my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

April 13, 2012

pineapple upside down cake

today i want to talk about pineapple upside down cake. specifically i want to share the super easy recipe i used for making the cake we had for easter dinner at my in-laws.

i have been searching for a pineapple cake recipe that would work consistently when baked in a 9x13 inch pan. my standard go-to recipe was actually made for an 8 inch square pan, and i would double it and play around with the timing. which meant checking it constantly. and there were quite a few times that it came out over or under baked, sometimes way under baked.

so, for whatever reason, doubling didn't work for me. and most of the recipes i had found were baked in round cake pans or smaller square pans, which is fine if you're not trying to feed 15 people. which i was. or maybe i just wanted to make enough that there would be left overs. not for me, though, because personally i think pineapple is gross. unless it's in a pina colada, then bring it on!

anyway, i was looking around at random cake recipes, as i am known to do, and found one for chocolate cherry cake. it uses a box of chocolate cake mix, and replaces some of the water with maraschino cherry juice. i thought that was simple and brilliant, and could totally be adapted to a pineapple upside down cake.

all i did, to make my version, was to grease a 9x13 pan, and then lay parchment paper in the bottom. i mostly used the parchment because i wasn't going to be turning it out while warm, and was afraid it would stick if i didn't. though for how nicely it worked, i'll probably keep lining my pans next time i make this cake. after i prepped the pan, i took a large can of crushed pineapple in juice (not syrup), and drained it well through a strainer. i mixed the pineapple and half a stick of melted butter and 3/4 cup of brown sugar, and spread it in the pan. then i halved cherries and made a pretty patterned by pressing them into the pineapple layer. for the cake, i took my favorite brand of yellow cake mix, added the eggs and oil called for, and the juice from the canned pineapple with enough additional water to make the amount of water called for. if you happen to be one of those people that has pineapple juice on hand, you could certainly use all juice, but i'm not one of those people. anyway, i mixed the cake as per the directions on the box, and carefully spread it over the pineapples and cherries in the pan. bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, then wait until it's mostly cool to turn out on a serving platter.

first off, i have to say, this cake was a hit, and even i couldn't tell that it wasn't completely from scratch. also, because i traveled with my cake, and made it on wednesday but didn't turn it out until friday, the parchment paper was a must. though, if you like really pretty looking cakes, or want to ensure that no pineapple bits are lost to the pan, i recommend lining it. foil would also work, and wax paper might too, but parchment is definitely recommended.

maybe i'm silly in thinking i'm clever in making pineapple upside down cake like this. maybe everybody does this and nobody told me. like everybody else is part of some exclusive pineapple club. which is fine, i'm not bitter or anything. but, just in case there was somebody else out there wondering about the best way to make a 9x13 sized pineapple upside down cake (i can't be the only one, can i?), i felt like sharing my trick. and sticking it to those exclusive pineapple club elitists.

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