Pineapple upside down cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Have you been able to pass any of your childhood toys onto your own kids? Claudia has a doll highchair that I played with as a little girl. She puts her stuffed animals in it mostly. Maybe occasionally an actual doll. (She is not terribly crazy about dolls. Too girly.) Mostly she likes to sit in it. Now this high chair has been around a few decades and the wood is kind of dry and delicate, so my growing girl was putting a wee bit of strain on this. Sure enough, she sat down one day and one of the legs broke in two. Luckily, we have a very dear friend from church who kind of fills in for grandpa duty with my kids now and then, and he is pretty handy with woodworking projects. He fixed up our little highchair as good as new, and I’m hoping it’ll be around long enough for Claudia’s own children to play with it.
To thank our friend, I made him his favorite cake – pineapple upside down cake. I’ve made this in miniature lots of times using mini-muffin tins, but this is my first time baking the real thing. It was actually more time-consuming than I expected, but I think it turned out well. I followed the recipe from Joy of Baking with the exception of using canned pineapple instead of fresh. I know lots of people use cherries too, but I like how it looks without them. Can a cake look charming? I kinda think it does.
Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cake
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered, cored, & sliced (or one large can of pineapple slices)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter or spray a 9″ round cake pan.
Topping: Place 1/4 c. butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking a few more minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pan. Evenly arrange drained pineapple slices on the bottom of the pan.
Cake Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, with your electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture, in three additions, alternately with the milk, in two additions, ending with the dry ingredients.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar just until the whites hold a firm peak. With a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of pan and invert the cake onto your serving plate.