It was Saturday and I was nursing a head cold. All the Christmas ornaments were away and I had a stray pineapple from one of our centerpieces that was getting fragrant. I remember mom making these cakes with big cheerful rings of pineapple dotted with cherries when I was a kid so I decided to re-purpose our centerpiece as a pineapple upside down cake. The recipe I followed comes from Epicurious which cites that the cake was popular in the Mid West. Go figure.
I mixed up a whiskey and whipped cream topping for the finish.
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 cups 1-inch chunks fresh pineapple (about 1 pineapple)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup milk
- In a small bowl stir together well the butter and the brown sugar and spread the mixture evenly in a well-buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan.
- Pat the pineapple very dry between several thicknesses of paper towel and arrange it evenly on the sugar mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and the cinnamon. In another bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture alternately in batches with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating well after each addition.
- Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly, and bake the cake in the middle of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, run a thin knife around the edge, and invert the cake onto a plate.
Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the whipped cream or the ice cream.