Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sorta Tropical

Even though we've not been having the winter we wanted...chilly and rainy every other day for months, there was enough chill and rain in January that a few sunny days are a treat. Recently it's been almost warm enough to put on a swimsuit and pretend you are in the islands. Maybe that's why the February Cake Slice Bakers recipe I chose was the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It's sorta tropical, right?

A tender yellow cake layer with no oil or butter is served with what had been at the bottom of the pan now serving as the topping. In this case some pineapple juice was worked into the cake and that topping was sweetened by brown sugar, pecans and fresh raspberries as well as that delicious pineapple.

February is a busy month for me, especially the first few weeks of it, so I managed to rush my grocery shopping and purchase pineapple chunks instead of pineapple slices. No prob, I just make a design with the chunks and filled in the gaps with the pecans and raspberries. It looked like a jeweled mosaic and tasted great.

For such a pretty cake, this is also an easy and fairly quick one. Do allow a little time after you bake it for the topping to cool. Too hot brown sugar can really burn your tongue You can dress it up with different nuts and candied cherries are more typical in this recipe than raspberries, but imagine it with blueberries...that could be pretty delicious, too.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes)
You will need a large cake pan approx 10" (not loose bottomed), 12-inch pie plate
or a 10" in diameter cast iron skillet, which is what I used

  • 2 1/3 oz (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
  • One 20-oz. can of pineapple in natural juice - slices or chunks
  • 6-8 glace cherries or 10-12 fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sifted plain flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons of pineapple juice from the canned pineapple
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan and pour into the base of your pan, plate or cast iron skillet. I used margarine and it worked very well.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter or margarine.
  • Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice.
  • Arrange the pineapple rings (or chunks in my case) in the pan on top of the brown sugar making a pretty design. You may not need all the slices. Fill in the gaps with nuts and cherries (or raspberries, blueberries, etc.).
  • Now prepare the cake batter by sifting together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using an electric beater whisk the eggs together in a clean bowl until thick and creamy and then gradually add the sugar, still whisking until the mixture becomes thick and pale.
  • Add the vanilla and pineapple juice and whisk until just smooth.
  • On a low speed whisk in the sifted dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour the batter over the fruit and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from the oven and immediately invert the pan, plate or skillet onto a clean plate. Wait for a minute or two to allow the topping to settle and then remove the pan. If you wish you can brush with melted apricot gaze but this didn't seem necessary. (Melt 3-4 tablespoons of smooth apricot jam to make the glaze.)
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, plain as I did, or with whipped cream!
The other recipes this month to choose from included a poppy seed cake, a decadent chocolate cake and a coffee and cream sponge cake. 


  1. Hi Elle,

    I hope everything is well for you and your family, and that you can now breathe easier.

    Your cake looks delish and your substitutes of berries in place of nuts and cherries sound good.

    I made a chunky pineapple upsidedown before, from Lauren Chattman's Cake Keeper Cakes. So I decided that it has to be pineapple rings or nothing if I bake a pineapple cake, and you know what, cannot find a single tin of pineapple rings from any of my favorite haunts!

  2. That's sad about no pineapple Emily. You might want to try fresh pineapple. If you cut it into thin rings and cut out the middle it's almost the same and the flavor would be awesome.

  3. I love the way you have made the topping with pineapple chunks, raspberries and pecans. Just like jewels... and I bet it tasted great too!

  4. It's upside down cake month. My uncle, who is visiting from LA, requested one from my mother, who has been trying to make one vegan. I told her I'd be hand and happy to eat her initial tries, but sadly she didn't need me, as she has the vegan cake thing down pretty well. I LOVE the idea of the berries and nuts on the bottom, though. One of my favorite way to eat nuts is... well, candied *hangs head in shame* and so this sounds doubly good. Hadn't thought to try berries.

  5. I absolutely love the idea of using raspberries or blueberries! I haven't had a pineapple upside down cake in forever and now I am really craving one. I can't wait to try one with your variations too!

  6. OH yummy Elle.. I love the look of that topping and I know all too well how hot sugar burns tongues!! But sometimes it's so hard to wait.. haha! This looks delicious! Yum x

  7. I agree the weather has been great! Especially this week! I don't blame you for feeling like your in the tropics!