Pinapple-“soft lemon” muffin cake

A delicious fresh cake that is made totally from scratch!

We wanted to make this recipe completely from scratch, not only for fun, but also because the result is much more natural flavors – something you’d lose using ready-made caramel, canned pineapple and cake mix. Plus, you’ll be saving your body from a significant amount of E numbers . As you might know, we at La Mala Leche are lovers of natural food, so while this recipe might take a little bit longer than using processed products, we really think the time investment is worth it. Of course, if you don’t have a lot of time, you can take shortcuts. 

Make yourself comfortable in the kitchen, and let´s get started!

Preparation time

1 hour (10 min to weigh ingredients, 20 for the pineapple, 15 for the caramel, 10 for the pudding and 5 to assemble) 

Wait time in the fridge depends on the shape and size of the mould – at least 3 to 4 hours.


– To make ‘5 or 6 slices of pineapple in syrup’ we will use: 

  • 1 pineapple (natural)
  • 225 g sugar
  • 250 ml of water

– To make the caramel:

  • 100 g of sugar
  • 50 ml of water

– 4 La mala leche soft lemon muffins 🙂

– To make the cinnamon/vanilla pudding:

  • 750 ml oat milk
  • 1,5 g agar agar (powder; amounts in flakes might be different)
  • 1 g of cinnamon (or/and vanilla if you dare to find it in natural powder)
  • a pinch of turmeric (Just a bit! Just to get a nice color)
  • a small piece of lemon rind
  • 60 g sugar
  • 30 g cornflower


  • A mould, preferably rectangular o round. It must deep enough to add multiple layers of muffin and pineapple.
  • a whisk
  • pans
  • scales
  • a measuring cup


1. Pineapple in syrup

Peel the pineapple and slice into rounds of approximately 1cm thick. Remove the centers. 

Put the slices in a pan, add the water and sugar and boil for 10-15 minutes. What could be easier and more delicious than homemade pineapples in syrup?! 

2. Caramel

Boil the water and leave it to one side.

In another pan, put the sugar on a very low heat. Bit by bit, you will see the sugar starting to melt. Stir occasionally, until the sugar has all caramelized. As soon as it has, start adding the pre-boiled water – slowly. The caramel will start to boil quite violently and can splash and burn you if you’re not careful. Keep stirring until the water is completely integrated. Leave to one side to cool.

3. Muffins

If you have a vegan Grandma that you can convince to make you some muffins, perfect! If not, no worries because here at La Mala Leche we make muffins just like your Grandma would (even though we’re a few years younger). Our Soft Lemon muffins are made with real ingredients, taste just like the traditional ones and are perfect for this recipe. Cut 4 in half, across the middle (horizontally) and set aside.

4. Pudding

Whisk the cornflour together with a big spoonful of water. It’s very important that there are no lumps. 

Add the oat milk, agar agar, cinnamon (and/or vanilla), turmeric, lemon peer and sugar to a pan and boil for 7 minutes (no less) so that the agar agar can solidify. Stir constantly to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. At the end of 7 minutes, take out the lemon peel and add the cornflour/water mix whilst stirring quickly. Keep stirring for a minute.

5. Assemble the cake!

Woohoo! Now we have all the components ready to assemble that beautiful tasty cake! If this was your first time making pineapples in syrup, caramel or pudding, you might feel like nothing is impossible now!

Assembling the cake is the easy part. Start by adding part of the caramel to the bottom of the mould, spreading it carefully so it covers the whole surface. Add the first layer of pineapple. As this is the part you’ll see we’ve put two rounds, nicely spaced. Next, pour in about 1⁄4 of the pudding, followed by the first layer of muffin slices; trying to make it fit like the image below. A quick tip: you can pour a little bit of the pineapple syrup over the muffin slices, not too much, just a few drops – to add flavor without making them too moist. 

Now add another 1⁄4 of the pudding, followed by the second layer of pineapple, then another 1⁄4 of the pudding. Top this with the final layer of muffins and finish by pouring over the last of the pudding. 

It’s done! Now refrigerate until the cake is cold and solidified (at least 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size and shape of the mould). When you’re ready to serve, carefully remove the cake from the mould and place it on a plate. You can decorate it by drizzling over some more caramel. 

Now grab yourself a tea or coffee and enjoy! 

Foto shooting set: where does each item come from?

An important part of following a sustainable lifestyle is our consumption, not only of food, but also of objects. We believe in buying second hand and inheriting beautiful objects from your family! 

Tablecloth: handmade by my mother in 1977/1978.

Rock: found in a rocky beach in Alicante, Spain

Big plate: found at my previous home in Berlin (we had a sort of share-with-your-neighbors scheme for things you didn’t need) 

Small plate, coffee glasses and coffee maker: bought at a second hand market in Berlin 

Earthenware pitcher: bought in the ceramic museum in the village of Agost

Be a #consciousconsumer and have a lovely day!