Seasonal Recipes: Pineapple Sunshine Cake

Pineapple Sunshine Cake

This is the recipe from The February Garden, after receiving quite a few requests for the details of how to make our “little bit of sunshine” cake. It was inspired by Good Food Magazine’s instructions for a Retro Upside Down Cake, but altered for what was in our pantry at the time, and made child-friendly with a lack of rum and sticky topping. This version takes less time and can be cut into portable squares for picnics.


Stage 1: The Pineapple Base

50g unsalted butter, softened (extra for greasing the tin)

50g light brown soft sugar

8 canned pineapple rings, in syrup (Tip: If you want an easy topping, reserve the syrup and pour it over the warm cake.)

Approx 10 glace or maraschino cherries

Stage 2: The Sponge Mix

150g unsalted butter, softened

150g golden caster sugar

150g self-raising flour

50g desiccated coconut (extra to decorate)

Zest of four limes (save some to decorate)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 large eggs


Baking tin (approx 20cm x 20cm)

Baking parchment

Kitchen Mixer


Knife, for slicing cake into squares


  • Set the oven to 180c/160c fan.
  • Butter and line the cake tin.
  • Beat the 50g of butter with the brown sugar.
  • Spread the butter and sugar paste over the base and sides of the cake tin liner.
  • Arrange the pineapples over the base, with a cherry placed in each centre and gap.
  • For the sponge, tip the butter, sugar, flour, desiccated coconut, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the lime zest (saving a tiny bit back) and eggs into a large bowl.
  • Beat in an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Spoon batter over pineapple and level with a spatular.
  • Bake for 35-40 mins.
  • Leave to cool – it won’t look pretty just yet…
  • Once cooled, turn out, upside down, onto a cutting board to reveal the pineapple decoration as the top of the cake. Ta-dah!
  • Decorate with the set-aside desiccated coconut and lime zest.
  • Cut into squares, if desired.

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Yum! That looks like sunshine and could brighten a gloomy Winter day!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Tierney x It can get a bit cloudy here in winter, it’s nice to have some summery brightness πŸ™‚


  2. belocchio says:

    This luscious cake has such lovely memories for me. My mother would bake this for special occasions. I grew up during the second world war, and pineapple simply didn’t exist. When rationing was finally over and it make an appearance on the grocers shelves we were in heaven. A treasure of a recipe,indeed. Bon Appetit, Virginia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your memory, how lovely that your mother baked upside down cake πŸ™‚ Whenever I talk to someone here in our village who lived through rationing, they always tell me that when all of these tropical foods starting arriving, it was like a dream πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember these. Yum!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was πŸ˜€ Not exactly health food, but oh my goodness it’s tasty

      Liked by 1 person

  4. myplaidheart says:

    Oh my, that looks so good. It makes me think of my mom who used to make pineapple upside down cakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been fun seeing how many readers link this cake to their childhoods πŸ™‚ It’s a smiley sort of cake, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Irene says:

    That extra punch of flavour from the lime and coconut sounds delightful! And your recipe is so much simpler than the old fashioned ones.Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All my recipes are simplified, as I am usually cooking with five children running around me – and they like to help so it has to be foolproof so that their attempts always work πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the lovely comment Irene x


      1. Irene says:

        Aaww, yes, I still remember how much fun it is to bake with little ones. One of our challenges was deciding who would crack the so common third egg in cake recipes, since I only have two daughters. Of course they could keep track and take turns heehee. πŸ’•


  6. cathyscrazykitchen says:

    My daughter loves this delicious snack. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful – I hope you get to try it, it is so easy to make x


  7. Leif Price says:

    Pineapple is one of my favorite fruit. I bet this tasted so good and yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really delicious – and ever so easy πŸ™‚


  8. madeline2020 says:

    Hooray for less sugar and no rum. I used to make the traditional one years ago but always felt guilty both for the sugar and butter but also for the rum. This may be my next surprise potluck dessert! Maybe you’d also like my apricot pineapple dessert. Basic ingredients and a little craft.

    Liked by 1 person

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