Pineapple upside down guava cupcakes

Pineapple upside down cake is a quintessential American dessert. They get reimagined with guava nectar and are baked into individual servings so everybody gets pineapple and a cherry!

Pineapple upside down guava cupcakes

Recently, I shared the mango float cream puff recipe with you. That same cookbook yielded this pineapple upside down guava cupcake recipe. It was the second recipe that my husband and daughter bookmarked, so I was curious to try it out.

My memory has been failing me on occasion, and this week was no exception. I had forgotten to write down pineapple slices and maraschino cherries into my weekly grocery list. As a result, I did not have all the ingredients I needed for these cupcakes (Surprisingly, I did manage to purchase the guava nectar at my last trip to the Asian grocery store!).

Pineapple upside down guava cupcakes

Over the weekend, we had an intense rainstorm that apparently was the remnants of a tropical storm. We had rain and wind all day long, and we pretty much hunkered down at home. Bored out of our wits, we decided to brave the rain and head to the library and the grocery store. My thoughtful husband parked the car by the entrance of the grocery store so that I did not need to get drenched (I apparently left my umbrella at home – oops).

I was able to purchase the pineapple and the cherries and made these cupcakes when I returned home. My cupcakes domed a lot, so I ended up cutting them down when I took these photographs. Also, I only own one giant muffin pan, so I had a lot of leftover batter and butter/sugar syrup. I ended up pouring the extra into an 8″ round baking pan and adding pineapple slices and cherries to that as well. In the end, I had 6 giant muffin pans and one 8″ cake using this recipe.

Pineapple upside down guava cupcakes

While the texture of the cakes was good, I did not taste any guava at all. My husband and daughter noted the same thing. We really craved the guava flavor to compliment the pineapple slices, but it got lost completely in the cake. Since we couldn’t taste the guava, we ranked this recipe 3 and 3.5 stars. It was still fun to make though, and it was a good update to the classic pineapple upside down cakes that we know so well.

Husband’s rating: 3 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
My rating: 3.5 out of 5

Pineapple upside down guava cupcakes

You've heard of pineapple upside down cake - but what about a guava cake? These giant cupcakes are great for single size servings.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Cake, Cupcakes
Servings: 14 giant cupcakes
Author: Eva Bakes


  • 1 33.8 ounce carton guava nectar I found this in my local Asian grocery store
  • ½ pound (2 sticks or 16 Tablespoons) unsalted butter I used salted and omitted the salt below
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar packed (I used light brown sugar)
  • 2 20-ounce cans pineapple slices/rings in pineapple juice
  • 14 maraschino cherries de-stemmed
  • 2 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt omit if using salted butter above
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs room temperature, whisked
  • 1 cup buttermilk I used 1% milk and added 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes to curdle
  • ½ cup vegetable oil I used canola
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops red food coloring I omitted


  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the entire contents of the guava nectar. Stir occasionally and allow the liquid to reduce to about ¾ cup. This will take about 35-40 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the oven and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat your oven to 350℉. Grease and line the bottoms of two giant muffin pans with parchment paper (cut them into circles). Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, melt together the brown sugar and the butter until the butter is fully melted, about 2-3 minutes. Pour about 1 Tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin cavity.
  • Place 1 pineapple ring inside each muffin well. Make sure that the pineapple has been drained well before you place it into the pan. You don't want to introduce extra liquid into the pan.
  • Add 1 maraschino cherry into the middle of each pineapple ring.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt (if using), granulated sugar, baking soda, and baking powder together.
  • Create a large well in the center and pour in the reduced guava nectar, eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and red food coloring if using. Mix well until no dry streaks remain.
  • Fill each muffin well with about ⅓ cup of batter. I only made 6 jumbo muffins and placed the rest of the batter for an 8" round cake pan (lined, of course).
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool slightly.
  • Invert the cakes over onto a baking sheet and discard the parchment paper. The cakes are best served warm.


Leftover cake should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and will last for about 4 days.
Source: Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed by Abi Balingit

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