tropical retro upside-down cake

  • Yield:

    7 ramekins or 1 large cake
  • Cooking Method:

  • Prep Time:

    25 mins
  • Cook Time:

    20 mins
tropical retro upside-down cake

This fun, tropical retro upside-down cake is really easy to make, super cute in individual ramekins and I think that the little flecks of chilli make it look especially cheery. It's a tropical treat with the classic rings of pineapple, along with coconut and lime in the cake bringing some sunshine and warmth in winter (chillies add a very subtle heat). This tropical retro upside-down cake is best served straight from the oven. 


  • 1 red chilli finely chopped (see photo below for size)
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ½ C golden caster sugar
  • 7 pineapple rings
  • 1¾ C gluten-free self-raising flour
  • ¾ C golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 C coconut milk like KoKo (not the thick stuff from a tin!)
  • ¹/3 C sunflower oil
  • 1 limes juice
  • 3 tsp coconut essence
  • pineapple juice
  • ¼ C golden syrup


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (fan) and make the chilli syrup in a heavy based pan by heating up the chilli, lime juice and sugar until the sugar is totally dissolved.

    chopping chilli

  2. Prep your ramekins (or cake tin) by smearing spread all over the inside. This makes 7-8 ramekins dependant on size. Ladle in the syrup to cover the bases of the ramekin, make sure ALL the chilli flecks go into the ramekins. Then pop your pineapple rings in too. Set aside any left over syrup for later.

  3. In your mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda & salt. In a jug combine all the wet ingredients: coconut milk, oil, lime juice & coconut essence. Beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it's a lovely smooth batter. Ladle your the mix into your waiting ramekins.

  4. Pop into the oven for 20 mins. If you are making a cake rather than individual portions it will take longer to bake probably 30-40 minutes. You can tell if the cake is ready by skewering it in it’s centre – is should come out clean if the cake is fully baked.

    ramekins ready

  5. While the cakes are baking, use what’s left of your lime and sugar syrup adding the pineapple juice from tins & golden syrup heat until the syrup is dissolved and let it bubble a little. 

  6. When you take the cakes out of the oven put a knife around the edge, pop a plate on top of your ramekin and flip that pineapple cake upside-down! It should drop down onto the plate and look lovely! Pour your pineapple and chilli syrup over the upturned cake. Serve ASAP! Just give the warning that the pineapple will be hot!


You could make it for grown-ups only by adding some malibu or rum - if you do please share your results 🙂 Whatever you do always eat this scrummy cake hot.