Brian’s birthday was yesterday. He requested a pineapple upside down cake. I was happy to oblige. I LOVE birthdays. The end of the year is always crazy – Christmas, Brian’s birthday, New year’s, and my sister Kate’s birthday. And if it wasn’t enough to be surrounded by weight loss messages on a daily basis, the end of the year is also the time to be bombarded with more weight loss and diet messages from people and companies trying to sell you something. I HATE weight loss anything. If you haven’t seen the research or experienced firsthand, diets do not work. Over 90% of people who go on diets regain the weight in a few years. Diets are not sustainable. I’m gonna get straight to the point and share my favorite quote that I feel explains the real crux of my beef with dieting.
“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”
Boom. Thanks Naomi Wolf.
With that said, here is a classic pineapple upside down recipe. The recipe is adapted from one in Cook’s Illustrated. To make the caramelly topping for the quintessential pineapple upside down cake, this recipe has you caramelize the pineapple in brown sugar. You then keep cooking the brown sugar until it is thick and syrupy. Add some butter and vanilla and you have a fragrant caramel to place at the bottom of the pan and top with the caramelized pineapple.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- 6 pineapple rings*
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 ounces butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 egg white at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit into an 8 inch cake pan.
In a large pan over medium low heat, add brown sugar and pineapple slices. Cook for 15 minutes until pineapple is translucent and brown sugar has melted.
Remove slices from pan. Keep cooking brown sugar for 6 more minutes until it has thickened. Turn off heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir till incorporated.
Pour caramel into lined cake pan. Place pineapple slices on top of caramel.
Beat butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer for 3 minutes. Add eggs and white one at a time beating until each is fully incorporated. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and milk and mix till just combined.
Drop spoonfuls of batter on top of pineapples. Smooth top gently and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Flip cake out of pan onto cake stand or plate. Let cool for a few more hours and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
*I bought precut pineapple rings at Trader Joe's