Pineapple Upside Down Cake
My favorite dessert? Cake. My favorite cake? Coconut, or anything with fruit in it. There – two things you probably didn’t know about me. Keep them in mind around January 6… Glazed lemon or lime cake, warm plum or apple crumb cake, a pear-ginger cake with whipped cream. Surprise me.
I realize it’s no longer January (thank heavens), but since we had guests last night, I decided a pineapple upside down cake would fit the bill. Turns out I was wrong, because we were all too stuffed for dessert, but that’s OK. It tasted lovely today, moist and gooey with caramel. Even though I stole only a couple of quick bites before heading out the door for San Francisco, it felt good to leave a little baked treat for John and Nathan to enjoy while I’m gone.
You read that right – I’m in San Francisco! I wept a little at the sight of sunshine and greenery upon stepping out of the airport, I’m not kidding. Totally verklempt. I’m sure the cab driver thought I was nuts, blathering on about the light and color. What can I say? I’m bonkers by the end of winter, I have no shame in admitting it. The sensory deprivation kills me. Funnily enough, I’m not even here for the lovely weather…but for a food photography workshop tomorrow, conducted by the amazing Penny de Los Santos. Cool, huh? I forgot the sweater I planned to wear, both perfume and pineapple juice leaked in my bag, and I don’t even care because I’m soooo excited.
I’ll be home on Monday, this is a quick trip. I predict (and actually hope, in the name of moderation) that the cake will be gone.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1/2 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
3/4 stick butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I added this to the recipe)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 stick butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. dark rum
1/2 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 Tbsp. rum for sprinkling over the cake
softly whipped cream (very lightly sweetened; I added this to the recipe)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9″ cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Cut pineapple crosswise into 3/8-inch thick pieces. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, for four minutes. Pour into cake pan, spreading evenly. Arrange pineapple on top of the sugar mixture in concentric circles, overlapping pieces slightly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt (and nutmeg if using). Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rum. Add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.)
Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly. Bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in pan five minutes. Invert onto a cake plate. Sprinkle rum over cake (I skipped this; still delicious) and cool on plate on a rack.
Serve cake warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if you like.