Pineapple Upside Down Cake-I Aim To Please

Pineapple Upside-Down CakeMy family had dinner at our close friends’ house tonight and in the interest of using them as guinea pigs taste testers, I offered to bring dessert.  My reasons for this were three fold:  they aren’t picky and will eat just about anything I make as long as it does not contain olives, they have several hungry kids and between our two families we can polish off a dessert that would normally take our family days and days to eat, and my least favorite reason is that I have gestational diabetes and I can only have a bite or two of whatever I make.  The last reason is keeping me from doing a lot of experimentation in the kitchen and any excuse to try something totally new is a welcome change.

So my husband looked at me with his big, blue, dreamy eyes and asked for pineapple upside-down cake.  I was powerless to resist…*sigh*

I have made just about everything except pineapple upside down cake, but was eager to make some since my Dad has always loved it and he will be here in just a few short weeks to help watch our two munchkins while Mike and I are at the hospital welcoming the third munchkin.  So trial run on the recipe tonight, and round two in a few weeks.  And man, I can’t wait for round two!!

As you know, I usually make a recipe several times before I post it.  Just to make sure.  But in this case, the whole process was so simple, there is little room for error.  I ended up picking the recipe from this book, figuring I could not go wrong.  Bingo!  I have now tossed every other recipe for pineapple upside-down cake that I have ever clipped, copied, or scribbled in the margin of a notebook. There is no more need for testing!  This is exactly what I was looking for.  Simple, easy, and totally classic.  It mixed up quick and made the house smell…well…there aren’t really words.  Kind of like warm, pineapple ice cream with carmel on top.  Soft, moist, vanilla cake covered in sticky, gooey fruit.  Surprisingly, it is not all that sweet, which is one of the things I love most about this.  While I was a bit disappointed that this version didn’t have the tell tale rings of fruit with a maraschino cherry in the middle, it does make for more carmel soaked pineapple per bite.  And that is a very good thing.  Some freshly whipped cream on the side and this very good thing goes to fabulous.  Mmmm.  Can you feel the love?! 🙂
013 (4) Pineapple Upside-Down CakePineapple Upside-Down Cake
ATK includes a tip if you don’t like pineapple but still want to make this cake.  Use peaches!  About 4 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced in place of the pineapple.  Scrumptious!  Also, I like to buy the pineapple pre-cut from the deli department to save time and energy, but it is up to you!

1 1/2 sticks (12 T) of butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar
1 1/2 lbs, peeled, cored, and cubed fresh pineapple (not canned) which is about 3-4 cups
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs, room temperature *see note*
1 egg white, room temperature
1/3 c milk, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

In an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan *see note* (with sides at least 2 inches high), place 4 T (1/2 stick) of butter.  Put pan in a 350 degree oven until melted.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn!  Just melt!  Add the brown sugar to the pan and mix with a spatula, spreading it out to cover the bottom of the pan evenly.  Add your pineapple in one even layer.  You may use a little less than called for.  You just want to cover the pan evenly without any major holes.  Set this aside.  In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, beat the remaining 8 T of butter with the 3/4 c of sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl at least once.  Add the eggs and the egg white, one at a time, beating after each and scraping the bowl.  Add vanilla.  Add 1/3 of the flour and mix carefully, then half the milk, then another third of the flour, the last of the milk, and finally the last of the flour, mixing just until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix by hand a few turns till smooth.  Drop big globs (yes, that is a technical term…) of batter onto the pineapple and carefully smooth out until even.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached.  Let cake cool 10 MINUTES in pan before inverting it onto a serving plate.  Let cool for at least another hour.  Serve plain or with cream.  Or for breakfast.  Or snack.  Or brunch…
Note: If your eggs are not at room temp, simply place them in a small bowl filled with very warm tap water and let sit for a minute or two.  You just want to take the chill off of them.  Milk can be microwaved for just a few seconds.  You don’t want them warm-just not cold.  This helps ensure a nice, fluffy, light cake.
Note: You can also bake this in a 8×8 or 9×9 square baking dish.