Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

To people who say pineapple is not a holiday fruit, I say Mele Kalikimaka! I don’t eat pineapple very often, but there was a lot of it in my house recently and after eating bowls of it on its own, I decided it was time to dress up this juicy fruit. This pineapple upside down cake is a quick but pretty dessert with a lovely tropical twist.  I’m on a bit of a pineapple kick.

Pomegranate seeds decorate this pineapple upside-down cake.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – from the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book

Makes 8 servings

For the pineapples:

Vegetable/canola oil, or butter for greasing the pan ½ fresh pineapple, peeled and trimmed
4 tbsp unsalted butter ¾ cup packed brown sugar

For the cake:

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt ¾ cup unsalted butter  at room temp
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan with the cooking oil/butter.

Cut the pineapple crosswise into slice ½ inch thick. With a paring knife or small cookie cutter, remove the core from each slice. You can cut the pineapple rounds into half-moons, or leave them in full circles, and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until small bubbles appear, 2-3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour into the prepared pan.  Arrange your pineapple half-moons/circles in the pan so that you fit in as much as possible, but do not overlap the fruit. Set aside

I kept my pineapple rounds in full circles for the cake -- here they are sitting in the brown sugar could be a dessert on its own!

For the cake, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a bowl; set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla; set aside.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes longer. Slowly add the egg mixture, beating well after each addition.  Add the flour mixture in 2 parts, alternating with the milk, beating on low speed after each addition.  Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until the batter is completely smooth.  Do not overmix the batter.

Pour the batter on top of the pineapple slices in the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.  Bake until the top of the cake is lightly golden and the center springs back when touched, 35-45 minutes.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire-rack for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and scrape the remaining juices over the top of the cake.  Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Right out of the oven. Smells like tropical (Christmas?) heaven -- I put in a little extra nutmeg, and don't regret it!

You can garnish the top of the cake with fresh pineapple pieces, pomegranate seeds, or poached cherries, to name a few yummy ideas! I haven’t tried it as of yet, but I feel like a little bit of toasted coconut would be a great addition to this cake…let me know if you try it!

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