Decided to go with something classic this Chinese New Year – a one-pan traditional US style cake that’s directly decorated in the pan, pineapple slices studded with jewel-like cherries. When inverted it doesn’t need to be frosted so you can enjoy it fresh out of the oven warm, sometimes even while the buttery brown sugar caramel layer is still sizzling away. It’s one of those cakes that are really nice for dinner parties as well as it can be placed in the oven while everyone enjoys dinner 🙂
This is actually not my first time making this cake. It was one of the first few bakes as a kid (maybe when I was around 13?) and do remember drawing and writing down the recipe back in the days haha. I don’t even remember what attracted me to this recipe, but I think it’s because of all the American books I used to read and love as a child, kids describing their moms making this cake, and Desperate Housewives also had a hilarious episode with Gabby and Bree’s pineapple upside down cake 🤣🤣.
Brief description of Pineapple Upside-Down cake though – it’s a traditional American home-style cake, featuring an incredibly buttery, moist cake, with an easy caramelized pineapple topping arranged prior to baking. When removed from the oven, the cake is flipped over and served right-side up, giving it a natural method to show pretty fruit designs and allowing the juices and caramel layer to drop naturally. I think if you grew up with it the nostalgia factor is similar to homemade apple pies.
For this recipe, I picked Sally’s Baking Addiction (American, of course) as she used her tried and tested vanilla cake, and I do respect her a lot for her dedicated mega testing, multiple revisions of her recipes. It starts off like any upside down cake recipe – melt butter, sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar and arrange the slices neatly with maraschino cherries. Canned pineapple is easier and neater than fresh pineapple, hence I went for that. Just make sure you blot the extra sugar syrup from the canner pineapple. Top the pineapples with the vanilla cake batter afterwards. I used some browned butter for the mix and picked this recipe for its higher proportion of brown sugar.
Once it is in the oven you can chill and do your other stuff as it does take up to almost an hour! Bake until golden top is formed – a slight crusty layer is okay and pairs nicely with the juicy pineapple topping – and make sure you’re able to smell the vanilla cake aroma to know if its done. Let cool slightly and turn out onto a prepared nice plate. Perhaps a possible way to improve it is to make the cake even fluffier and lighter, as the juice may make it too moist. Will see if I can do that with another upside-down cake recipe! So so delicious anyways though and hope you enjoy!
Make one 10-inch round cake (note that this is 1.5x of original)
|Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
80g unsalted butter, melted
Cake (1.5x of original)
185g sifted all-purpose flour
*kept sugar amounts the same as original while increasing other ingredients to 1.5x
|To make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line all sides of the cake pan (yes including the sides – just in case!) with parchment paper. Melt butter over a double boiler or pot, set aside to cool slightly.
To prepare Topping
Place 1/4 cup of melted butter into a 10-inch round springform pan. Make sure it is a deep pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Top with pineapple slices and arrange cherries between the pineapple slices. Set aside.
To prepare the cake batter
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Place 168 g of melted butter in a bowl (I browned it slightly for a deeper flavor). Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps – mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain; fold gently. At this point do not overmix. Batter will be thick.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, and tap lightly to even out the tops. Bake for at 50-60 minutes until skewer tested in the center comes out clean, and you get the brown sugar aroma. The edges may slightly brown as well from the bubbling caramel goodness from the upside down topping. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil) at the 20 minute mark to avoid browning. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Invert cake on top of a cake stand or a large serving plate. Slice and serve warm with ice cream (I had some Kuih Bangkit ice cream which ended up a nice contrast though it’s very sweet!)