Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Aunt Sue-Pineapple Upside Down Cake


My aunt Sue is one of the most fantastic people that I know and she is an amazing aunt.  She is sweet and kind and thoughtful.  She used to attend all of our sporting events and band concerts.  She would always celebrate every holiday with a card or little gift for us.  In college, she would send little care packages full of food and other goodies  She also has a passion for baking and would help my sister and I with elaborate projects in the kitchen.  She always made sure that we knew we were loved.  My sister and I, we were so lucky to have an aunt like her.  She inspires me to try an be that kind of aunt to my nephew.  

Today is her birthday and we had a little celebration last night.  I was lucky enough to get to get to bake her cake this year.  Her favorite is my grandmother's homemade pineapple upside down cake.  This is an old fashioned cake, so if you have made pineapple upside down cake from a box, this doesn't taste the same.  It is a much shorter, much heavier cake that is perfect for absorbing all the butter and brown sugar.  When this cake is baking, it is like heaven in your kitchen.  The combination of butter, brown sugar, and pineapple is a dream.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake makes 1 10" round or heart shaped cake; to make a 9x13" cake, double the recipe.

Topping:
6-7 pineapple rings
6-7 maraschino cherries
1/4-1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cake:
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour

To make the topping: 
  • If you are going to make the cake the traditional way, you bake it in a 10" cast iron skillet.  In that case, melt the butter on the stove top in the bottom of the skillet.  If you are going to make it in a regular pan like I did, melt the butter in the microwave and pour into the bottom of your cake pan.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.
  • Arrange the pineapple on top of the brown sugar.  Fit in as many pineapple rings as you can.
  • Place a stemless maraschino cherry in between each pineapple
  • Fill the space between the pineapple with the walnut pieces
To make the cake:
  • Beat the eggs on high speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes.  
  • Add in the sugar, pineapple juice, and vanilla, beat together
  • Add in the baking powder and flour, beat until just combined
  • Pour batter over the top of the topping
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Flip over onto a clean serving plate immediately after taking it out of the oven.



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