Pineapple upside down cakes are fun to make and fun to eat. They’re assembled in a pan upside down, with a layer of sugar and pineapple on the bottom that becomes the topping after the cake is turned out of the pan for serving. These Mini Pineapple Lime Upside Down Cakes are individual pineapple upside down cakes that are baked in a muffin pan. The cake batter is flavored with buttermilk, vanilla and lime, which creates a great base for the pineapple topping and gives them a little flavor twist that you won’t find in other pineapple upside down cake recipes.
I usually use canned pineapple rings for making pineapple upside down cakes. They’re very convenient (I always get rings that are packed in juice, not syrup) and they’re very consistent. Whole rings look great on top of a full-sized cake, but they’re a little bit too big to work on an individual cake like this one. So, I recommend starting with a standard ring and removing about a quarter of it, then wrapping the remaining portion into a ring and inserting it at the base of your muffin pan. You can use fresh pineapple and make your own rings, by peeling and coring the pineapple. With fresh pineapple, your rings should be about 1/3-inch thick, and you’ll have to estimate the ring sizes to ensure that they fit in your pan.
The finished cakes are moist and tender, with a great natural sweetness from the pineapple. The lime makes the whole dessert seem a lot more tropical and really sets off the pineapple topping! It is traditional to place maraschino cherries in the rings of a pineapple upside and you can certainly add a half of one to each cake if you want to add a pop of color to your desserts.
Mini Pineapple Lime Upside Down Cakes
6 tbsp brown sugar
8 pineapple rings
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2-3 tsp lime zest (from 1 lime)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease, with butter or oil, 8 muffin cups (8 from a 12-cup pan).
Place about 2 tsp sugar in each greased cup. Add one pineapple ring to each cup – trimming about 25% of it off to ensure it fits.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, egg, lime zest and vanilla extract. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and whisk until everything is well-combined and no streaks of flour remain. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each to the top.
Tap pan firmly on the counter 3-4 times to knock out any air bubbles.
Bake for about 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached.
Cool cakes in pan for 4-5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and turn them out onto a wire rack to cool before serving.
Makes 8 cakes.