Sourdough Discard Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This pineapple upside down-cake is so moist, soft and tender with a delicious caramel topping that’ll make you wonder why people bother with frosting at all.

Pineapple upside-down cake is a favorite in my household so I really wanted to get this recipe right. I wanted to incorporate my sourdough discard in the recipe because well…my overflowing discard jar is basically my excuse for baking and eating sweet treats like banana bread, oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies.

Speaking of unhealthy treats, this pineapple upside-down cake is not a health food. This cake has a lot of sugar, butter and even alcohol (rum, which is optional but highly recommended). I’m not kidding there’s TONS of sugar in this recipe, by weight, it’s more sugar than flour. This cake is an indulgence, and believe me, it tastes like it too.

I based this recipe on the epicurious recipe for pineapple upside-down cake, and converted it to sourdough. I’ve used other recipes before but this one resulted in the best tasting cake. It had an incredibly soft, tender, and crumbly crumb, and a wonderfully complex multi-dimensional flavor thanks to the addition of rum and cardamom. Cardamom really put this cake’s flavor over the top, so far if you don’t already have it in your spice rack, I definitely recommend purchasing some before making this recipe.

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Now onto the recipe!



75 gramsButter
164 gramsBrown sugar
20 oz canPineapple slices

Maraschino cherries (optional)

Cake Batter

142 gramsAll-purpose flour
2 teaspoonsBaking powder
2 teaspoonsCardamom
¼ teaspoonSalt
85 gramsButter
200 gramsGranulated sugar
2Large eggs
100 gramsSourdough starter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
63 grams Pineapple juice
4 to 6 tablespoons Dark rum (optional)



Preheat oven to 350 F / 176 C

Place butter in a 10″ / 25.4 cm round cake pan and bake for 10 minutes or until butter is melted.

Take cake pan out of the oven and add brown sugar to cake pan and stir into butter until fully incorporated.

Arrange pineapple rings on top of sugar mixture in concentric circles. If using, place maraschino cherries in the middle of each pineapple ring.

Set aside until cake batter is ready.


Sift together flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt.

Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, and gradually beat in granulated sugar.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beat well and wait until fully incorporated before each addition.  

Beat in sourdough starter, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of rum.

Add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Careful not to over beat or cake may turn out rubbery.

Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. Your batter may look curdled, this is ok.

Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly.


Bake cake in middle of oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cake stand in cake pan for 10 minutes.

Invert a plate or cutting board over cake pan and invert cake onto a plate or cutting board.

Replace any pineapple stuck to bottom of cake pan.

If using, sprinkle 2 to 4 tablespoons of rum over cake and cool on plate on a rack.

Serve cake just warm or at room temperature.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Follow me on Instagram @MakeItDough or like Make It Dough on Facebook for more sourdough and baking ideas. Remember to post a photo and tag me or use #makeitdough when you make this delicious recipe, so I can check out your bake!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Pauline Leahy says:

    For the upside down pineapple cake does the sourdough starter need to be active.

    1. No, the starter can be unfed from the fridge!

  2. Sue says:

    Can you offer the recipes in cups/teaspoons vs grams?

    1. I usually only use a scale when I create my recipes as it is more accurate!

  3. Esther says:

    2 teaspoons of cardamom? I’m going to trust you here…🤞

    1. Trust!!!

  4. Anessa says:

    This cake was SO YUMMY! First time making something with sourdough discard and I’ll definitely do it again. And on the cardamom – TRUST. Officially my favorite pineapple upside down cake recipe.

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear you love this recipe!

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