This month my blogging friends and I from The Cake Slice voted to make a pineapple upside down cake. And truth be told, I was relieved. A simple one layer cake with no frosting was exactly what I needed on a busy baking weekend.The only real danger for me was the maraschino cherries as I have bought home 3 jars already now (including the quick run out to the store in the messy weather we're getting hit with today) - and I've eaten 2 1/2 of the jars, leaving just enough for today's cake. So a big sigh of relief that I won't have to deal with the cherries around the house hopefully for a long time :)
The topping of this was absolutely to die for. All that buttery sugary carmelized goodness plus the pineapple was perfect for me. The cake I'm just not sure about. I cooked it at the right temperature for 35 minutes and it was golden brown...in fact it looked more than just a little so I took it out. Maybe a few minutes more coking time would have made a difference because it seemed like a very dense cake to me...I had been hoping for a lighter taste but it seemed a little gummy to me.
I think I might try this again, but make a few minor changes like add some more pineapple juice to the cake to give it a bit more flavor. I might also try another version of pineapple upside down cake to see how that compares.
Overall, I'd give the cake a solid B. There's room for improvement but overall, for my first pineapple upside down cake, I'm pleased with how it turned out. And appearance wise, it was gorgeous.
March’s Cake: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
One 20-ounce can pineapple rings, with their syrup or juice
4 tbsp cold butter
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
10 maraschino cherries
1½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350F.
To make the topping
Drain the pineapple well, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice or syrup for the cake batter. Melt the cold butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Or, put the butter in a 9inch round cake pan and put it in the oven for a few minutes as the heat melts the butter.
Remove the pan from the oven or stove and sprinkle the brown sugar over the buttery surface. Place the pineapple rings carefully on top of the scattered brown sugar and melted butter, arranging them so they fit in 1 layer. (You may have a few left over). Place a cherry in the centre of each ring, and set the pan aside.
To make the cake
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a fork to mix them together well. Add the milk and butter and beat well with a mixer, scraping down the bowl once or twice until you have a thick, fairly smooth batter, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the egg, reserved pineapple syrup or juice and the vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes more, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides.
Carefully pour the batter over the pineapple arranged in the skillet or cake pan and use a spoon to spread it evenly to the edges of the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly in the centre. Cool in the skillet or pan for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
With oven mitts, carefully turn out the warm cake onto a serving plate by placing the plate upside down over the cake in the pan and then flipping them over together to release the cake onto the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.