Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

My PUDC was eaten before I could take a picture. Photo from "Squash House Quilts"

Earlier this season on “Top Chef Masters” the chefs participated in a challenge where they had to put a modern spin on vintage dishes like Oysters Rockafeller (never had ’em), Beef Wellington (very Julia Child), Deviled Eggs (love ’em) and Grasshopper Pie (hate it.) Why in the heck wasn’t Pineapple Upside-Down Cake on the list?  To me, that cake is about as vintage as it gets – conjuring images of Tiki-themed cocktail parties.

So, it got me thinking.  It might be time to give the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake some love.  I hadn’t made it in years, but then last weekend we were invited to a “Sm0ked Pig” BBQ and I thought, “PUDC (I’m getting really tired of spelling it out) would be the perfect dessert!”

There are two things I love most about PUDC: the brown sugar crispy top and the custard-like texture of the cake beneath the pineapple ring.  Last time I made the cake (seven, eight years ago?) I didn’t follow the instructions exactly, and I used a small glass rectangular dish instead of the 8″ round cake pan.  I decided to do the same thing this time.

As I whipped up the batter I thought to myself, “this doesn’t look like enough batter for the pan but oh well.”  Sure enough, after I melted the butter on the bottom of the glass pan, sprinkled a mixture of light and dark brown sugar, placed the pineapple and cherries on top and poured the batter over the concoction, it barely covered the pineapple.  I quickly whipped up a second batch of batter and poured it over the first layer.  Into the oven it went, and 40 minutes later pineapple perfection emerged from the oven!

Birthday Cake

Ironically, a friend of mine also made a pineapple upside down cake for his birthday, but his was much prettier.  He followed Paula Deen’s recipe, complete with frosting and pecans.  Yum!


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