Incredibly Edibly Delicious Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake

pineapple upside down pound cake 008I have been posting a lot of recipes of late, because that seems to be what most folks want.  But, truthfully, it's not so much what I want. What would make my little heart Full to Bursting would be if someone would take my standard Van Halen Pound Cake Recipe and turn it into whatever flavor makes them happy.  So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to post the recipe for VHPC here along with the modifications I made to turn it into Pineapple Upside Down Van Halen Pound Cake.

But wait; there's more!  I'd like for you guys to submit in the comments section your idea for turning the VHPC into your own Signature Pound Cake.  Post the ingredient list along with all measurements in the comments, and I will have The Beloved choose the cake that he would most want to put in his face.  I will then take that ingredient list, bake it and post the results and the recipe to my fan page, giving The Winner full credit and links and What Not.

I will also send you a Treat of my choosing. Fear not--it will be a Baking Treat, not a cat treat or something crazy like that. It might even be a Baked Good of some sort.  So, be creative but make sure that your modifications to the base recipe still retain the proportions of sugar to fat to flour to liquid to eggs. I can't wait to see what you come up with. If you're a little Squidgy about trying your hand at this, read the post where I walk you through the substitutions that I made to come up with the Creamsicle pound cake. That might help.

Standard, Awesome Van Halen Pound Cake--The Cake that Started It All

  • 12 oz butter
  • 19 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 slightly rounded teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (best quality)
  • 5 eggs (I've now refined this to 5 eggs, beaten)
  • 13 oz cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 oz dairy (it used to be 8. You can use 8 if you want, but I think it's more melty with 10) If you use sour cream, buttermilk or yogurt (acidic dairy) be sure to add a heavy pinch of baking soda along with the baking powder to keep the pH balanced

And now, here's the recipe for the Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake. Pay special attention to the changes I made so you can make your own changes and have it turn out Beautifully!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Incredibly Edibly Delicious Pineapple Upside Down Pound Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16-20
For those of you who love pineapple upside down cake but think it's a little "kiddish," here's a grown up version that everyone can agree on.
What You Need
For the Caramel-Pineapple Layer
  • 3 oz (6 Tablespoons or ¾ stick) butter (salted is fine here)
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • heavy pinch of salt if using unsalted butter; wee pinch if using salted butter
  • about 6-8 oz chopped pineapple (fresh or canned in juice)
For the Cake
  • 12 oz unsalted butter
  • 18 oz granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons best quality vanilla
  • 1 gently rounded teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 13 oz cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 oz chopped pineapple (fresh or canned in juice)
  • 2 oz sour cream
What To Do
  1. Make sure all your refrigerated ingredients are at cool room temperature.
  2. Spray a 12-cup Bundt-type pan with pan spray. Flour it well, and tap out all the excess flour.
  3. Make sure your oven rack is positioned one notch below the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F.
For the Caramel Pineapple Layer
  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved.
  3. Let the mixture come to a boil. When nice and bubbly without any butter sloshing around the edges of the sugar, pour evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Arrange the cut pineapple on top however you want. I just used chopped, but half-rounds alternating in direction would look lovely.
  5. Set pan aside.
For the Cake
  1. Whisk together the cake flour and baking powder until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Puree pineapple and sour cream together in a blender. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as often as necessary.
  4. With the mixer on medium speed, add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, until completely incorported. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, mixing on low just until each addition is incorporated. Begin and end with dry for a total of 3 dry additions and 2 wet additions.
  6. Spoon batter evenly over the caramel-pineapple layer in the prepared pan.
  7. Smooth the batter, and bake in your preheated oven until done. This takes 1 hour and 5 minutes in my oven. Start checking at 55 minutes and go from there.
  8. Remove cake from oven and cover with a piece of foil. Let sit for 45 minutes, then turn out onto the plate you'll be serving it on.
  9. Replace any pineapple pieces that might get stuck in the bottom of the pan and smooth down with an offset spatula sprayed with pan spray.
  10. Spray a parchment circle with pan spray and press onto the gooey caramel layer. Then, wrap the whole cake very well in plastic wrap and let cool in the fridge.
  11. Serve at room temperature. This cake doesn't need any glaze, but a little vanilla or caramel ice cream or coconut sorbet would go nicely with it.
Other Stuff to Know
Place a cookie sheet or some foil under on the rack below to catch any caramel that might spill over. I tried this using 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar, and it did bubble over. Nothing leaked out when I reduced the measurements to ¾ cup and ¾ stick. But, just to be on the safe side...

And there you have it. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with for your own special pound cake!  I'll leave the submissions open through next Friday, 11/18, so you'll have time to ponder.

Have a lovely day.


  1. says

    Oh my goodness, this Pineapple Upside Down cake will be terrific with my cup of coffee right now! I will do my best to try your recipe, Jenni. I may not do justice to it. But I will be honored to try it out. Hmmm, will ponder, while I make an attempt. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will get back to you soon!

  2. says

    My wife brought home a slice of “pound” cake from a friend. She slipped the slice into my lunch today and I looked forward to nibbling the cake at lunch. The cake was moist, but as soon as I popped it in my mouth I could taste the cook used imitation vanilla and too many egg whites.

    I ate the rest of the slice and thought of the pound cake recipe bake by Mrs. Wade. This pound cake has been part of my life/memories for over 40yrs and I tend to compare all pound cakes to that one. My mom still has the recipe card from Mrs. Wade & I hope to have it someday in my collection.

    With that said, your VHPC would be my BEST way to enjoy this pound cake. If I was to change it? A simple caramel butter sauce with a hand full of fresh shelled pecans. I might smear a slice with a generous amount of softened butter and toast both sides. With a creamy hot of coffee, either way would be a HUGE treat.

    • says

      Oh, no! Sorry you had an anticlimactic pound cake experience! :/ I’d have been very disappointed, too.

      I hope you get the Mrs. Wade recipe one day. I based my VHPC on “Sally’s pound cake” recipe that a friend of mine shared with me. I tweaked it a bit, and voila! Give the VHPC a shot; I think it solves some of the problems that some other pound cakes seem to have. Namely: anemic taste. 😉 Using the best vanilla possible and enough salt to make it shine is essential.

      I like your sauce idea, and toasted pound cake is The Bomb! So glad you stopped by! 🙂

  3. says

    Can’t wait to try this out! In fact, it would be just the kind of baked treat that’s perfect as a holiday gift. I’d like to make the recipe in smaller loaf pan or maybe mini-bundts. Any suggestions on adjusting time or temperature for baking? I really need an oven thermometer because my oven has numbered dials (1-10) as opposed to temperatures. Therefore, temps are approximate… 8-/

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • says

      Wow–I’d be lost w/o my thermostat! Even so, an oven thermometer is Your Friend! I’d go w/the same temperature but the baking time will be reduced by half, give or take, depending on the pans you decide to use! Looking forward to your entry, TN!

  4. says

    This pound cake looks amazing.
    Thanks for giving me the link to include in my upcoming Band Fruit Fundraiser Recipe Round Up! It will be published on 12/4/2013!

  5. says

    Oh my, I was in search of a pineapple upside down cake and ran across your blog. I made the cake yesterday and it is heavenly! Quite possibly the best pound cake I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to try the Van Halen version now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    • says

      I am thrilled you like it, Amye! I’m a huge fan of pound cake, and I love that I have a solid base recipe as a springboard to making all sorts of flavors. I hope you put your own spin on it, and then come back and tell me all about it!


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