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April 15, 2023 | Baking

How to Master the Pineapple Upside Down Cake

How to master the pineapple upside down cake

Who doesn’t love a good cake? That sweet treat after a delicious meal, whether it is in celebration of something or just because – cakes are always welcomed by the tastebuds. From chocolate cake, fruit-filled cake, a simple vanilla cake, Texas sheet cake, sponge cake, angel food cake, pound cake, butter cake, and so many more to try. 

But there is one that stands out from the rest. A cake that is so delicious with the perfect blend of sweet and tart in a light, airy texture. It’s a pineapple upside-down cake. If you have ever had it, then you know. If you have not, then it is time you try it. And we are here to help you do just that. Why? Because April 20th is Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day! As if you needed a reason to make a delicious treat, right? 

Whether you have made it before or this is your first time, here is how you can master the pineapple upside-down cake.

What’s In a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake?

Pineapple upside-down cake has been around for centuries – with roots in the Caribbean. It used to be made over an open fire in a cast-iron skillet (still a great way to make it today). The idea was to make a base of fruit so the batter wouldn’t stick to the bottom. Then they would pour the batter on top of the fruit over the heat and let it cook. 

When it was cooked through and ready to eat, the baker would turn the skillet upside down and release the cake from the pan. On the serving platter, the fruit that had been caramelizing at the bottom was on the top – and it looked delectable. 

Now, we say fruit because all different types have been used over the years. But there was one that stood out from the rest. One that brought the right amount of caramelized sweetness – and that is pineapple

Not only does a pineapple upside-down cake taste amazingly delicious, but it also looks stunning, too. It’s always a breathtaking surprise when the pan is flipped to reveal the pineapple – and cherries. 

Today, this classic cake that has become a favorite of so many can be easily made without having to worry about an open flame. You don’t even need a cast-iron skillet, either. Just take a moment to gather everything that you need, let your mind transport you to a Caribbean island somewhere, and don your baker’s hat. If you’ve got all that, then you can master the pineapple upside-down cake just in time to celebrate on April 20th.

Grab Your Ingredients

Gathering good, quality ingredients is important for making a cake that is a stellar finished product. So invest in the good stuff, and your baking efforts will result in the good stuff. Here’s what you need to make this delicious dessert.

For the topping (in the bottom of your pan): 

• Nonstick cooking spray

• 5 teaspoons of unsalted butter

• ½ cup of brown sugar

• 8 rings of canned sliced pineapple (or cut your own fresh pineapple)

• 8 maraschino cherries

For the cake batter: 

• 2 cups of all-purpose flour

• 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

• ½ teaspoon of salt

• 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar

• 6 punches of unsalted butter

• 3 eggs

• ½ cup pineapple juice

• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Now, it should be noted that this is a classic recipe so sticking to the ingredients is quite important. You can always put your little spin on it, sure. But change it up too much, and you may disappoint someone who favors a pineapple upside-down cake. 

This is best made in a 9-inch round cake pan.

Bringing it All Together

When you have all your ingredients, let’s talk about how you can bring it all together.

Step 1: Preheating the Oven

First, you will want to preheat your oven to 350-degrees. It helps if you have an oven with a convection fan so that you can bake your cake with a steady flow of heat in the oven, leaving you with an even bake from all areas and a perfect outcome that you can count on every time.

Step 2: Toppings and Coating

Prepare the topping by spraying the pan with nonstick cooking spray or lining the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Then melt the butter and pour it into the bottom of the cake pan, coating it evenly along the bottom. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top, being sure to cover all areas of the pan.

Step 3: Placing those Sweet, Sweet Pineapples

You will next want to place each pineapple slice side by side, starting with one in the middle and then working your way out to the edges. One cherry goes inside each ring’s center.

Step 4: Creating the Cake Batter

Next, to prepare the cake batter, you will want to sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt until it is well combined. Then, in another ball, use a mixer to combine the butter and sugar until creamy, then add eggs one at a time. Once this reaches the creamy consistency, begin adding the mixture of the baking soda, flour, and salt, little by little. Continue until it is all blended well together. 

Add in the vanilla and pineapple juice. Continue to mix together.

Step 5: Pouring the Batter

Gently pour and spread the batter over the pineapple – without moving the pineapple or the cherries. You may find it easier to begin in the middle and work your way out toward the edges.

Step 6: Baking the Cake

When you are ready, place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes. You will want to test it to make sure it is baked in the center using a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you are good to go. If not, place it back in the oven for a few more minutes and test again.

Step 7: Letting it Cool

Place on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes or so before turning it over. 

Now, marvel at your beautiful creation before you dig in!

Celebrate Pineapple Upside Down Cake on April 20th!

As you and your family celebrate Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day on April 20th, why not pair it with one of your favorite Caribbean dishes? Make it a celebration and enjoy the fruits of your labor – even in your cake!