Pineapple upside-down cake, using box mix

11 Jan

I’m alive!  My fingers and palm are tingling a bit as I type this, because I contracted a particularly virulent strain of hand, foot, and mouth disease from my baby (it’s not as bad as it sounds).  Yesterday I had a 103.1 fever, and last week he had a 103.1 fever.  I took him to the ER, I gave myself a Tylenol and a nap.  It’s been mildly hectic.  As I’ve said before, I’m so impressed with stay-at-home parents and I don’t know how anyone gets anything done with their kids (like, for instance, a Ph.D. thesis).  Baby had a mild fever the day before his crazy one, so I kept him home with me.  We went to the store, and I thought hey, it’s never too early to introduce kids to the things you love to do, so let’s bake a cake!

I’ve blogged before about a super easy pineapple upside down cake, but that required some amount of measuring so I decided to just go with a box cake.  Semi-homemade all the way, snobbery be damned!


If Rooney Mara and Al Pacino got together and decided to combine last names, would they be the Maracinos?  Also that would be gross because she is 30 and he is 75 and unrelatedly he is 5’7″.

The topping is the same as for the easy-peasy amazing cinnamon buns I’ve done over and over again: put a stick of butter in a pyrex in a cold oven, and turn it on.  You could definitely do this with only half a stick of butter instead; I just had a frozen stick so used the whole thing.

Meanwhile, drain the pineapple rings and you’ll get just under a cup of pineapple juice.  This is great, you use it to make the cake, following the box instructions and subbing juice for water.  Also I’m not so great at following instructions, so I used yogurt instead of butter (I got the “butter recipe” box).


Do you ever worry you won’t measure up?



That even with all the eggstras you’ve added to the world, the whisks involved with you weren’t worth the benefits?

I mentioned that I didn’t feel like measuring, so I didn’t, but you probably know how big half a cup is, and can eyeball about that much of full fat yogurt.  (Remember, we’re using yogurt to replace butter so we need the fat).


It’s important to remember that we were all once babes in the woods, and also it doesn’t matter how effective/efficient you are, but that you made an effort.

If you were starting with half a stick of unfrozen butter, it’s probably melted by now.  If like me you had a stick of frozen butter slowly melting in your oven, you have some time now to play patty cake or clean up or sit.  Whatever floats your boat.

Once the butter is all melted, take it out of the oven and sprinkle brown sugar all over it, then lay down the pineapple rings and sprinkle maraschino cherries everywhere they’ll fit.  Pour on the batter.  I put in about half the batter, then sprinkled it with coconut, and added the other half to cover the coconut.


Sometimes you feel like you’re a ringer, but you’re just cherry-picking examples where you don’t fit in.  (Incidentally I’ve been using the sports idiom “ringer” wrong my whole life I thought it was a great person you save for the end who will win the game what’s the word for that?)


Cakes are like onions; they have layers! (Shrek joke, does that date me?)

Bake it for 40-45 minutes, let it cool for a bit, and then invert it onto a plate.  Honestly the hardest part of this cake is finding something to invert the cake onto.  I ended up picking up the whole thing and putting it back into the Pyrex after, for storage.


Everything will be okay, just turn that brown upside down!


Even if you miss, there’ll always be an imprint of your attempts at success (I located the sticky pineapple ring and put it back on the cake, btw).


Pineapple upside down cake, adapted from Betty Crocker

1/4 c (half a stick) of butter

1/2 c brown sugar

1 can pineapple slices in juice

1 small jar maraschino cherries

1 box yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1/2 c full fat yogurt

1 c sweetened flaked coconut

Put the butter in a 13 by 9 dish, and put it in the oven.  Turn to 350.

Meanwhile, mix the eggs, juice from the pineapple, cake mix, and yogurt until almost totally smooth.  This is a good place for kids to help!

Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over it, then lay in the pineapple slices and put in the maraschino cherries wherever they’ll fit (take off the stems).

Pour half the cake batter oven the topping, then sprinkle the coconut all over it.  Pour the rest of the cake batter over.

Bake for 40 minutes or until brown.  Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then run a knife all along the edge and invert onto a plate.  Eat.



2 Responses to “Pineapple upside-down cake, using box mix”

  1. Susannah January 12, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    “a great person you save for the end who will win the game what’s the word for that?”

    “Ace in the hole” or “ace up your sleeve”. Refers to card games but can be used figuratively to talk about any game.

    Or possibly “secret weapon”, but that has less of a sense of winning a (recreational) game. The only winning move is not to play.

    • yenergy January 14, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

      I asked my husband and he said “closer” is also a good one, but he was confused why I was confused about “ringer”- I guess a ringer is if you put a really good person on your amateur team and they win the game because they are so good

      On Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 6:23 AM, Baking and Math wrote:


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