Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by Chartwell’s Robert Goddard

What could be better than summertime in Canada? Sunny skies, crystal-clear lakes and lush greenery are a welcome sight after the dreary spring rainfall. Better still, the delicious deserts being served up this time of year make summertime extra special.

Chartwell Belcourt’s Robert Goddard knows a thing or two about summertime cuisine, and residents always make sure to leave room for his delicious Pineapple Upside-down Cake.

Robert GoddardRobert Goddard, Food Service Manager, at Chartwell since 2016

With over 40 years of culinary experience, Robert has prepared dishes for all kinds of people—from Olympic athletes to renowned politicians. Honing his skills over the years has allowed him to cook and teach all over Canada. Knowing this, residents at Chartwell Belcourt certainly appreciate having him at the helm of their dining experience!

Surprisingly, cooking wasn’t always Robert’s first career choice. As a young man, he set his sights on becoming a member of the RCMP. Unfortunately, a failed eyesight examination prevented this from happening, and so Robert’s focus shifted. It was after the head chef at his part-time job saw potential in him that Robert was encouraged to pursue a culinary career. He didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the catalyst that would propel him to attain his Red Seal certification and enjoy a long and fulfilling career as a chef.

Over the years, Robert has perfected his craft, imbuing dishes with his own personal flair. One of his proudest moments came during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when he was selected to work in the Whistler Olympic Village. He and his colleagues served up to 16,000 meals a day for athletes from all over the world. For Robert, it was a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Today, Robert is the Food Service Manager at Chartwell Belcourt in Orléans, Ontario. Never one to sacrifice flavour for convenience, “scratch cooking”—making recipes from scratch using fresh, wholesome ingredients—has become an integral part of his kitchen. Always aiming to please, Robert’s menus often reflect an era that Chartwell Belcourt residents grew up in. Flavour, nutrition and nostalgia all coalesce to keep residents happy and coming back for more.

Robert’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Served in individually-sized ramekins, this playful desert is the perfect way to satiate that summertime sweet tooth. Check out Robert’s recipe for the perfect Pineapple Upside-down Cake!


Portion Yield: 40 servings


1 can pineapple rings (2.84 L)

1 jar whole red maraschino cherries

1 kg. brown sugar


3 cups white sugar

1½ cup(s) butter

6 large eggs (or 7 medium)

2 tbsp. vanilla extract

4½ cups all-purpose flour

2½ tbsp. baking powder

1½ cup of milk


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Keep juice from the pineapple can. Coat a ramekin with baking spray, placing one slice of pineapple in the bottom. Add a maraschino cherry in centre of the pineapple ring. Make a syrup using the leftover pineapple juice and brown sugar by combining the two ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat and simmering until mixture drips off a tasting spoon. Pour the syrup into individual ramekins (2 tbsp. at a time).

For the cake, you’ll need a medium bowl. Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat the eggs, one at the time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder. Add this to the cream mixture. Mix well.

Finally, stir in the milk until the batter is smooth. Pour batter into the prepared ramekins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cake is finished when it springs back. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning the ramekin over onto a dessert plate.

Add more pineapple syrup if cake is too dry. You may serve this desert warm or cold.  Whip cream can be added if desired.