Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mom's Pineapple Upside Down Cake

 Eery holiday, my Mom would make this cake.  Sometimes she used walnuts, sometimes pecans (I like pecans best).  I would stand in the kitchen and watch her make it, and she would school me on all her favorite little tricks.  I basically knew how it was made before I was even old enough to cook.  Above is a photo of the one I made last Thanksgiving, it came out great!  

Mom's Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 box cake mix (any kind, your choice, I normally use plain yellow)
1 jar of maraschino cherries
1 can of sliced pineapple (save the juice)
1 bag pecan halves (optional, can be a small bag, enough for at least a couple handfuls)


1. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a pan over medium heat until all the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture starts to caramelize and bubble. Stir often to prevent burning. Should be about 5 minutes after butter is melted.

2. Preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on your cake recipe box.

3. In a large bowl, follow the directions for preparing the cake mix. If the recipe calls for any water, replace as much of that water as possible with juice from the pineapple can and cherry jar. If its less liquid than the recipe needs, fill the rest with water. This will give the cake a nice pink color, and add extra flavor.  Mom's 2 favorite tips!  Add liquid to cake mixture and blend well.

4. For baking, either use an extra large Iron skillet, or whichever cake pan(s) you have on hand. Coat the bottom of your cake pan(s) with the melted butter and sugar. If using 2 pans, be sure to distribute it equally.

5. Layer the pinapple slices (as many as will fit) in the bottom of your cake pan(s), try to keep it even. Place 1 cherry in the center of each pineapple slice.

6. Sprinkle pecan halves around the edges of the pan and in all areas between pineapple slices.

7. Pour your cake mixture carefully and evenly into the pan(s), over the pineapples, butter and sugar. Again, if using 2 pans, make sure the cake mix is distributed equally.

8. Bake in the oven according to the times indicated on your cake mix box.

9. When cake is done, remove from the oven and let cool on a protected surface for about an hour.

10. Use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan. Place a dish over the cake pan to catch the cake, and very carefully flip the cake pan over, so the cake falls onto the plate. Nothing should stick, but if something does stick, simply remove it from the pan, and replace on top of the cake. Pineapple upside-down cakes are very forgiving in the appearance of the top layer.
You can eat this cake warm, or cool, depending on what you like.

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