This stunning dessert is the perfect cross between a pineapple upside down cake and classic rum cake in beautiful bundt cake presentation--a truly decadent treat! Originally posted in July 2017 and last updated April 2021.
In case you didn't know, pineapple upside-down cake is one of my favorite kinds of cake. I have fond memories of enjoying the box-mix version throughout childhood but decided to attempt one from scratch once I got to college and had my own kitchen. The cakes made back then tasted great and looked pretty good, too, but I had never actually perfected my recipe until recently. I then made it even better by adding rum! Yes. Today, we are talking all about how to make the perfect pineapple upside down cake with rum. Once you've had my delicately flavored pineapple cake amped up with spiced dark buttered rum, you'll never look back. The look of this cake also sets it apart. Let's get into the delicious details.
If you like upside down cakes, add these recipes to your list, too.
Rum Sauce for Pineapple Upside Down Cake
You're probably wondering what is in the rum cake sauce that sets this boozy pineapple upside-down bundt cake recipe off. Here are the ingredients:
- Dark Spiced Rum
- Melted Butter
- Pineapple Juice
The otherwise classic pineapple upside down cake soaks up all of this boozy goodness and becomes a grown and sexy dessert. What I mean by this is that the liquor isn't cooked out of it so it isn't necessarily a family friendly cake. Enjoy it responsibly. As far as the boozy-infusion, there are just a couple of extra steps to make this magic: poke the baked cake with holes all over then return it to the pan and slowly pour on the rum butter glaze. Now you have a drunken pineapple upside down cake.
And if you're wondering how to arrange the pineapples and cherries for this pineapple upside down bundt cake from scratch, here's a look at that step in the process. It's pleasing to the eye (especially if you like things to be perfectly in order, like me) and they can serve as natural dividers when cutting slices of the cake. Now, bundt cake takes a little longer to bake than, say, a sheet cake but the result is undeniably gorgeous. This is the showstopper you want to serve a dinner party and I can tell you from experience that there will be no pieces left. It's a hit every single time.
Tips for Baking the Best Pineapple Upside Down Rum Cake
- What kind of brown sugar to use in pineapple upside down cake? You can use either light or dark brown sugar in this recipe. Either one works but dark brown sugar will provide a deeper, molasses-like flavor.
- How to keep pineapple upside down cake from sticking to pan? Pineapple upside down cake is very buttery by nature so sticking to the pan is not likely but still be sure to use a nonstick bundt pan.
- Which rack to bake upside-down cake on? Be sure to bake this pineapple rum upside down cake on the middle rack in order to avoid burning the pineapple brown sugar topping.
- When to flip my pineapple upside down cake? This step is important with regular upside down cakes and even more so with this spiked upside down cake. After baking, let the cake sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a platter. It should come out easily at this point and I have more tips on how to flip a pineapple upside down cake here.
- Can I make pineapple upside down rum cake ahead of time? This cake is best served immediately after the rum has had time to soak in so I don't recommend making it ahead. If you do need to make it in advance, bake the cake, remove it from the pan after 10 minutes, and allow it to fully cool then cover it and place in the refrigerator. Before serving, allow it to come to room temperature then make the rum sauce and resume the recipe steps from there.
I hope you make my tipsy pineapple upside-down rum cake for yourself and people you love very soon. So many of you have already enjoyed it all around the world and that's truly gratifying. If you give it a try, let me know in the comments below. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this drunken pineapple dessert recipe on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Make Rum Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ cup milk room temperature
- ¾ cup butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- ⅓ cup butter melted
- ½ cup spiced dark rum
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 1 can sliced pineapple rings cut slices into half circles and reserve juice
- 10 ounce jar of maraschino cherries
- ¾ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add butter from topping ingredients into bundt pan and place in oven to melt for about two minutes.
Meanwhile, add flour, sea salt, and baking powder to a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, combine ½ cup pineapple juice from the can of slices, milk, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg and mix until uniform.
Add wet mixture to dry and stir until batter is uniform and no dry pockets remain. Set aside.
Carefully remove pan of melted butter from oven and mix in brown sugar to create the topping. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries in pan as shown. Carefully pour cake batter over top.
Place pan on middle rack of oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into multiple parts of the cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes then invert onto a platter.
Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, pole several holes in all sides of the cake. Place cake back in pan and poke more holes into bottom of cake.
Combine rum syrup ingredients in a small bowl and mix vigorously until uniform. Then slowly pour rum syrup over top of cake, allowing it to flow into the poked holes.
Allow cake to soak for about an hour then invert it again onto a plate and serve warm. Do not refrigerate cake during this step.
This cake is best served immediately after the rum has had time to soak in so I don't recommend making it ahead. If you do need to make it in advance, bake the cake, remove it from the pan after 10 minutes, and allow it to fully cool then cover it and place in the refrigerator. Before serving, allow it to come to room temperature then make the rum sauce and resume the recipe steps from there.