#95) Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

A perfect dessert for any summer gathering...
or the cold winter days when all you want is a warm, sandy beach and palm trees :)

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake has been one of my favorite desserts since I was a kid.  It is a go-to recipe that I turn to whenever I need something easy, pretty, and delicious.  I don't remember the first time I made this cake on my own, but I am sure I was young and didn't have much in the way of baking know-how.  Since then I've picked up a thing or two and have been able to improve on my mother's "old faithful" recipe from an old Cream of the West cookbook. 

One problem I found with the original recipe was that no matter how gently I mixed in my eggs and no matter how patient I was in not opening the oven door, my cake would ALWAYS sink in the middle.  All that gooey caramel and beautiful pineapple would sink into a huge dip right in the middle of my cake :( The culprit?  Too much baking powder, I think.  So I lessened the amount of leavener and creamed the sugar with the butter to incorporate some air to work with.  Success :)

See that?  No dip ;)
Another little issue I had with the original recipe was that it called for shortening as the fat.  Now I am not against using shortening when needed, but why would I use this when there are many more flavorful options?  So naturally, I swapped it out for butter :)  I added a dash of vanilla and used buttermilk to help in this department as well.

Final little thing - the pineapple...  Pineapple slices are so pretty when they are arranged just so and you add those sweet little maraschino cherries for a pop of color.  But have you tried to take a bite of a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and the whole pineapple slice comes off with your first forkful?  I have and I wasn't happy about it. I want juicy pineapple in every single bite.  The fix - pineapple tidbits :)


3 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar

1 can pineapple tidbits (19-ounce), drained  

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup butter milk (or mix 3/4 cup regular milk plus 1 tsp lemon juice; let stand 5 minutes)


-Preheat oven to 350°F.  (Mix together milk and lemon juice and let stand while preparing batter.) 
-Add melted butter and brown sugar to 9"x9" baking dish.  Arrange pineapple tidbits on top.
-Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
-In large bowl, cream together white sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
-Add eggs and vanilla, mixing gently just until incorporated.
-Add half the dry ingredients and half the milk.  Mix just until incorporated.
-Scrap sides and bottom of bowl.  Add reaming dry ingredients and milk.  Mix just until incorporated.
-Spoon batter over pineapple tidbits and carefully smooth top.  Bake for 40-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes in pan then carefully invert onto your serving platter.

*Garnish with strawberry preserve, toasted coconut, and crème chantilly (vanilla whipped cream).

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