Last week I was asked to make a very special cake for a VERY special person. This man turned 90 years old last Thursday and I was surprised to hear that his favorite cake was pineapple upside down cake (double layer to be precise). When I heard about this fabled cake I was slightly intimidated. First of all I had never attempted to make this cake and second, the only experience I've ever had eating this a pineapple upside down cake was when I had it at Cracker Barrel and it resembled an over sweet Twinkie with fruit on top (bleh). I decided to start with an old faithful Paula Deen recipe and adjusted it from there and let me tell you, this is no Twinkie! At first I was hesitant that the frosting might make this dessert too sweet, but it balances out with the subtle flavor of the cake.
Double Layer Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Paula Deen.
3 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 cup butter, softened, plus 1/2 cup, melted
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple slices in juice, drained well (reserve 2 tablespoons juice for frosting)
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained well
Pineapple Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows
Chopped pecans, for garnish, optional
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
2.In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and set aside.
3.In a small bowl, add the 3 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
4.Divide the brown sugar evenly into each pan. Pour the melted butter equally over the brown sugar. Arrange the pineapple slices and cherries over the brown sugar.
You will have pineapple and cherries left over.
5.Pour equal amounts of batter (it will be thick) over the fruit and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
6.Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely (or you're impatient like me wait for the cakes to cool slightly then stick em in the fridge).
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp
2 tablespoons pineapple juice from the can
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
Chopped toasted pecans, for garnish, optional
1.Beat cream cheese into submission.
2.Add remaining ingredients and taste.
*When stacking the cake, pipe a ring of frosting on the outer edge of the bottom layer, that way the cake won't slope.
As you can see, this cake was not only a hit with all the customers but most importantly, the birthday boy himself.
Cake picture credit: Food Network