Pineapple-Sweet Potato Upside-Down Cake


A spin on pineapple upside-down cake that Jimmy Proffitt of The Appalachian Tale created when he was gifted an abundance of sweet potatoes, this fragrant, spice-infused bake is the perfect casual dessert to welcome the holiday season. Read more about Jimmy’s love of cooking here

Pineapple-Sweet Potato Upside-Down Cake
Makes 1 (10-inch) cake
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • ½ cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
For batter:
  1. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave butter on high until melted. Continue heating butter on high in 30-second increments, stirring occasionally, until butter is amber-colored and has a nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes more. Refrigerate butter until solidified but spreadable, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. In a large bowl, beat softened brown butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sweet potato, buttermilk, and maple syrup until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat flour mixture into sweet potato mixture just until combined, stopping to scrape bowl.
For topping:
  1. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle brown sugar into melted butter (do not stir together). Top with pecans, then pineapple (do not stir together). Gently spread batter onto topping.
  2. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert skillet onto a serving plate (do not remove skillet), and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes for topping to settle. Remove skillet, and let cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.