Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
A traditional American favorite spiked with rum and a bit of ground ginger is absolutely luscious served warm with whipped cream.
The pineapple has long been a symbol of hospitality. It appears often as a door knocker design, stenciled on walls, and carved on antique bedposts. In the olden days, pineapples were rented by English growers to their friends to grace the centerpiece of a festive table. Choose the ripest pineapple you can find in the market. Smell for sweetness, touch for tenderness, and watch carefully for color. Choose the one with the golden hue. Once they are picked, they no longer increase in sweetness, although they will become softer. Try not to refrigerate—just store at room temperature. They’re so pretty around the kitchen.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free
Mealbrunch, dinner, tea
Taste and Texturebuttery, fruity, nutty, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishcake, dessert
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple slices (packed in natural juice), drained but ½ cup juice reserved
- 12 to 15 pecan halves
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Whipped cream (garnish)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt the butter and pour into the bottom of a 9½-inch spring form pan. (Place the pan on a piece of aluminum foil to catch any butter that leaks through.) Press the brown sugar evenly over the butter and sprinkle with the rum. Arrange 7 of the pineapple slices over the brown sugar. Fill in the spaces with the pecan halves. Set aside.
Cream the margarine and granulated sugar in a mixer bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
Sift the flour, ginger, baking soda, and salt together. Beat into the butter mixture alternately with the reserved pineapple juice.
Pour the cake batter over the pineapple slices in the spring form pan. Bake until the center of the cake springs back when gently touched, 40 to 45 minutes.
While the cake is still hot, remove the side of the pan. Invert the cake onto a platter and remove the pan bottom. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Top with dollops of whipped cream.
1984, 1985 Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins