Pineapple coconut upside-down cake

Serves: 10
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 1 hr
  • For the pineapple:
  • 250ml maple syrup
  • 1/2 ripe pineapple (about 350-400g), peeled
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 2tsp vanilla extract)
  • For the sponge:
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 135g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 140g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 65ml milk
  • 40g desiccated coconut

For the pineapple:

  1. Put the maple syrup in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Leave to bubble and simmer for about five minutes, giving the pan a shake regularly.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the pineapple into thin slices, about 3-4mm each.
  3. If using the vanilla pod, split the pod in half, scrape out the seeds, then add to the pan with the pod, whisking a little with a fork to break up the seeds. Take care as the syrup will be very hot.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the pineapple slices. Cook for about four minutes, until slightly softened, basting the slices with the maple syrup regularly.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside while making the sponge.

For the sponge:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, or 160 fan, and lightly grease a 23cm springform cake tin. There is no need to line the tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and soft. Add the eggs one by one, then sift in the salt, flour and baking powder, folding in gently.
  3. Add the milk and coconut, and fold everything together until smooth and combined.
  4. Spoon a little of the maple syrup into the base of the cake tin and add the vanilla pod, if using. Arrange the pineapple around the tin with the slices overlapping and pour over any remaining maple syrup.
  5. Spread the coconut sponge on top and bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely.