Last month I thought about going to a party for a friend’s birthday, but then sat inside and played board games instead. To make up for it, I baked him a cake! This actually happens fairly often, but without the cake part.
Anyways, pineapple upside down is my second favorite cake (it’s hard to beat carrot cake). Also, I’ll take this inopportune time to give a shout out to the incredible Alliance Bakery down the street from my old apartment, who made our hilarious and wonderful wedding cake. It was a delicious light lemon cake with a mango mousse filling and a simple buttercream frosting. Also, because our initials spell out YAM, we asked for it to be made in the shape of a sweet potato, but to try very hard to make it not look like poop. They did a fantastic job and I wish I had more pictures of the cake… unfortunately I only have one and it’s in B&W
Also that photo (and all my wedding photos) were taken by my best friend who happens to be a professional photographer, so if you’re in Singapore and need photos taken I recommend her.
ON TO CAKE I PROMISE IT’S NOT A LIE.
All I had to buy for this cake was the pineapple and the cherries. I’m curious what I’ll do with maraschino cherries (any ideas? Shirley Temples, I guess?). Also, this is a one-bowl cake, which is so great! (Two if you use a separate bowl to microwave butter)
First, melt half a stick of butter and pour it in the bottom of your cake pan, then sprinkle brown sugar over it. Takes about 30 seconds in the microwave to melt half a stick of butter.
Then cram as many pineapple rings as you can into the pan-I got in six. If you’re using a square pan you might have better luck. Also throw in as many cherries as will fit, because when else will you use them? I realize that I did not need to put maraschino cherries in the cake but they’re literally the cherries on top so it’s hard to say no.
Fun fact: pineapples don’t come from trees. They’re actually the only edible species of the bromeliad family of plants- this is the only fact I remember from signs at the University of Washington greenhouse in 2011, when I visited to see a corpse flower. Those are flowers that smell like rotting carcasses, hence the name. I recommend checking it out if you’re ever near one (they don’t bloom often).
Back to cake. Melt a stick of butter in the bowl (again I did 30 seconds and it gets almost all the way melted, and if you stir the blobby butter it’s basically melted), and mix in the sugars.
Then add the rest of your wet ingredients. It really does help to mix butter and sugar together at the beginning of your recipes when baking, then adding wet, then dry. Otherwise the sugar doesn’t incorporate as evenly/well.
I sort of gave away what happens next. Here’s another chance to use more bowls, if you mix your dry ingredients first. Or you could sort of sprinkle the other dry ingredients over the flour and whisk it all together (one less bowl to clean!)
Also have you used rubber spatulas (not an Amazon affiliate link I’m not that fancy I just googled ‘rubber spatula’)? They’re amazing for scraping! Fun fact I was first introduced to these when I was about seven and baking a cake with my Swedish grandmother (long story not actually related to her but did go to her house every month and called her “Grandma”), and she showed it to me and called it something like a ‘fun ruiner’ or ‘child spoiler’ because it doesn’t let you lick the bowl. Cool story Yen.
If you couldn’t tell the program I’m at right now is sort of intense and I’m a little unfocused because I’ve been mathing all day. Yay math! It’s SO MUCH FUN I’ll have to blog about this summer’s math sometime too. Random groups! Nilpotence! I like that word because it’s like you’re so helpless you aren’t even impotent, you’re nilpotent (this has nothing to do with the definition of nilpotent).
Right, cake. Pour the batter over the pineapple topping, pop it in the oven for 40 minutes, let it cool for a bit, and invert it onto a plate.
Pineapple upside down cake- recipe lightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction- honestly I suspect hers might be better than this one so you should check that out. But if you want the cake I made see below
3/4 c butter (1 and a half sticks)
1 1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
can of sliced pineapple
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 c oil
1/2 c milk
1 TB vanilla
First, melt half a stick of butter in the microwave, then spread out into a cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 c brown sugar over, then top with pineapple slices and cherries to your liking. Don’t throw out the can of pineapple! Measure out 1/4 c of the juice for later. Turn on oven to 350.
Next, melt the other stick of butter, and mix in remaining brown sugar and the white sugar until smooth. Add in the egg, pineapple juice, oil, milk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth again. Then add flour and sprinkle the baking powder/baking soda over. Mix well.
Spatula that batter into your pan, and bake for 40 minutes or so, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Let cool.
Run a knife around the edges of your cake, then put a plate on top of it. Flip the whole thing upside down and lightly bang on the bottom of the cake pan to drop the cake onto the plate. Yum!