Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake

By |2018-08-07T14:19:23+00:00September 2nd, 2015|Cakes, Desserts|20 Comments
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake

Hey!  Somebody baked me a birthday cake!

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake-5

Ummm, probably because I asked for it…and not in the, “Hey, do you want to bake me a birthday cake?” way. It was more of an assumption made with a broad grin. “Sooooo….what kind of birthday cake are you going to make for me?” I originally presented this question to my family in a joking manner, because, let’s be real. People rarely offer to bake cakes for people who bake a lot. We normally bake our own birthday cakes, if there’s any baking to be done. I know this to be true especially with the rise of food blogs and the now public records of those who blog about what cake they baked for their own birthday.

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Truth is, I actually haven’t had a whole birthday cake in a long time, which is funny because it’s really the only thing I ever want for my birthday. Why? Because birthday wishes are special and they can only happen when you blow out a candle on top of a cake…or something sweet standing in for a cake.  I usually plan to be out of town drinking up the last of summer’s glory.  My family takes me out for a special dinner in whatever cool place we’re staying for the week and then we go out for a special dessert so we can light a candle and I can make my wish. School schedules have started messing up my plans so the tradition of being away that day has probably come to an end :(

So, knowing I would be at home this year, I thought about what kind of cake I would make and decided I wanted something different, so I picked Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake. Then, when my family said they would make the cake, I thought I should change it to something simpler. Instead, they wanted to rise to the challenge. Basically, they needed to make two cakes and they could split up the work over two days.

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake

First, the cheesecake. I have a cheesecake recipe that everyone loves but I was worried it wouldn’t be dense enough to stand up as a base for another cake. I searched for a New York style cheesecake and came up with the recipe for Junior’s Cheesecake, which, regardless of how “famous” it might be, I had never tried.

The pineapple upside down cake was simply a tried and true recipe I’d been making for years from Cooking Light. I figured a slightly lighter cake might help balance out the richness of the cheesecake. I originally planned two layers of cake with the cheesecake in between, but for this, I thought it would be overkill. I handed the recipes over to my husband and kids and that was that.

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Until my husband asked if we had everything we needed to make the recipes. I told him we had about 90%, but I’d make him a list of the other things he needed to get. He decided he wanted to make the list (but accidentally forgot it on the counter when he went to the store.) Once we (I mean, they :) had all of the ingredients I was banished from the kitchen while they dove headfirst into making the cheesecake. I heard the kids crushing up the graham crackers and then the mixer whipping up the filling. I only checked in once after the graham crust was baked. I gently commented that the springform pan bottom was not actually fully clipped into the pan when they baked the crust and that it needed to be fixed so that the filling wouldn’t ooze out. Thankfully, that was easily remedied without destroying the crust and I made my way back out of the kitchen.

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The next morning I smelled buttery caramel cooking and checked in once more to see what was going on. My husband was enthusiastically making caramel sauce for the next cake. It was beautiful in the pan, but I asked him how long it had been boiling and it had been more than five minutes (yikes!) We cooled a little bit of it to find out he had hard candy instead of sauce. I didn’t realize he was going to start so early or I could have explained that he only needed to melt the butter and sugar together to combine them, not to cook them to a caramel stage. He started over and within a few minutes, was back on track.

I happened to be on the phone with a friend that morning and she kept scolding me to get out of the kitchen and just let them do it by themselves. So, I did. After the caramel candy incident, I stayed out. And then my husband left the house to pick up something fun for breakfast. I was still on the phone with my friend when I wondered if the cake was in the oven yet. It was. Then I wondered if my husband realized he left the house with a cake in the oven….Five minutes later he called and said,”I forgot about the cake in the oven.  Could you check on it for me?”  #dontstayoutofthekitchen

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I tell you all this not because I want to point out any mishaps, or even highlight my control freak issues (#toknowmeistoloveme) but to emphasize that I only checked on them three times over two days and look what my family made?…. Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake!!! For me!!! It was gorgeous!

Sweet, buttery, caramelly and fruity pineapple upside down cake atop a creamy cheesecake.  It was delicious! The cheesecake was not as dense as I had expected, but it was a great texture for the cake. We had some leftover salted caramel sauce that we drizzled on top and it was ridiculously perfect! (Yes, this was on top of the already caramelized fruity top. See that’s why the cake is “light”, so we have room to make it “un-light” without getting too crazy ;)

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake-12

My family was so proud of their accomplishment. When I told my daughter I was going to shoot it for the blog, she said, “But Mom, you didn’t make it.” I told her it was okay. “The post would be about the fact that all of you made it…for me.”  She was satisfied with that and skipped out of the kitchen.

My husband said both cakes were really easy to make. He had no idea that cheesecake was so easy and the pineapple upside down cake is pretty much a one bowl cake. You know, any cake would have been deeply appreciated. They could have bought a box mix and a can of frosting and I would have been honored and delighted.  But now that I’ve had such an amazing cake from my oh so awesome family?  Well….

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I think I know exactly what to wish for next year… :)

 

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake

Don't let a multiple recipe cake intimidate you. Both are easy recipes. Just make the cheesecake the day before and let it refrigerate overnight. Start early enough because there's a long baking and cooling time before you can forget about it in the refrigerator. The next day, whip up the super easy pineapple cake and you're good to go!
Servings 12 -16 servings

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter either salted or unsalted works fine here

For the cheesecake:

  • Four 8 ounce packages cream cheese we use Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

For the cake:

  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple slices in juice, drained
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • maraschino cherries 7 or so depending upon your design
  • 5 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large or extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • Extra cherries and warmed caramel sauce for serving see notes for recipe links

Instructions

  1. The day before you want to serve the cake, make the cheesecake.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9" springform pan by wrapping the bottom and sides with heavy aluminum foil. This is to insure that nothing in your pan leaks out and that water won't get into your pan when the cheesecake bakes.
  3. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Pour into a 9" springform pan and using your hands or the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs on the bottom and up the sides about a half inch or so. (My husband/kids only pressed on the bottom, so that's what you see in the photos. Either way is fine.)
  4. Bake crust for 8 minutes and set aside to cool.
  5. Make the filling. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer (use paddle attachment for stand mixers), beat one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch together on low until creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla.
  8. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  9. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. The mixture should look light, creamy and billowy. Be careful not to over mix at this step.
  10. Place the pan in a large shallow baking dish (we used a roasting pan) and pour in hot water until it comes up about halfway, (about 1 inch), up the side of the baking pan. Be careful not to splash any water into your cheesecake while you're pouring.
  11. Carefully transfer pan to oven. Bake until light golden brown and the center barely jiggles, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and allow to cool on a rack for 2 hours. Cover top of pan loosely with plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  13. The day of serving, make the cake.
  14. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9" cake pan with cooking spray.
  15. Melt the 1/2 cup brown sugar and 4 Tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan until sugar dissolves and mixture has fully combined. Do not cook or bring to a boil. You just need the sugar and butter to melt and combine. Remove from heat and pour into the prepared cake pan, tilting it back and forth to cover the entire bottom evenly.
  16. Decide how you want to arrange your pineapples and cherries. We used 7 pineapple rings (some cut in half) and 13 cherry halves for our design. You don't have to cut your cherries, you may leave them whole, if you wish. Once you figure out how many pieces of fruit you need for your design, pat them all dry with paper towels, then arrange them in the pan on top of the caramel sauce layer. If your cherries are cut in half, place them into the pan, cut side up so that the uncut side will be on top when you flip your cake over.
  17. Make the cake batter. Melt the 5 Tablespoons of butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter is melted. Add sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add eggs and whisk to combine.
  18. Whisk in buttermilk and next four ingredients (buttermilk through baking soda.)
  19. Add flour and stir just until blended (do not over stir.) Carefully pour the batter into the pan on top of the fruit layer.
  20. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  21. Cool for 1 minute in pan. Place a baking sheet with no rim (or flip it so that you have a flat surface) upside down on top of the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Cool completely.
  22. To assemble, remove chilled cheesecake from refrigerator and remove the sides of the springform pan. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving. Place the cake on serving plate, then using a large spatula, lift and slide the cooled pineapple cake off the pan and onto the top of the cheesecake. (You need the no rim sheet/plate so that you can easily slide the cake off of it. I used a cake lifter, but the pan should work fine)
  23. Slice and serve with warm caramel sauce and extra cherries, if desired.

Recipe Notes

*For the pineapple upside down cake, you could use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of prepared caramel sauce instead of melting the brown sugar and butter together. The original light recipe calls for 1/3 cup of fat free caramel topping drizzled in the bottom of the pan. The homemade version makes the fruit sink in a bit more, but I don't mind that at all and the flavor is so much better.

*You can warm up a prepared caramel sauce for serving or make 10 Minute Buttermilk Caramel Sauce or Salted Caramel Sauce. But definitely drizzle the caramel sauce on each slice. It brings the cakes together, is ridiculously delicious and makes for a pretty presentation.

*We use Tillen Farms cherries. I'm giving you a link, but we buy them from Whole Foods.

*Store cake in refrigerator. Cheesecake adapted from Epicurious

Cake adapted from Cooking Light, August 2001 Issue

The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2015

By |2018-08-07T14:19:23+00:00September 2nd, 2015|Cakes, Desserts|20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Tasbih @ Cleobuttera September 3, 2015 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Oh boy! This looks amaaaaaaaazing! I can’t believe your family made this! Bless them :) It looks so professional and out of this world delicious! Hats off for the cheesecake/upside down pineapple cake fusion idea.

    • Ramona September 3, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Thanks, Tasbih! I’m already thinking about what cake I should “order” next! :)

  2. Thalia @ butter and brioche September 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    You have managed to deliciously combine two of my favourite cakes into one! I have to try this out. It looks amazing.

  3. Fareeha September 19, 2015 at 5:50 am - Reply

    oh wowwww!!!!! Ur pix is making me want tht cheesecake slice right now.. I feel like having a bite right from across the screen.. love it

    • Ramona September 19, 2015 at 10:55 am - Reply

      Thanks, Fareeha! It came out so beautifully and tastes amazing, especially with the warm caramel sauce on top. Just talking about it again, I also wish I had a slice right now!

  4. Vanessa January 16, 2016 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    I just took my cheesecake out- it looks awesome and the batter was so amazing. One thing- it’s so tall and I’m afraid that with the upside cake it’s going to be enormous! Was yours super tall too? Maybe my pans are small.

    • Ramona January 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      Hi Vanessa! I didn’t measure the height, but it was probably about 4″ tall, maybe a bit more. My pans were 9″. If you just took it out of the oven, it’s probably puffy and may deflate while it cools. Remember, once it cools, it still needs to chill overnight in the refrigerator. I have made other layer cakes that were quite tall, on purpose. I wouldn’t worry too much; since the cheesecake is on the bottom, it is sturdy enough to stand up to the weight of the pineapple cake. But make sure the cheesecake gets all of it’s cooling time and refrigerator time before you stack it with the pineapple cake. In any case, it sounds like your cake is certainly going to make an impression! (That’s always fun:) And wait ’til you taste it! It’s going to be delicious!

      • Vanessa January 17, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

        So….that was not the best cheesecake I’ve ever made. It was the best cheesecake I’ve EVER HAD!!!!! Thank you so much!!!! And it did settle a bit:)

        • Ramona January 18, 2016 at 11:23 am - Reply

          Oh phew! Your first sentence really got me :0 I’m so glad you liked it! I think it’s great that the best cheesecake you’ve ever had is one that you made yourself! (Which just means you get to have it whenever you want it… :) #cheesecakepower

  5. Sam July 23, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    This was an amazing cheesecake/cake! It turned out so delicious, thank you for sharing. :)

    • Ramona July 23, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Sam! I know I could go for a piece right now. I really love the combination of the cake with the cheesecake :)

  6. Marie November 22, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    If I don’t have extra large eggs can I use 3 large eggs for the cheese cake?

    • Ramona November 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Marie, don’t worry about the extra large eggs. Just use 2 large eggs and you’ll be fine.

  7. jim May 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    ould like to know -if i dont have springform pans can i use other pan or can you make it in a 9×13 pan

    • Ramona May 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Jim, you could try but it’s going to be harder to manage getting it out of the pan in one piece. Also, you’ll either have thinner layers because a 13 x 9 pan is larger or you’ll have to double the recipe. It will depend on your preference for thickness. I do think it’s possible though. It just has a few extra challenges. The cheesecake shouldn’t be an issue, especially if you line the pan with foil so that you can remove it once it’s been chilled and is firm. Then, make the cake. I would turn it out onto a cookie sheet and then carefully slide it on top of the cheesecake. Make sure you don’t let the cake cool in the pan. Just follow the directions so that it doesn’t stick. Good luck! Let me know how it works out for you!

  8. Clumsy May 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Do you think adding a layer of canned fruit topping on the cheesecake before the pineapple layer would be overkill?

    • Ramona May 3, 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Hmmm, I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m not sure what kind of filling you were thinking of. I can’t imagine it would be bad, but it will separate the cake from the cheesecake more, they won’t be as connected, if you know what I mean. That being said, we’ve all seen/eaten cheesecakes that have all kinds of layers, and lots of them. The bottom line is this, if you love every layer you add and you love the flavor of those layers together, I think you’ll be good. If you’re not sure and don’t want to commit, you could always serve the extra fruit topping on the side and top each serving individually for those who are hankering for more fruit. (I will say though, try not to skip the caramel sauce on top. It is divine!)

  9. Valentina Yilmaz November 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Ramonaaaaaaaahhhh! I totally forgot to leave a comment for you last year! I made this for a friend’s birthday and everybody went NUTS for it! It was so good that I’m going to make it again for Thanksgiving. Thank you so so so much for posting such a beautiful amazing recipe! <3 <3 <3

    • Ramona November 18, 2018 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      Valentinaaaaaaaaahhh! You are too sweet! I’m so happy that it was such a grand success! Happy Thanksgiving!

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