The ponzecake earns its name from the fact that the total weight of the dry ingredients (before pineapples) equals a single ponze.
Ponze – or pound – cakes are an easy way to remember a generic cake recipe. Just add equal parts of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs by weight, and voilà! Ready to whip up whenever unexpected visitors drop by and is also super beginner-friendly. Coincidentally, this type of cake was one of the first recipes I learned as a child!
The downside of ponzecakes is that it tends to be dry. Fruits, such as pineapples, add the right amount of moisture and sweetness, making this treat enjoyable for more than a day.
Depending on how much cake you want in proportion to your fruit, you may use from 8 to 10 inch round pan or a deep baking dish. The smaller, the thicker the cake will be! In the pictures that you see here, I used a 10-inch springform pan.
As you will see, I cheated a bit with the amounts, so they don’t add up precisely to the exact quantities. But by doing so, you can achieve a slightly better texture. Remember, when you want to scale this recipe, go by the weights instead of volume!
For the topping you will need
Canned pineapple slices, drained (but reserve the syrup!)
Pitted cherries (optional), either candied or preserved
For the batter you will need
60 grams (approx. ¼ cup) of butter
50 milliliters of vegetable oil (approx. ⅕ cup; alternative: double the amount of butter if you don’t want to use oil)
100 grams (approx ½ cup) of sugar
Two tablespoons of pineapple juice/syrup (reserved from the can)
120 grams (approx. 1 cup) of cake flour
One teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
One teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F. Brush the bottom and sides of your baking pan/dish generously with melted butter and coat both the bottom and sides with brown sugar. Blot your pineapple slices and cherries dry, if necessary, and arrange as many as possible along the bottom. You can also stack them up the side if you want. Set your baking pan/dish aside for now. Make sure your ingredients for the cake are at room temperature before preparing the batter!
Place butter, oil, and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric or stand mixer for several minutes. You want to achieve a smooth, pale paste. Carefully add the pineapple syrup/juice and vanilla extract, and continue mixing until fully incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly between each step.
Mix cake flour, baking powder, and salt together and sift. Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, using a spatula to incorporate the two without overmixing. Gently pour the batter over your arranged pineapple slices, spreading it with the help of your spatula. Bake the cake for about 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.
Once your cake is finished, take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely. Flip the cake onto a serving plate and serve either as is or with ice cream or whipped cream.