Fresh pineapple cake

February 19, 2011  •  Category:


I had a French storybook growing up that had about 600 pages; the book was divided into sections: ” To read while eating a tartine (sandwich)”, “To read while having a picnic”, “To read before going to bed”, etc… It was one of my favorite books because the stories were only about three pages and always extraordinary.

Now this cake would fit into the category: “To eat while sipping tea in the afternoon”.

It is light and moist, with the added taste of fresh pineapple poached in a vanilla-scented syrup.


  • 1 pineapple, extra-sweet
  • 300 g sugar, divided (10.5 ounces)
  • 200 g flour (7 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g of melted unsalted butter (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (can replace with pure vanilla extract)


First step: poaching the pineapple (can be done one day ahead to meld the flavors)

  1. Cut and peel the pineapple, making sure no knobs remain. cut off the core and discard and dice all the remaining pineapple flesh evenly in small pieces. Place in a bowl.
  2. Place the vanilla bean in a flat surface and smooth out with the blade of a knife; cut in half lengthwise and scrape off all the seeds.
  3. In a large pot, place 1/3 of the sugar and 2 1/2 cups of water and the vanilla seeds and bean; bring to a boil and when it starts boiling, stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add the pineapple pieces, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  4. Place the pineapple pieces in a bowl, cover with the syrup and let the mixture cool. Remove the vanilla bean, wash and dry and keep for another use.

Second step: Making the cake batter

  1. Place the three eggs in the mixer bowl; start mixing, adding the remaining sugar gradually. Mix until the mixture is turned pale yellow.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into the egg mixture, gradually at first, until the flour mixture disappears into the egg mixture; add the baking powder to the cake batter.  Add the melted butter slowly until the butter is incorporated. Add the drained pineapple pieces to the cake batter, folding gently to mix throughout.
  3. Butter a nonstick cake mold and pour the batter into it. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 30 minutes or until the cake is golden and puffed up. (Insert a toothpick to check if the cake is ready).
  4. Remove from the oven and prick the cake all over with the toothpick; pour the pineapple syrup on the cake; let the cake absorb the syrup and cool. Serve.

Recipe from Chef Guillaume Gomez, Elysée Palace, Paris,  France. Recipe was adapted.

NOTE: The pineapple peel can be boiled for 20 minutes or so with some sugar and makes a delightful juice.

The pineapple should have very bright green leaves; it should say extra sweet on the label, if possible.


72 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    Really yummy!



  2. Velva says:

    A cup of tea with this fresh pineapple cake? I am thinking a cup of coffee would be delightful. Your cake looks amazing and sounds delicious.


  3. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Really nice, I love fresh pineapple and can only imagine how delicious this would be!

  4. Scienter says:

    I’ve never been good at baking, but this inspires me! I love pineapple, and it would be nice to use my stand mixer for things other than making pizza dough or pasta.

  5. oum mouncifrayan says:

    J’imagine le gout!!! Ça doit être succulent. Bravo et merci du partage.

  6. Susan says:

    Yummy, looks delicious. I love pineapples in everything!

  7. Grapefruit says:

    The cake looks wonderful but what I enjoyed most was the introduction to your blog post. What was the book called?

  8. Cherine says:

    The cake looks so moist and delicious!

  9. Ivy says:

    This has been bookmarked. I have never made a pineapple cake before but it must be something extraordinary.

  10. Barbara says:

    I’m quite certain I’ve never made a cake with fresh pineapple, Joumana. And I do love to eat it. Lovely, spring-like recipe too. It can’t be far behind.

    Fun to divide a book up that way….might be a lovely idea with a book of poetry! And I can see your cake for brunch or tea.

  11. deana says:

    Great simple recipe.. and pineapple always feels like summer… boy do I need that feeling about now… we’re in the winter that never ends! That book sounds perfect… a story for everything.

  12. Joanne says:

    The vanilla scented syrup sounds absolutely divine and must be lovely against the acidic pineapple. What a great cake!

  13. Soma says:

    I am going to have to make this very very soon. A certain pineapple layer cake is a favorite of my hubby and we love pineapple. I can only taste the and smell the fresh flavors and can’t wait to try this out.

  14. Maria says:

    My husband loves pineapple and this looks like the perfect cake for him to enjoy it in. Will make this soon!

  15. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Pineapple is my most favorite of the fruits–this looks delightful!

  16. Devaki says:

    Dear Joumana – What a lovely introduction with the storybook and what a marvelous marvelous cake. I will be on a lookout for over ripe pineapple. How is it that you always manage to make the foods I would love to eat! 🙂

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  17. Cathy at Wives with says:

    Oh my, how good does that look!!!! Mid-afternoon is my favorite time to enjoy a special sweet treat, especially with a nice cup of tea.

  18. meriem says:

    hummm…j’adore ce genre de gâteaux!!!!

  19. Cristina says:

    When I was a little girl my mum made a cake with tinned pineapple and I loved it, but she cannot find the recipe any more. This looks so delicious, I think it might be even yummier! I like the idea of pouring the juice over the cake when it’s cooked…do you pour it when still in the baking tin, or when the cake’s already on a serving plate?

    • Joumana says:

      @Cristina: You pour the syrup while the cake is still in the tin, giving the cake a chance to absorb it, then flip it over onto a serving platter.

      @Grapefruit: I tossed the book a few months ago (after owning it for decades, literally!) and have regretted it ever since; it was an old book, published in the forties in France.

  20. Mary says:

    What a lovely and original cake. I’d love to have a piece of it with my coffee this morning. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  21. Nadji says:

    Une texture qui fait saliver.
    J’en mangerai avec plaisir.
    A très bientôt.

  22. Isabelle says:

    This cake á l´ananas looks and smells and surely tastes delicious ! Will try it soon, thank you again for all those exquisite recipes.

  23. Priya says:

    Cake looks marvellous and super inviting..

  24. lisaiscooking says:

    My Mom used to make a pineapple cake (with canned pineapple) that I always loved. But, this version of pineapple cake looks amazing! The vanilla poached fresh pineapple sounds fantastic in it.

  25. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    This cake looks fantastic. I love pineapple anything! I bet that the poached pineapple in syrup would be fantastic simply served over vanilla ice cream too. Yum!

  26. Soma says:

    Thanks for the inspiration 🙂 I craved this cake so bad in the morning when I saw it that I set about making it, and ended up baking an orange, ginger pineapple cake instead… but in a similar way as yours. thank you so much!

  27. Sophie says:

    MMMMMMM,…Joumana! Your pineapple cake looks just stunning & so vibrant yellow!

    I love this lovely cake! I recently moved my blog to Come over @ my blog & check it out! You must update your RSS too!

  28. Banana Wonder says:

    I love pineapple and this cake really looks perfectly light and fluffy with that hint of tropical.

  29. grace says:

    poached pineapple, eh? that alone is going on my ‘try immediately’ list, followed closely by this cake in its entirety! 🙂

  30. gomez says:

    J’espere que mon cake vous aura plus…..

  31. Magic of Spice says:

    This cake does look so incredibly moist, delicious. I have never thought of making juice from the pineapple peel, wonderful idea 🙂

  32. SYLVIA says:

    I love plain cakes, especially when they don’t demand frosting. Joumana this is a beautiful cake with chunks of fresh pineapple, I like how you serve it in a white plate so the yellow color stands out.

  33. Fig & Cherry says:

    This is divine! I am making it today 🙂

  34. anjelina says:

    awesome Pineapple Pastry. looks mouth watering.

  35. Jess says:

    I love your connection to the book! I think that one of the things that’s so special about cooking and baking is the personal connections it lets us have to our past, present, and to the future.
    This looks delicious! And guess what? I have a pineapple on my counter!

  36. spice says:

    Hi Joumana, hope u r doing good…………i’m here after long time, just saw pineapple cake soma(ecurry) made inspired by your this cake, so came to check by this cake, it is delicious one…I have to bake something now using fresh pineapples….

  37. Greta says:

    I’ve had a pineapple sitting around and wanted to make a dessert with it. Your recipe was the cincher – I like cakes where the juice is served over the cake making it extra moist. I’m currently poaching the pineapple now, and I’ve used brown sugar and a sprig of mint popped into the juice – I didn’t have a vanilla pod. I let that sit for about 5 minutes as it was coming up to the boil, and then took it out. The poaching juice has a beautiful flavour – very refreshing. Will be interesting to see how it turns out! Thanks for the great recipe!

  38. martina says:

    is this self raising or plain flour?

  39. martina says:

    Thanks. Shall be making it for after lunch tomorrow. It looks delicious.

  40. Veronika Addington says:

    OOOooooohhhhhh yessss!!! This was the best cake I have ever made – serously. Thinking about making another one soon. Forget your waist line ladies, this is just an experience. All my family loved it. Thank you.

  41. Marsha Kostman says:

    I know I’m late to the party, but what size pan did you use? I don’t own a ring mold and will have to buy one, so I need to know what size to get.



    • Joumana says:

      @Marsha: You can use an 8 or 9 inch basic round pan.I think it would probably make a better cake, anyway, than the ring mold, which was harder to unmold.

  42. Marsha Kostman says:

    Ahhh! Thank you. When I did a search, after posting my comment, I learned you had used a savarin mold, and almost all the ones I saw were tinned steel. I’m 74 and did my share of baking with things that rusted, and didn’t want to go back to that. I’ll just use one of my non-rusting cake pans.

    Thanks again

  43. Julita Stanislawska says:

    The picture looks absolutely amazing and I hope my cake will look exactly the same. But what about the pineapple pieces on the top? Are they just some pieces taken from the batch of the poached pineapple?


  44. la belle aurore says:

    Sound wonderful, I will make this cake tomorrow and post about it, giving a link to yours. Thank you

  45. Carl Quartz says:

    Ok. Have just popped it in the oven. Will drizzle with syrup when it comes out and am going to leave it over night. Will report back tomorrow. Looks good thus far and the mix tasted sweet and light 🙂

  46. Carl Quartz says:

    Ok I’m back. Kids love it. It’s more a desert cake once you pour the syrup on especially. So we are heating it up for 30 secs in the and adding double cream. 😀

    Thank you

  47. eatincalgary says:

    I have just baked this cake – and blogged about it (with a link to your post). It was very tasty and not that sweet (I used less sugar then your recipe). You are 100% right: this is a cake to eat while sipping (green) tea 🙂

  48. poonam says:

    wow..This style of recipe in french with dark color looks so cool of my favorite flavor especially in cakes, appearance of pineapple represents delicious or fresh!!it must be try it …celebrate it with special weekend.

  49. pammy says:

    I made this and me & my boyfriend LOVE it!!! Thank you for the recipe. I only used 1 1/2 cups water & used pure vanilla extract 2 tsps but I followed the rest exactly and it was SO good!

  50. Harriette says:

    HELP! I need to make this cake today!! The pineapple is dead ripe and very sweet!
    I do not have a scale. Je suis une American. I need to translate ounces to cups, as well as 1/2 vanilla bean to teaspoons or fraction thereof. Many thanks to anyone who
    can help today. Many thanks to anyone who can help for future reference.

  51. Harriette says:

    HELP!!! Je suis une American. I have a ripe pineaple cut up and waiting to be use
    today. I need to know how to measure ounces of flour, as well as how much vanilla
    in teaspoons or fraction of teaspoons to substitute for 1/2 of a vanilla bean.

    Many thanks to anyone who can help either today or later!

  52. Harriette says:

    HELP!!! Je suis une American. I have a ripe pineaple cut up and waiting to be use
    today. I need to know how to measure ounces of flour, as well as how much vanilla
    in teaspoons or fraction of teaspoons to substitute for 1/2 of a vanilla bean.

    Many thanks to anyone who can help either today or later!


    • Joumana says:

      @Harriette: use 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. As far as ounces of flour, go on google and type convert from grams to cups or ounces to cups and you will get an instant result.

  53. Sara says:

    Fantastic cake. Lovely sweet and wholesome. Will definately make again and again and again and…

  54. Soumya says:

    Can I use pineapple essense instaed of vanilla?

  55. Erin-Leigh says:

    I made this recipe last night and baked it as cupcakes instead of a cake. It’s less than 24 hours later, and my husband who doesn’t really care for cake, has already had five cupcakes. Next time, I’ll use a mini bundt pan. It seems a standard cupcake is simply not a large enough portion to satisfy my crowd. I’ve been searching for a pineapple cake recipe for ages, and this one is terrific.

    • Joumana says:

      @Erin-Leigh: Mini bundt cake pans sounds terrific! I will try it with these myself/ Glad it turned out well for you 🙂

  56. Nisa says:

    Can I use tinned pineapple instead of fresh ones

  57. rebecca says:

    Was just needing to know what flour do i use in the pineapple cake in ready to go just not sure which ones right?

  58. Roberta says:

    Absolutely wonderful recipe, have made it many, many times. The only thing wrong is that it doesn’t last long – we can’t resist having a slice with every cup of coffee!

  59. Tania says:

    I was looking for a recipe that used fresh Pineapple. This recipe is fantastic. The combination of Pineapple and Vanilla is wonderful. The cake is light and moist. Delicious I served with whipped cream. Might add a little Rum next time. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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