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Chetna Makan’s pineapple and elderflower cake recipe

Perfect for your next garden party.

“I have a soft spot for pineapple cake. It was the most popular cake at the bakeries in Jabalpur: a light, eggless sponge, with fresh cream and pineapple on top,” says Chetna Makan.

“As with many ingredients, the cream in the UK tastes different to the cream you get in India. So, I have made my own version.”

Pineapple and elderflower cake recipe.


(Serves 8-10)

For the cake:

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin

  • 220g canned pineapple pieces, roughly chopped

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 100g ground almonds

  • 100g self-raising flour

  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 3 large eggs

  • 130g natural yoghurt

  • 2tbsp elderflower cordial

For the cream:

  • 300ml double cream

  • 30g caster sugar

  • 1tbsp elderflower cordial

  • Elderflowers to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Butter two x 20 centimetre round cake tins and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Scatter half the pineapple over one tin.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric whisk, or in a food mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, put all the cake ingredients except the remaining pineapple and whisk for a minute until smooth and pale. Stir in the remaining pineapple pieces. Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

3. Whip the cream, sugar and elderflower cordial together in a bowl with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks.

4. Put the cake without pineapple on top of a serving plate and spread all the cream on top. Place the second cake, pineapple-side up, on top. If you manage to find some elderflowers, place on top of the cake and serve.

5. This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.

Chetna’s Easy Baking by Chetna Makan is published by Hamlyn, priced £20.

Photography by Nassima Rothacker. Available now.


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