Upside-Down Bahama Mama Cake

This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at or in her cookbook, One Pan Whole Family. 

I always loved Pineapple Upside-Down Cake as a child as it was a special treat, but I must admit that the addition of coconut milk, rum and citrus does wonders in this beach drink-inspired makeover. The coconut ice cream accompaniment is a new must-have, so be sure to include it if you can.

Looking for more beach drink-inspired sweet treats? Check out more of my favorites.

Upside-Down Bahama Mama Cake

Start-to-Finish: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8-10


  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (shake can before opening)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum, plus 3 tablespoons (I recommend Kraken or Captain Morgan)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus 4 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup
  • 2 large eggs
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 7 rings canned pineapple
  • 7 maraschino cherries, drained
  • Coconut ice cream (as an accompaniment)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment, then grease the parchment too.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Combine the coconut milk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons rum in a measuring cup.
  4. Beat the 8 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk, lemon zest and juice and beat on medium speed one minute longer.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the batter alternately with the coconut milk on low speed, beating until smooth.
  6. Melt the 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons rum and cook, stirring for about 4 minutes or until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Arrange the pineapple in the cake pan and center a cherry into each pineapple round. Pour the glaze evenly over the fruit then spoon the batter into the pan covering the fruit. Try not to disturb the placement of the fruit slices. Bake the cake in the middle of the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes (no more or it might stick) before inverting it onto a serving plate, peeling away the parchment if it sticks.
  8. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with coconut ice cream.
  9. Make-ahead: Cake can be made up to one day ahead, kept covered at room temperature.

Upside-Down Bahama Mama Cake

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