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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

February 23, 2015

Pineapple Upside Down cake and I go way back.  This was a childhood favorite.  When my mother would make it, it was definitely a special treat and one to be savored.  And licking the pan after it was turned out onto a plate?  Now, that was what memories are made of.

It's an unassuming cake, one that doesn't really stand out in a crowd of desserts.  It's not piled high with layers and frosting.  Nope, just a simple sweet treat.

There's just something wonderful about a moist, delicious cake topped with a sticky brown sugar topping and warm pineapple slices.  A true comfort dish.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
source:  America's Test Kitchen
Makes 1 9-inch cake

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 can pineapple rings or 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg white, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put 4 Tablespoons of the butter in a 9 inch cake pan and put in the oven until the butter melts, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the oven and add the brown sugar and stir until all the butter is incorporated.  Pat down into the bottom of the pan, evenly, with a wooden spoon.  Arrange the pineapple pieces evenly over the sugar in a single layer.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 8 Tablespoons butter and the granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides and beat in the eggs, egg white and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Beat in half the milk.  Add half the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining milk, and the remaining flour mixture.  The batter will be thick.

Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula, making sure it's fully incorporated.  Drop mounds of the batter over the pineapple.  Smooth over the top with a rubber spatula, making the batter even over the pineapple.  Rap the pan several times on the counter to settle the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached and cake is lightly browned, about 40 minutes.  Let cake cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Run a bread or paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen from the pan.  Place an inverted platter over the the cake pan and flip the cake out onto the platter.  Let cool completely before serving.

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