Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Hello!  Mary here...  It's been a while!  I missed you all, and I want to say muchas gracias to Allison, who kept the ship running last week when I was MIA.  Her Cinco de Mayo posts were awesome, and I will be ordering one of those tres leches cakes when she comes to visit next weekend.  I have a lot of things to tell you, so I'm going to enumerate in the interest of not blathering on too long.

1.  I got engaged!  John popped the question on a drive to Big Sur.  We're getting married next summer, and I'm trying to hatch a plan to bake my own wedding cake.  Here's a picture of a very euphoric us:
2.  This week, in an attempt to recreate the Tartine morning bun that I ate on the morning that John proposed, I set my oven on fire.  Like with flames and everything.  Hey home bakers:  buy a fire extinguisher!  I have never been so grateful for one in my life.
3.  I'm in love.  With the flash that John's dad is letting me use until I buy my own.  Here in Casa Butter we have a serious natural light issue, which leads to frantic weekends in which I try to get home in time to snap photos in the tiny window in which the light is decent.  I've decided to stop fighting with the elements and just roll with what I have.  All of the photos in the post below were taken in my kitchen after dark with my new favorite camera accessory.

Ok enough about me.  It's Mother's Day.  I want to talk about my mom.
My mom loves baking.  When I was in elementary school, she would get up at the crack of dawn to bake cupcakes for my class on my birthday.  Other moms called her "the cupcake machine".  Is it surprising that I turned out the way I did?

Along with baking, mom loves John Mayer, Starbucks double-shots, velour sweatsuits, labradors, cleaning, and a good slow wake-up.  In my 26 years, my mom has taught me what it means to give.  She's the first one to offer a home-cooked meal, a ride to the airport, or solid advice when you need it.   When she came down to help with my neighbors' wedding cakes, she brought along her favorite pineapple upside down cake.  In honor of my mama, I suggest you make this cake and then give it to someone who's not expecting it.  Make their day.  It's what Mama Butter would do.

Your party guests:  pineapple, brown sugar, pecans, baking soda, salt, flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, crisco, maraschino cherries, and vanilla extract.

Start by mixing your Crisco and sugar.
Then add your eggs.
 Mix your milk and vanilla extract.  In another bowl, mix your flour, salt, and baking powder.
Alternate adding your dry ingredients and milk mixture to the sugar/shortening mixture.  Start and end with your dry ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl with each addition.
Now we'll prepare your cake pans.  You will have already greased and floured them.  Then add melted butter, and cover the surface with brown sugar.
Now fill the pan with pineapple rings.  You could also add pecans at this point, although if you have what I like to call "newly engaged brain", you'll forget to add them.
Now simply pour the cake batter on top of the pineapple rings!
 When your cake is finished, it'll be lovely and golden brown. When it's 5 minutes overcooked, it'll look like this...
 But that's ok!  Pineapple upside down cake is forgiving.  Speaking of forgiving...  This was my first attempt at flipping it out of the pan.
Oops.  But fear not.  Just place the wayward pineapple back on top of the cake.  Fill the holes with maraschino cherries, and fill the gaps between pineapples with pecans.

It's a Midwestern beauty! Now go make it!  I guarantee you'll make at least 8 new friends if you do.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
From The Betty Crocker Cookbook
 These are the measurements for 1 8" round or square cake pan.  Feel free to double the recipe, as I did above.

For pans:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 can (8 1/4 ounces) sliced pineapple, drained
7 maraschino cherries
6 pecan halves
Dinette Cake Batter

Heat oven to 350.  Heat butter in round layer pan, in oven until melted.  Sprinkle brown sugar over butter.  Place 1 pineapple ring in center of pan, and arrange the remaining pineapple rings in the rest of the pan.  Arrange pecans around pineapple slices.  Prepare Dinette cake batter and pour over fruit in pan.

For Dinnette Cake:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour or 1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350.  Grease and flour 8 or 9" square pan or round layer pan. Cream shortening and sugar together with the mixer, and add the eggs, one at a time.  Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.  In a liquid measuring cup, mix the milk and vanilla extract.  Alternate adding the dry and liquid ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat on high speed 3 minutes.  Pour into pan over the pineapples and pecans.

Bake until wooden pick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, then invert onto heatproof plate.  Let pan remain a few minutes, then remove.  Place maraschino cherries in the center of each pineapple ring. 


  1. 1) I can attest that this pineapple upside down cake is all sorts of yum.

    2) YAY for sneaking in the engagement deets! Yippee!!!

  2. gorgeous!

    oh, and congrats! wedding planning is loads of fun, for the most part :)

  3. Congratulations Mary! I'm so happy for you two!

    Btw, I've been following B+C for a while now, and I've made several recipes. They've been delicious. Next on my list is the churros!

  4. I think I've only tried Pineapple Upside Down Cake once, and it was a disappointment. I would like to change that though. Maybe one of these could be waiting for me when I get off the plane this Friday? ;)

  5. This is the best blog of all. I just love the photo of the oven Mary. My god you are precious.


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