Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake





An upside-down cake is a cake that is baked in a single pan, then turned over and eaten upside-down. Usually chopped fruits such as apples, pineapples or cherries-and a butter and sugar topping are placed on the bottom of the pan before the batter is poured in, so that they form a decorative topping. The cake is then inverted once it's done cooking, leaving the fruits that were at the bottom of the pan, at the top of the cake (thus the term an upside down cake). This recipe is the American version of an upside-down cake.

I first ate this cake at my now husband's grandmother's house in Cleveland. There was a lady named Catherine who would bake and sell this cake to his grandmother. It was so good, I had to learn how to make it. I have found a recipe for this cake that I love. The cake is full of pineapple flavor and is so moist you could swear you are eating a pineapple cloud when you bite into it.The pineapple and brown sugar mixture caramelize as the cake bakes and adds on to the flavor. The pineapple rings and cherries adorn the cake making it beautiful to look at. Here's what you'll need to make this cake:

EQUIPMENT:
-A 9x13 sheet pan or you can use two 9-inch round baking pans.
-A hand-mixer, a stand mixer or a wire whisk.
-A spatula.
-Large mixing bowl.
-Medium mixing bowl.
-Toothpick or chopstick (to test your cake for doneness).                                               





INGREDIENTS:
-1 stick (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter.
-1 1/2 cups brown sugar, tightly packed.
-12-13 pineapple rings (about 1 1/2 cans).
-12-13 maraschino cherries,drained (you can find these in the baking aisle of the grocery store)
-2/3 cups unsalted butter at room temperature.
-1 1/3 cups granulated sugar.
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
-4 large eggs, at room temperature.
-3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted.
-1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Kosher salt).
-4 teaspoons baking powder (NOT baking soda).
-1 1/3 cups pure pineapple juice (I used the juice that was in the canned pineapples. I used a sieve over a bowl to separate the juice from the pineapples).                       











INSTRUCTIONS:
-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
-In your sheet pan or baking pans, add the stick of butter (split it in half if you're using two 9-inch cake pans).
-Add the brown sugar in the pan with the butter. Place in the middle rack of the oven while preparing the cake batter.
-In the large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, place the 2/3 cups unsalted butter and cream it until light and fluffy.
-Gradually add sugar and keep beating until well combined.
-Add the vanilla to the eggs.
-Add the eggs into the large bowl with the butter/sugar one at a time. Beat until light and fluffy.
-In the medium mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour, baking powder and salt with a whisk until well combined.
-Add the flour mixture alternatively with the pineapple juice (as shown in the video) and beat until smooth. Don't panic, the batter should be thick (see picture below). Do not over mix the batter as that will make your cake very dense :(                     





-Remove the pan with the butter/sugar mixture from the oven. Stir the butter and brown sugar to combine and distribute the mixture evenly in the baking pan.
-Decoratively place the pineapple rings in the baking pan (use my method in the video as an example) over the butter/sugar mixture. 
-Place the cherries in the middle of the pineapple rings and anywhere else on the cake you think will make it look pretty.
-Carefully pour the cake batter over the pineapple rings/cherries. Use a spatula to make the layer of cake batter even in the pan.
-Bake the cake in the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes (mine took exactly 35 minutes). The cake is ready when a toothpick inverted in the center of the cake comes out clean or when you touch the center of the cake, it springs back. I always test for doneness of the cake 5 minutes before the minimum cooking time. In this case, check to see if the cake is done 30 minutes into cooking.                                                      





-Let the cake sit for 5 minutes on a wire cooling rack and then invert it while its still hot or the sugar at the bottom of the pan will begin to harden. You can use the method I used in the video. Enjoy!