Monday, November 15, 2010

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Again, a dessert recipe beginning with, 'melt 1 stick of butter.' Blame it on the weather, but I can't help myself and am drawn to these desserts in November. Or blame it on my son, who came home for a visit, after seeing Congo Bars and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins posted together on my blog. Boy, was he disappointed! I had mailed some to his sister in Austin, and taken the rest to my spinning guild meeting, and there was nothing but crumbs left when he stopped by, hungry for home cooked desserts. Good Mom that I am, I immediately whipped up a cake and popped it in the oven, just for him.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is such a 1950's June Cleaver sort of dessert, developed by the Dole company to increase the consumption of canned pineapple. Though I remember having it as a child once or twice, it is a cake that in all honesty, I have no nostalgia for, and that has never been a part of my own personal repertoire. Until now. There is an obscene luridness to its maraschino cherry studded appearance, and though I've made several other more swanky 1990's versions of upside down cake: cranberry, pear and gingerbread cake, and a mango with a cornmeal cake -all very good- I never really was intrigued by the classic pineapple version.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake came into radar range of this same son, and the question, "Why have we never had a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake?" was asked with with the bewildered tone of someone who had been deprived as a child. I hadn't quite realized that my son and husband are both really huge fans of pineapple (who says you can't learn something new about the men you think you know absolutely everything about after 20 and 43 years, respectively?). I stepped up to the oven immediately, and surprisingly, this cake is really quite delicious. Unpretentious, really quick and easy, good warm or cold, both with or without ice cream on the side. And it makes pineapple-lovers very happy.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
In a 10-12 inch caste-iron skillet, melt:
1/2 c. butter
Add: 1/2 c. brown sugar and cook until it thickens and bubbles a bit. Remove from heat.
Arrange pineapple rings from a 20 oz. in skillet. Place maraschino cherries in center of each ring. This is optional if you think they are too weird of a food substance, or like my mom, don't like them.

Beat with mixer:
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. nutmeg
Add flour mix, alternating with:
1/2 c. milk, buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream (I used buttermilk)
Stir, scraping sides of mixer bowl, until smooth, but do not over mix. Pour or spoon cake batter evenly over arranged pineapple in skillet. Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick tests done. Let stand 10 minutes. Run knife around edge of skillet, if necessary, then invert onto large plate. Serve warm or cold, with or without ice cream. Personally, I like to have a slice with a cup of coffee for breakfast, but I suppose it's not the sort of thing everyone likes first thing in the morning.


  1. I love pineapple upside down cake and made it every Easter. We found fresh pineapple down here pretty cheap so I used that this year. It was out of this world.

    It's always nice to find out little surprises about the people you think you know. Your pictures make me want to go make one myself.

  2. I love the picture and the recipe, I have to try this soon.