bits and pieces

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh-So-Retro! Pineapple Upside-down Cake

So so good. And so bad for you. If you make this,
for the love of god, use a cuter cake pan!
Yum yum yum!

So for those neophytes, I have a consumer branding related crush on Galen Weston. I LVE President's Choice. They do everything well, adorably, and in an affordable and oh-so Canadian way.

Recently I have been lazy about baking and have started buying various PC frozen desserts. I fell in love with their tiny individually portioned pineapple upsidedown cakes. They are so so good, and so so cute. Tiny little bundt cakes with caramel-y pineapple on top. I also love how retro they are. Even thinking of them makes me want to put on a wiggle dress, pour a drink, and have a 60s dinner party. Like a more fun Betty Draper with cake and a soul.

Sadly, instead I come home, make dinner, watch tv or a movie with Ruuferboi and make little frozen desserts from a box. What a thrilling adventure working life is!  I kid. Sort of. But if anyone has any recommendations of things to do in Regina, I am desperate to hear them.

Obviously, as with everything I buy that is pre-made, I eventually reach a point where I decide I'm going to try making it at home. I reached this point over the weekend when I couldn't justify frozen desserts with a lack of time or energy.

I decided to try my hand at it. Now normally, I fiddle with recipes a bit and make them a couple times before I share them. This cake I have made once, and it worked out SO well that I decided to share it right away. I was expecting this to be a lot harder, as internet searches of pineapple upside-down cake reveal there are a lot of different opinions and apparently a lot of ways to make bad pineapple upside-down cakes. Whatever, I'm a brave baker, I do what I want, take that internet! I adapted this recipe based on a combination of a few.

It was simple, it was light, it was pineapple-y, it was sweet, and it was delicious! This isn't even the easiest way to make the cake - I'm 90% sure you could buy a box of white cake mix, make it, and add pineapples and goodness on top and voila. You have cake.

But for those of you who are COMMITTED. Here's how to make the whole cake and caboodle.

1/2 cup of butter/margerine
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1 can of sliced pineapple (I went canned to stick with the retro vibe, but I bet this would be AMAZING with fresh pineapple)

4 eggs, separated (whites in one bowl, yolks in another)
1 cup of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp melted butter
I reserved 1 tsp of the pineapple juice from my can and added it to the cake.
1.5 tbsp ground almonds (I food processed mine into a powder-y state). You could grind/mortar and pestle these until they're fine.  1 tbsp goes in your cake, the half is saved for decorating.
1 dash of: cinnamon, all spice, cloves

other things you will need: 
a greased cake pan
a whisk
two mixing bowls
a fine sieve for sifting your dry ingredients
something to grind up your almonds (the almonds aren't NECESSARY but they do add something. If you really can't grind the almonds, don't worry about it).
  1. Preheat your oven to 375. 
  2. Melt your half cup of butter. Pour into the bottom of your cake pan and sprinkle evenly with the 1 cup of packed brown sugar. Arrange pineapple slices over top of the brown-sugar butter mixture in as artistic a design as you can manage. Mine was clearly not very inspired. If you want to go REALLY retro you could also add maraschino cherries in the centre of each pineapple slice. I did not as I HATE maraschino cherries.
  3. Sift your flour, baking powder and salt. You sift them to make sure they are evenly combined and that there aren’t any lumps in your flour.
  4. Beat your bowl of egg whites until soft peaks form. Well don’t beat the bowl itself, but beat the egg whites. Once soft peaks form (egg beaters are excellent), add the white sugar gradually. You’ll keep beating as you gradually add this sugar. Set aside for a moment.
  5. Beat your egg yolks until thick and yellow. Beat them quickly and beat them hard. Gently fold your egg yolk + flour mixture into the whites. You want to fold them in gradually as opposed to just dumping them in and stirring.
  6. Fold in your almond, vanilla, little bit of pineapple juice and your melted tbsp of butter.
  7. Pour the batter into your cake pan (on top of the pineapple + brown sugar mixture) and bake. The original recipe I adapted this from said to bake for 30-35 minutes, but mine took closer to 45. Check it at 30 and test with a tooth pick. Once the pick comes out clean, your cake is ready.
  8. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife or spatula around the edges. Invert your cake pan over a plate and lightly tap the bottom of the pan until the cake comes out.
  9. Dust with additional almonds + icing sugar.
  10. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream.  


  1. this sounds crazy awesome! i'm drooling all over myself!

  2. thank you! It is actually seriously very very drool worthy. I haven't made this cake in about six months but I might just have to remedy that :)