Monday, May 02, 2005

Pineapple upside-down cake
Ok, I know what you are all thinking..Oh my god, I haven't had that since my mom made it in the late '50s! I know you're thinking that because two people made that comment to me after I served it at dinner the other night.
It all started after our friend Sarah gave birth last week to little baby Luna, who was a month early. Sarah adores pineapple upside-down cake and so I thought I would try a recipe I found at For one, the recipe called for dark rum...mmmmmm and B, the cake is baked in cast-iron skillet (probably my favorite kitchen tool). I took the recipe and tweaked it just a bit.
When I took the cake out of the oven, Greg almost flew down the staircase from his studio and kept badgering me about making him one too. He actually wanted me to cut the cake in the shape of a crescent moon (not because the cutest baby in the world is named Luna, but because he wanted to eat the center!) He pouted and stuck out his bottom lip and wondered why I never made him cake anymore.....I told him when he gave birth, I would make him a pineapple upside-down cake!
Anyway, he pressured me to make another one for him and then agreed to share it with friends who came over for dinner....I have to say that the cake is amazingly rich and moist. Its a reat treat if you like pineapple. Its pretty easy to make too, and will impress all your friends.
One note....This recipe call for sugar, though I used Splenda for the body of the cake and brown sugar for the top and didn't really see any difference in taste.

For topping
I medium can of Dole pineapple chunks in juice (drain juice and reserve for later
3/4 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

For batter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
reserved pineapple juice
2 tablespoons dark rum for sprinkling over cake

Special equipment: a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet

Preheat to 350 degrees
melt butter and brownsugar in skillet and cook for about 4 minutes until blended and completely melted. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly. Spread chunks of pineapple even over the butter sugar mixture.

In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients (I normally never do this because I don't want to dirty another bowl, but you might want to)

Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs one at a time making sure they are completely incorporated. mixture should be nice and thick. Add vanilla and rum. Alternately add dry ingredients and pineapple juice and mix until fully incorporated. Pour batter over butter sugar mixture making sure it spread evenly.

Cook in oven for between 30- 45 minutes depending on how hot your oven cooks. Test cake at 30 minutes for optimium moistness. If test comes out dry, pull pan out of oven and let sit for 5-7 minutes. HERE IS THE PART THAT SEEM HARD BUT ISN"T You might want to do this over the sink.

Take a cake plate that is larger than the skillet and invert it over the top of the skillet. Holding both the skillet and the plate firmly together...flip...cake should transfer to plate. Put chunks back in place and serve warm or at room temp.


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