is supposed to burn off with a small flame. Also, the caramel gets hard quickly, so don’t dwaddle putting the sauce in the cake pan with the pineapple. If you end up with a few clumps of hard caramel on your spoon and bowl, soak them in water for a few minutes and the sugar will dissolve for easy cleanup. Also, I used cooking spray that contained flour to be sure the pineapple and sauce didn’t stick.

This yummy cake was very easy to make, but don’t try and rush it. Take your time, and you won’t be sorry. Here is a link to the original recipe.

Caramelized pineapple upside down cake


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 (1/2-inch-thick) slices fresh pineapple (you could use canned)
1/4 cup rum
Cooking spray
5 ounces all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder substitute
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (yes, i did use salt, to offset the sweetness of the pineapple)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda substitute
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, and vanilla bean in a large skillet over medium heat; cook until butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring frequently (took about 10 minutes). Add pineapple in a single layer. Carefully pour rum over pineapple; tilt pan to ignite. Simmer 5 minutes on each side or until slightly tender and caramelized. Remove vanilla bean.

3. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Arrange pineapple in a single layer in bottom of pan; pour sugar mixture over pineapple, tilting pan to coat bottom evenly.

4. Weigh or lightly spoon all purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine all-purpose flour, almond flour, substitute baking powder, salt, and substitute baking soda; stir with a whisk. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe dish on high for 30-35 seconds. Place melted butter, sour cream, and oil in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

5. Place granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 5 minutes or until fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add flour mixture and sour cream mixture alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter over pineapple, spreading evenly. Bake at 350° for 38 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from edges of pan with a knife; invert onto a plate.

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