I adore old fashioned recipes especially those from the 40's and 50's. and this recipe, a pineapple upside down cake is about as retro as they get. Pineapple slices and maraschino cherries seem to be de riguer for a homemade dessert in the 50's and this recipe uses both of those ingredients to grand effect yet it is a delicious and fanciful dessert.
I used fresh thinly sliced pineapple rather than canned pineapple slices which would work as well and I like to add pecans to my topping because I love the way the buttery crunch enhances the sweet taste of the caramelized pineapple and because I am a southern belle in spirit if not in geography and pecans are just so southern. The maraschino cherries are absolutely necessary to this recipe for authenticity's sake. They add a burst of red to the finished cake.
I like to arrange my pineapple slices in an artful pattern with the maraschino cherries inside the rings and pecans to fill in the open spaces left between the rounds of pineapple.
The cake batter itself is thick and biscuit-like which enables it to stand up to the pineapple. The finished cake is a sturdy tender cake, with a caramel glaze running over the top, fragrant with leaky pineapple and cherry juices. It is tropical and sweet and a tasty reminder of when women used to bake in pearls and high heels.
other vintage recipes:
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Time: 50 minutes Bake Time: 35 minutes dairy
Makes: One 9-inch square cake
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 6 slices pineapple, or 1 can of drained pineapple chunks
- maraschino cherries
- pecan halves
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- In a 9-inch square cake pan, melt butter; sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange pineapple and cherries and nut halves on sugar, making a design.
- Make cake batter: Cream ½ cup butter; gradually add ½ cup sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk; beat until smooth, ending with dry ingredients. Pour over pineapple design. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 35 minutes. Let cake cool before turning out onto a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream if desired.