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Jun 23, 2008 04:21 PM

Pineapple Upside Down Cake - without Cast Iron Skillet?

Can I make pineapple upside down cake without a cast iron skillet? Most of the recipes I found are specific about it. I understand that I won't get as much caramelization but beyond that, are there other problems?

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    1. re: chef chicklet

      That looks good... is it your own recipe? Or any chance it's one that I can find online?

      1. re: cecilia

        it is a wolfgang puck's but I changed it a bit, so if you want I can paraphrase it for you. I stopped looking for recipes after this one, the yellow cake is just as scrumptious as can be. I've also made this in a cast iron fry pan, it didn't come out as well, but I chalk that up to something I did!

        1. re: chef chicklet

          Please post the recipe - the "old school" version looks divine!

          1. re: GSDlove

            I gotta go out so I'm running around, but I will post it tomorrow. I think you will really love the yellow cake, its scrumptious!

            I made this one during the holidays, the whole cake was eaten that night. Guess it was good.

            1. re: GSDlove

              oh gosh, I am so embarrassed! I forgot to paraphrase the recipe for you. I will do it later in about 3 hours. So sorry!!!

              1. re: chef chicklet

                1 1/2 Cups sifted flour
                1 1/2 tsp baking powder
                1/2 tsp sea salt - I grind it.
                1 stick butter -not ice cold
                1/2 cup bakers sugar
                2 eggs room temp.
                1 T pure vanilla extract
                3/4 C milk

                I can of pineapple rings drained
                3/4 cup brown sugar (packed) light is best
                marachino cherries -drained for the centers of the pineapples
                Preheat the oven 350 spay or butter the cast iron skillet, or a 9 x 3 in deep cake pan.

                sift the flour, baking soda and salt
                in a seperate pan, melt 3 T butter, with the brown sugar, I use a little reserved syrup too. Just about 2 T.

                Pourthe brown sugar mix on the bottom of the pan
                Arange the drained pineapple over the brown sugar in the bottom of the pan, then the cherries in the center of the pineapples if using rings.

                In the mixer, into the bowl beat the butter on high until its fluffy, add the sugar, on slow, push the sides down, then gradually increase the speed. Add the eggs one at at time, scrape the sides down, and add the vanilla.Then adt a slow speed slowly add the flour, and then the milk a little each time. Beat untilt he batter is smooth. Making sure all the sides and the bottom are mixed well into the batter. Once you've done that, pour the batter on to the pineapple spreading evenly.
                Bake 35-40 mins. Remove and cool the cake on a rack
                Once its cool enough to handle place a plate on top of the pan and with both hands flip it so that the bottom of the cake is now the top.
                Serve with whipping cream or coconut ice cream

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Thanks so much - it sounds fantastic!

      2. If you look on epicurious under upside-down cake, you'll find a number of the ones listed don't use cast iron pans but just regular cake pans. Maybe deeper than the norm.

        I just made a cherry upside-down cake and I used a basic recipe for upside down cakes from the Cooks Illustrated Baking Book (made in a regular pan) with the instructions for the fruit layer from one or another of the recipes using cherries from epicurious. And it worked great.

        I used a 3-inch deep regular aluminum 9-inch pan. Oh, and I put a layer of parchment down and that helps get the fruit out in one piece. Also, I think Cook's Illustrated said to let the cake sit for about 5 minutes (I can double-check that if you like) before removing the cake from the pan. That leaves just enough time for the caramel layer to kind of cool so it isn't just a hot syrup that rushes off the top of the unmolded cake but instead stays with the fruit in a layer.

        7 Replies
        1. re: karykat

          Yes that's the one I use, its deep and its heavy, baking in them is a breeze. I just spray with the Trader Joes spray with flour, but parchment would work too. I love this cake! Oh darn, now don't go getting me ready to make this!

            1. re: itryalot

              Here is the C.I. Upside-Down cake, paraphrased.

              For the topping use: 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, and the appropriate amount of fruit (1 small pineapple cut into pieces 3/8 inch thick or 4 medium peaches or nectarines cut into pieces 1/2 inch thick).

              For the cake use: 1 1/2 cup flour, 3 tbsp cornmeal, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened but still cool, 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, 4 large eggs separated, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 2/3 cup milk.

              Grease 9 inch cake pan that is 3 inches deep. Melt butter in saucepan and add brown sugar; cook until foamy about 4 minutes. Pour into cake pan and swirl. Arrange fruit. (I checked epicurious for upside down cakes and used the fruit, butter and brown sugar mixture from one of those. I used pitted cherries.)

              Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Cream butter and gradually add 1 cup sugar in standing mixer; mix until light and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla. At low speed, add the dry ingredients and milk, alternating. Mix just until smooth.

              Beat egg whites in large bowl of standing mixer until frothy. Add remaining 2 tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks formed. Fold some of the egg whites into the batter until lightened. Then fold in the remaining whites until there are no streaks left. Pour batter into pan over the fruit gently so the fruit isn't dislodged. Bake until top is golden and skewer or toothpick comes out clean, about 60 - 65 minutes. (Don't stick the skewer all the way down into the fruit mixture -- that will remain gooey.

              Rest cake on rack for 2 - 5 minutes. Loosen from sides of the pan with a paring knive. Then invert onto a platter.

              I put a parchment round in the greased pan and then greased the top of the parchment as well as the sides. That way, I could gently remove the parchment from the top and the fruit all stayed undisturbed and none stuck to the bottom.

              Have fun with this.

              1. re: karykat

                This is NOT the CI recipe that I use.

                1. re: Calipoutine

                  Hmmmm. I got it from Baking Illustrated "by the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine." It's called Fresh Fruit Upside Down Cake and is on pages 330 - 33 in hardcover.

                  1. re: karykat

                    I think it was published before the recipe that I use.

                    1. re: karykat

                      I've found ATK has different "best" recipes that they put in their books and magazines. The one you posted, karykat, is the one I have in the Best Recipe.

            2. I've used a 10" deep pyrex pie pan with good results.

              1. I make Cook's pineapple upside down cake all the time. The ginger/coconut version rocks too. It uses a cake pan w/ 2" high sides. The recipe also uses fresh pineapple.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Calipoutine

                  I have a fresh pineapple and I was thinking about doing this. I've always used canned, and the pineapple breaks down no nicely.

                  But I was wondering about the juice from the can which bathes the canned pineapple and helps with making a moist cake, and then sometimes too fresh pineapple can be tough. Do you like it better with the fresh?

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    The CI method boils down the juices w/brown sugar and it makes a caramel. OMG, its so good. Try it, you wont go back to canned ever again.

                    Did you see the picture on my foodblog?

                    1. re: Calipoutine

                      MMMMM!!!!! I'm convinced.I'm making it tomorrow! I like dried cherries in the top(upside down) also. Sure looks good! Thanks for the picture, I am really motivated by pictures!!!

                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        Here is the version from CI that I use.

                        Pineapple Topping

                        1 medium fresh pineapple (about 4 pounds), prepared according to illustrations below (about 4 cups prepared fruit)
                        1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (7 ounces)
                        2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
                        3 tablespoons unsalted butter
                        1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


                        1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
                        1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                        1/2 teaspoon table salt
                        8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened but still cool
                        1/2 cup granulated sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
                        3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
                        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                        2 large eggs at room temperature
                        1 egg white at room temperature
                        1/2 cup coconut milk at room temperature

                        1. spray a 9-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
                        2. For the pineapple topping: Combine pineapple, brown sugar, and ginger in 10-inch skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally during first 5 minutes, until pineapple is translucent and has light brown hue, 15 to 18 minutes. Empty fruit and juices into mesh strainer or colander set over medium bowl. Return juices to skillet, leaving pineapple in strainer (you should have about 2 cups cooked fruit). Simmer juices over medium heat until thickened, beginning to darken, and mixture forms large bubbles, 6 to 8 minutes, adding any more juices released by fruit to skillet after about 4 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla; pour caramel mixture into prepared cake pan. Set aside while preparing cake. (Pineapple will continue to release liquid as it sits; do not add this liquid to already-reduced juice mixture.)
                        3. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
                        4. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar and coconut at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla, and beat to combine; one at a time, add whole eggs then egg white, beating well and scraping down bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low; add about one-third of flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add half of coconut milk and beat until incorporated; repeat, adding half of remaining flour mixture and remaining coconut milk, and finish with remaining flour. Give final stir with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to ensure that batter is combined. Batter will be thick.
                        5. To bake: Working quickly, distribute cooked pineapple in cake pan in even layer, gently pressing fruit into caramel. Using rubber spatula, drop mounds of batter over fruit, then spread batter over fruit and to sides of pan. Tap pan lightly against work surface to release any air bubbles. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, then place inverted serving platter over cake pan. Invert cake pan and platter together; lift off cake pan. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours; then cut into pieces and serve.

                        1. re: Calipoutine

                          Thank you so much! I have another pineapple - "on sale 2 for $5" and we love it. I am going to make this for the BBQ tomorrow!!! quick question are you using fresh coconut milk and shredded or canned and bagged?

                          1. re: chef chicklet


                            I used canned coconut milk and shredded coconut( in the bag).

                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                So, I'm dying to hear how it turned out!!

                                1. re: Calipoutine

                                  I am making this today! I have had some set backs around here, and this stinkin heat has had me sort of lazy!
                                  I do need to use the pineapple TODAY, thanks for the nudge!!!

                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                    I cut the pineapple, its really ripe and has a really good flavor.
                                    I cooked the topping, the pineapple is like candy. As soon as we finish dinner, I'll finish the cake (106 degrees) in the convection oven in my garage. I can see how the addition of coconut is going to be so good, the fresh pineapple is delish!
                                    (I have to quit eating it or there won't be any!)

                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                      Calipoutine, I have the cake in the oven and it should be done in about 35mins. No kidding! what a thick batter! Had you not wrote that in the recipe I think I probably would of thought I did something wrong. In a 9 in cake pan, there was barely enough batter to make it to the edge. I'm sure it will be just fine, the batter in itself is tasty! The fruit topping is to die for, and now I see what you mean about fresh...I can't wait to cut into into it.With the addition of coconut cream and coconut meat, it smells mighty good! I am so tickled, my hubby is in for a very special treat tonight! I'm going to make some whipped cream topping too. Might as well just go for it ya know?

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        I have to report that I must of done something really wrong with this recipe.. I followed the instruction, and baked the cake in my convection oven. For whatever reason the cake would not not bake. I pulled it out at the suggested 45 min, and tested it with a toothpick, it seemed ok. I let it rest, and then flipped it out of the cake pan on to a cake plate. However, I noticed right away that the cake was thinnish/ about half the height of my usual version (the baking powder was a new can). Hmmmmm.. so I peeked underthe fruite and tasted the cake part. It was not cooked at all, it was undercooked like pancake batter. Rats. So I carefully reflipped it and put it back in the pan and cooked it a little longer. After another 30 minutes later I tested it again, and it was still not like a cake consistency.

                                        I've made pies and cakes, muffins and many other baked items in that oven and never had this problem with things not cooking! In fact I made a couple of small pizzas in it the night before and the cook time was right on target.

                                        But the good news! It came out more like a cobbler ( we love cobbler!). I can only think that there was so much juice in the pineapple that it changed the baked mix. The taste was just fantastic, so flavor wise, a real winner, my son gobbled it up saying "I don't know what you're problem is Mom it's fine!", so please don't get me wrong. (half is gone this morning)

                                        Analytical peson that I am I back tracked my steps at around 11:30pm last night, comparing your recipe ingredients/amounts/process to the one I usually use with canned pineapple. The recipes are very similar! In mine I use milk, yours-coconut milk, yours has 1/4 cup more flour and and an extra egg white. The color of the batter lighter, but really thick. I was so bummed. I did drain the pineapple after being cooked like you said to, so maybe I just had a really juicy pineapple that when baking it gave more juice. That's all I can think it could be?

                                        Do you have a picture of your cake? Do you think that the juice from the fresh pineapple might be what caused the batter to be so loose? did drain the pineapple when I made the topping..., I sure wish it would of come out as you've described, the addition of coconut is really good by the way.

                                        I'm sure one of the experience bakers on ch will not exactly what the problem is......

                2. My mother used to use an angel foodcake pan. I think she buttered and floured the pan.