Macadamia Nut Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Recipe courtesy of Chef Erin Swanson

Makes 9 inch round cake ~12 portions


Cake Batter

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Cake Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Macadamia Nuts, toasted and cooled

Butter Topping

  • 1½ ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown Sugar
  • 1 Pineapple, cleaned, cored, and sliced

Macadamia Nut Pineapple Upside Down Cake 


Click image to enlarge



Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Sift the cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.  In a food processor, pulse the macadamia nuts and sugar until roughly chopped.   Place the butter in a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix until smooth, and then add the sugar and nut mixture.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in-between additions.  Add the vanilla extract; scrape the sides of the bowl.  Then, alternate the dry ingredients with the sour cream, starting with the dry ingredients.  Mix until well combined, being careful not to over mix.  


Mix the butter topping, by mixing the melted butter with the brown sugar.  Prepare the cake pan by spraying it with pan spray.  Lay thin layer of the butter topping down inside the pan.  Arrange the sliced pineapple in the bottom of the cake pan.  Pour the cake batter over the pineapples, trying not to disturb them.  Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the cake.  Bake for another 10- 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean once inserted.  Let cool completely inside the pan.  Use a knife to loosen the cake from the pan and place a dinner plate, larger than the cake on top.  Invert the cake and remove the pan; cool. Serve topped with Butterscotch Sauce and (optional) with a side of “Soybet” and Pineapple Curd.




Butterscotch Sauce


  • 2 ¼ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3 ½ ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Brandy (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted, choppe


In a medium saucepot, combine the light brown sugar, half and half, and unsalted butter.  On medium heat, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and cook until the ingredients reach a sauce consistency, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the brandy, vanilla extract, and macadamia nuts. Serve warm over the cake.   


White Chocolate Rum “Soybet”


  • 1 ½ cups soy milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ½ ounce sugar
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • ¾ ounce dark rum


In a small saucepot, warm the soymilk, water, and sugar to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Chill in an ice bath and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.


 Pineapple Curd


  • 3 each large egg yolks
  • 3 each large eggs
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice


Combine yolks, eggs, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a whisk, stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. (180F)


Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the whisk until consistency is smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly.

Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hr.


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