Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with moist yellow cake and caramelized pineapple and cherries. This classic dessert is pretty as it is tasty, and always a hit!

If the sweet fire chicken recipe from a few days ago whet your appetite for all things pineapple, you’re in luck because I’ve got a Pineapple Upside Down Cake just for you! The recipe is from scratch yet is (almost) as easy to make as opening a box of cake mix.

This old-fashioned cake is soft and buttery with an intense fruit flavor and adorned with caramel-y pineapple and maraschino cherries that take it over the top. It’s a tasty and festive treat that’s perfect for all your year-round festivities.

Although tropical in taste, pineapple upside-down cake is actually an American classic and has been a household favorite for almost 90 years. The style of baking cakes upside down has been around since the Middle Ages wherein the batter is poured over sweetened fruit toppings and cooked in cast iron skillets over an open fire.

Recipes for upside-down skillet cakes first appeared in cookbooks in the 1800s but were made of other seasonal fruits. It was in the early 1900s when the Dole company, formerly Hawaiian Pineapple Co., started to market mass quantities of their canned fruit that pineapple upside-down cakes took hold and gained their iconic dessert stature.

Baking tips

  • For variety, swap the pineapples with other sliced fruits such as berries, apples, bananas,  peaches, or plums.
  • For extra crunch, scatter chopped pecans or walnuts in any empty spaces around the fruit rings.
  • Pat the pineapples and cherries with paper towels to rid of excess moisture that might otherwise make for an overly wet crumb.
  • As the juices might bubble up during baking, place a pan or sheet on the lower rack to catch spills.
  • The cake can be baked in a pie dish, cast-iron skillet, or a springform pan for easy removal. You can use ramekins for individual servings.
  • It’s best to remove the cake from the pan while still hot as the caramelized topping might harden and stick if completely cooled. Run a small spatula or knife around the sides to loosen and invert on a serving platter.

How to serve

  • Serve a slice (or two) warm or cold with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or generous dollops of whipped cream for a fantastic after-meal dessert or midday snack treat.
  • To store, wrap the cake loosely with plastic film and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Wrap in foil and freeze for up to one month.
  • To reheat from the freezer, thaw completely and warm up in the microwave or in the oven.

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