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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

One of America's most popular desserts for almost a century, the pineapple upside-down cake was once known as a skillet cake because it was baked on the stovetop in a cast-iron pan. Here, the cake is made in our specially designed pan, which features indentations to hold the pineapple rings.

Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 7 fresh or canned drained pineapple slices (1/4-
     inch slices)
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. firmly packed light
     brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. dark rum
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 7 canned cherries in syrup, drained

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a pineapple upside-down cake pan.

To prepare the topping, place the pineapple slices in the prepared pan, aligning them with the relief pattern. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar and heat until the butter melts. Stir to blend the ingredients, then spread the mixture over the pineapple slices. Set aside.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and rum. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.

Tap the pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cake, invert the pan onto a cake plate and lift off the pan. Place 1 cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. Let the cake cool for 45 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 10.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.