It feels a little counter-intuitive to say it, but pineapple upside-down cakes are a winter staple to me. Whenever she was invited to holiday parties, my mom has always brought one of these sugary desserts. Family friends have begun to crave them at holiday parties, and who can blame them? It’s a bright, flavorful dessert that seems fit for the Ghost of Christmas Present of Dickens’ Christmas Carol to enjoy. The bright maraschino cherries light up in the middle of glazed pineapples, like Christmas lights on a house at night.
And the flavor is uniquely suited for this time of year! The cake is light and airy, supporting the syrup and fruits like a tropically flavored cloud. The sugary syrup recalls the flavors of fall that have just passed, and all of the best warm accents for the cold winter. The fruit has a bright flavor that sings on the palette, contrasting some of the deeper and richer flavors of the season like chocolate and nuts.
The really impressive thing about the Upside-Down Cake is that it looks and sounds like it may be complicated to prepare, though it’s very easy. It’s a layered cake that’s built form the top down, and by the time it’s been cooked all of the layers fit and work together. For your next holiday party, bring one of these and light up the winter night!
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices, undrained
- 9 maraschino cherries
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Melt butter in a Pre Seasoned 10 ½ Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Spread brown sugar evenly over bottom of skillet. Drain the pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer over brown sugar mixture, and place a cherry in center of each pineapple ring. Set aside the skillet.
- Beat egg yolks until thick. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating well.
- Heat reserved pineapple juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Gradually add juice mixture to the yolk mixture, beating until blended.
- Combine all-purpose flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the yolk mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold egg whites into batter. Spoon batter evenly over pineapple slices.
- Bake at 325° for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in skillet 30 minutes; invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Turn the Party Upside Down!
Have you seen how easy it is to make a pineapple upside down cake? Is it better served with whipped cream, ice cream, or in all of its naked glory? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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