Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I’ve been wanting to do a series on throwback recipes for awhile, and I’d say this pineapple upside down cake is the perfect way to start things off.

Growing up, dear old Betty Crocker was our go-to cookbook. Mom and I would flip through the flour-coated pages, oggling the perfect pastel petit fours and eloquently frosted layer cakes. But you see, mom and me, we’re just not petit four kind of gals. Precision is not our forte. While we’d love to make the most beautiful of all pastries and have the family ooh and ahh, at the end of the day, we just can’t be bothered. It’s not a lack of patience, but rather a simple case of priorities. We want to make something delicious that doesn’t take all damn day.

My memories of pineapple upside down cake involve a gooey, thin cake turned out from my father’s well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Looking back, I’m not sure how we accomplished this, my own skillet today is so heavy I can’t pick it up with one hand, so I made mine in a pie pan. Either way, this is a glorious cake, with lots of vintage flair. This was my husband’s first time eating it, and the way he gushed was just the cutest thing. It was the first time in my life when I could say, “oh that old recipe? Why, I only make that when I don’t care how it looks.”

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook
Serves 8

Cake:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 milk
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Topping:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 can drained pineapple, or 5 slices fresh
7 maraschino cherries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter (for topping) over low heat in a cake pan, pie pan, or skillet. Be sure the butter coats the entire pan. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter in the bottom of the pan only. Place a pineapple slice in center of pan. Cut remaining slices in half and arrange around center slice. Place cherries in “holes” if desired.

To prepare the batter for the cake, measure all ingredients into a large bowl. Blend 30 seconds on low, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high for 3 minutes, scraping occasionally. Pour into pan on top of arranged pineapples.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert onto a plate, leaving the pan over the cake for a few minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy!

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