Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is one of Dylan and my favorite desserts. It is sweet and moist and a nice alternative to a chocolate cake. I like it for spring events, like a Mother’s Day brunch, because it is light and imparts a tropical vibe to the gathering. It’s also very easy to put together! Here’s the recipe.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients for the Gooey Topping

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

1 tablespoon rum (optional)

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 can pineapple rings (or a pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch rings)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Maraschino cherries

Ingredients for the Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup cane sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons rum (optional)

1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple (Use the remaining pineapple from the gooey topping. It also works to puree it in a food processor.)

 Directions

Prepare the topping:

In a 9-inch iron skillet, stir the butter, rum, salt, and brown sugar over medium heat until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and arrange the pineapple slices in the skillet in a circle. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring (and if you want, add a few around the pineapple slices). Reserve the leftover pineapple for the cake batter. Set the skillet aside while you make the batter.

Note: I have a vintage cake pan specific for Pineapple Upside Down Cake, so I heat up the ingredients in a saucepan and then transfer them to the cake pan. I’ve also made this cake in a 9 inch square pan in a pinch.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go along. Add the vanilla and the 2 tablespoons of rum, if using.

With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the pureed pineapple, starting and ending with the flour. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter over the gooey topping in the skillet.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake should be a light golden brown. Let cool in the skillet for about 10 minutes.

Place a serving plate upside down over the skillet, and flip them over together to invert the cake, taking care to avoid touching the hot topping. Pour any excess juices on top. Let cool to room temperature.

This recipe is adapted slightly from Organic and Chic by Sarah Magid. I left out the pecans in the topping, and she calls for strictly organic ingredients, which I don’t always use. I also reduced the amount of rum to better suit my tastes.

What do you think?