My relationship with pineapple upside down cake has been a topsy turvy, stressful mess. When I first met my husband, he had told me that his late mother always made it for him and this would be only his second birthday without her. So to be a great girlfriend, I wanted to make him one. I mean, isn't it obvious that it was what he wanted by telling me a week before his birthday? I wasn't into cooking at this time so I was freaking out trying to figure out how to do it. I had never eaten or even SEEN it. When I got to the store, the heavens opened up, angels started singing and beam of heavenly light shone right on a box that said, "Pineapple Upside Down Cake, recipe on back". *insert my traditional opera voice holding a note here* So to make this story short, I made it, he loved it and I still make it as often as we feel we should have it. I almost never put the cherries in the middle. Stop hatin'. I know it looks pretty and I KNOW it is traditional. I hate maraschino cherries. So I only put them in if I feel like being nice, or I remember to get them at the store!
Tonight, I decided to start my husbands week off with a Sunday supper he would love. All his favorites. Ham, baked mac and cheese, etc. Mostly I was excited to make him Pineapple Upside Down Cake. We are trying to work on portion control so I decided to try to make little mini cakes. I didn't want cupcakes, but figured it might be the only way to portion these puppies out. Luck was on my side, they turned out awesome. You know that really gooey, kind of semi hard stuff on the edges? Well...you get ALL that stuff on your own little cake! The edges are the best part of a pineapple upside down cake to me! I was already informed by my husband they needed the cherry for color. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. Trust me when I tell you, how you will forget all about your beloved maraschino cherry when you bite into this. Remember, this is not a fat free or low calorie dessert. Just in case for some reason you thought "pineapple upside down cake" implied it was.
-1 yellow cake mix (yes, I did)
-1 can sliced pineapple rings in juice
-1 bottle pineapple soda
I am going to say to "prepare cake mix as directed", but WAIT! Instead of using the water it calls for, use the juice from the pineapple rings. That will not fulfill the entire measurement required so here is where you will use the pineapple soda. (I got 1/3 cup of juice and needed 1 1/3 cups so used 1 cup of soda). Mix until completely combined and set aside.
-1 stick butter (for 12 mini cakes)
-2 cups brown sugar *may not need it all*
-Pineapple rings cut into pieces
Melt your butter. I used a glass measuring cup with a pouring spout. Pour enough butter to cover the bottom of each muffin bottom plus just a bit more. Use a pastry brush and dip it in the butter on the bottom and paint up the sides and on top a bit so the cake doesn't stick.
Next, using a regular teaspoon, add 1-2 tsp of brown sugar into each cake bottom. When you are done, add in a few pieces of pineapple, just enough to cover the bottom.
You will then add about 2 tbsp's of batter on top of each. Fill until a bit more than 3/4 full. Bake as directed for cupcakes. WARNING...you may not need them to bake as long since there is so little cake in them. Just keep an eye on it.
When they are done, remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes. I ran a knife around the edges of mine but I didn't really need to. I used a fork to carefully get down under them and lift them out. Flip it over so the pineapple is on top and there you go. INCREDIBLY delicious!
The cake has the most subtle pineapple flavor on its own. I only wanted to make 12 so I used 3 small disposable aluminium pans and threw the rest of the cut up pineapple in the leftover batter, and baked up 3 small loaf cakes. I will freeze them and whip up a little drizzle when I need them! These didn't rise much at all so they have a great mini cake look and not an upside down cupcake look which I just love!
I hope you give these a try. I don't think you will be disappointed!
Your "pineapple Gods are turning in her favor" chefwannabe