20 October 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Loaf Cake

I set this month's Baking With Spirit challenge knowing full well that I did not like beer as a beverage, but that when it is combined with flour, eggs, sugar and butter it can take on a new flavour that is much more appealing to me. With this in mind, I decided to bake some beer into a Pineapple Upside Down Loaf Cake.

I've known for a while that my final year at Newcastle University will most likely be my last year in Newcastle as well, because unfortunately there aren't any jobs here for me (nor anybody else, if the news is to be believed). I've come to terms with the concept now, but I still intend to take in as much of the city as I can before I leave it next summer. We're quite lucky here in the North East because we recieve a lot less rainfall than the rest of the country, and we've frequently had blazing sunshine lately, which has enhanced the autumnal colours of the leaves.

I'm almost thankful for the mild summer this year, because it seems to have ensured that Newcastle wasn't plunged into winter as soon as October hit - last year, I think I used my autumn/spring coat for one week before it became too cold and I had to bring out my winter one. So while I'm enjoying this autumnal weather and feeling patriotic (or whatever the correct term should be) to my adoptive city, I've baked an entirely unseasonal dish using Newcastle Brown Ale. What else?

It's watching you
I adapted this recipe from a great book that I picked up in Grainger Market called The Complete Book Of Baking by Carole Clements, but the recipe involved separating eggs and curious amounts of fat and sugar, so I took the basis of the sugar syrup in the recipe and played around with everything else. I really like this cake; the beer flavour does come through rather sharply, but the sugar syrup on top of the cake cuts through it so the two ingredients marry together quite happily. The cake is quite dense and didn't rise very well, but I like it all the same.


  • 100g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 100g Caster Sugar (or 60g Fruit Sugar)
  • 115g Butter
  • 200g Pineapple Slices
  • 200g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1Tsp Baking Powder
  • 150mL Newcastle Brown Ale (though any beer will do)
  • Preheat the oven to 160C/150C fan and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the sugar and allow it to melt. 
  • Pour 1/3 of the syrup into a mixing bowl, then pour the rest into the loaf tin.
  • Place 3 of the pineapple slices onto the bottom of the loaf tin, then place to one side.
  • Beat the eggs into the syrup in the mixing bowl, then sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and gently fold it in, stirring until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the beer into the batter and gently fold in until it has combined with the batter.
  • Tear up the remaining pineapple slices and fold them into the cake mixture.
  • Pour the batter on top of the pineapples in the loaf tin, then bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • While the cake is still hot, place a plate on top of the cake in the tin and carefully flip them over together so that the cake slides out onto the plate, hopefully along with a bit of oozy syrup.

You may have noticed that I listed an alternative sugar at a smaller quantity in the ingredients list. I use fruit sugar quite a lot when I bake because it is sweeter than caster sugar so only 2/3 of the standard quantity is needed - handy if you need to cut down on your sugar intake. For more tips on baking healthily, take a look at Healthy(ish) Baking.

This month's Alphabakes challenge, hosted alternately by Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker (this month's host), is to bake something that involves the letter N, be it an ingredient or the name of what you make. N is   for Newcastle Brown Ale, so this qualifies me for the challenge!


I am, of course, also entering this cake into my Baking With Spirit October challenge, which is beer. There's still just over a week left, if you want to take part. 

I baked something else today, and my hands look gangenous as a result. Confused? Tune in on Wednesday to find out what I'm talking about. See you then!


  1. I hope you are enjoying your stay in Newcastle. Your pineapple upside down cake with Newcastle brown ale looks lush. Yum x

    1. I love Newcastle! Such a gorgeous city. Thanks!

  2. This looks amazing!! I love pineapple cakes and would never have thought to pair it with beer. Wish I could have a slice :)

  3. Gosh that's bad, if there are no jobs in Newcastle, it doesn't hold out much hope for Plymouth. Your cake looks glorious though and although you say it's out of season the colours look very autumnal.

    I haven't managed to get around to baking with beer this month, but I do have a few cakes I've made with it on my blog and I seem to remember they were very good.

    1. Thanks, Choclette! Don't worry, I know there are a lot of challenges about - hopefully you'll be able to make next month's challenge instead.
      I'm interested in work in the food industry, and none of the companies that might hire me happen to have bases in Newcastle. There don't seem to be any based around Plymouth, either, but the South West is a little too wet for me and I hope to settle in a prettier city than Plymouth!


Did you try this recipe? Let me know what you think! Comments are always appreciated. Unless they are spam.