#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).


#94) My Favourite Banana Bread

Look no further because this is my favourite banana bread recipe :)
Moist, delicious banana bread that is a definite crowd pleaser!

I like bananas.  They're healthy, easy to pack in a lunch box, remind me of warmer climates when it feels a new ice age is beginning, and they are one of the most versatile baking ingredients you can get your hands on.  Seriously, everything from banana breads, to cookies, to cakes, to burritos and everything in between! 

I started out with a recipe from a great cookbook called "Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook" and made a few little tweaks here and there.  After giving this recipe a few tries, adding in some small changes, and sending it out to different taste testers, I have to say that this recipe is a winner!  Give it a try and let me know how you like ;)


2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp salt  
2 tsp cinnamon (less if you prefer a “hint” instead of a “kick”)

¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs 

½ cup milk
½ tbsp vinegar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 cups mashed banana (about 5 small bananas)

*Don't be afraid to add some extras too, like a handful of chocolate chips or some toasted coconut :)


-Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix together milk and vinegar and let stand while preparing batter.  Grease two loaf pans.
-Sift together flour, salt, and cinnamon in medium bowl.  Set aside.
-In large bowl, mix together oil, brown sugar, and white sugar.
-Add eggs and vanilla, mixing gently until incorporated.
-Stir baking soda into soured milk.
-Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to the mixer, followed by ½ of the milk.  Mix gently until incorporated.  Repeat.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
-Add remaining dry ingredients and mashed banana.  Do not over mix.
-Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour.
-Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove and place on wire racks to cool.

Printable Recipe :)


#93) Gingerbread Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache (for Gingerbread Day)

June 5th, 2016 - National Gingerbread Day
What better reason to dig out your ginger and molasses in June?

Did you know that yesterday was National Gingerbread Day in the US?  I had no idea until I stumbled upon Foodista's latest post.  But once I had this tid bit of info I was so happy!!!  Why?  Because it gave me an excellent reason to share one of our favourite recipes with you.  How else would I have found a legitimate reason to share a gingerbread cheesecake while the temperature is above freezing and Santa is nowhere in sight? ;)

This sweet and spicy cheesecake is full of deliciousness - gingersnap crust, spicy cheesecake filling, and sweet chocolate ganache.  It has been a hit every time I have made it and now that I've found some gluten-free gingersnaps at our local grocery store, hubby can once again enjoy one of his favourite desserts.  Give this recipe a try and let me know if it is a crowd pleaser for you :)



1 1/4 cups crushed ginger snaps (*can be gluten-free)
1/4 cup melted butter


- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9" springform pan.

Cheesecake Filling


3 packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
3 eggs


- Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. 
- Add molasses, vanilla and spices; mix well. 
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
- Bake 45 to 50 min. or until centre is almost set. 
- Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake. Cool completely before removing rim. 

Chocolate Ganache


4 oz. Baker's semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream


-Microwave chocolate and whipping cream for 30 seconds; stir. 
- Repeat until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring every 30 sec. 
-Pour over cheesecake.

Printable Recipe :)


Recipe Revisit: Bakeapple Blossoms (with White Chocolate and Maple Fleur de sel)

An update on a crowd favourite!
A simple shortbread cookie filled with a slightly tart bakeapple filling.

Every now and then I look through some of the older recipes here on my blog and I am a little disappointed with how underwhelming some of the photos are.  Many of these recipes were posted well before hubby and I had decent camera gear and good photo editing software, hence the poor lighting, bad colour, and unsharp images.  And every time I look through those old posts, the Type A personality (the one I try so poorly to hide) nags at me incessantly to redo the photos on nearly every single recipe posted before 2011.  But there are so many new and exciting recipes out there to play with, that I really can't see myself going back and pouring over all of those old ones.  That being said, there are some of those old recipes I go back to time and time again because they are crowd pleasers, old favourites, or just downright delicious :)

One of the most popular recipes on Sweet Treats by Dani is #51) Bakeapple Blossoms and its one I make over and over and over again.  I originally posted the recipe back in 2009 - before hubby was officially hubby, before our little cookie monster was even on our radar, before our first mortgage, and before decent camera gear and photo software.  It has always bothered me that such a unique and popular recipe had such mediocre pictures, so I gave Ms. Type A her own way this time.  I whipped up a new batch, put on some finishing touches, and snapped some new and improved pictures.  What do you think?



Bakeapple Filling


1 cup bakeapples
1/4 cup water
7 tbsp sugar (adjust according to the tartness of your berries)
2 tsp corn starch


-Boil berries with 3/4 of the water. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
-Push the cooked berries through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds.
-Whisk corn starch into remaining water. Add cornstarch mixture and sugar to berries.
-Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Let cool completely.

Shortbread Cookies


1 1/8 cup butter, softened 
2/3 cup sugar 
1 tsp vanilla 
2 cups flour 


- Combine butter, sugar and extract in mixer bowl and beat until creamy. 
- Add the flour, scraping often until well mixed. 
- Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Work together with hands upon removing from refrigerator.
- Heat oven to 350°F. 
- Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place them on silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. 
- Use a tsp measure to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Fill the indentation with a small dollop of your fruit filling.
- Bake for 14 - 18 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. 
- Place cookies in wire rack and cool completely.

*Drizzle with melted white chocolate and add a sprinkle of maple fleur de sel, if desired.

Printable Recipe :)