the BEST pineapple upside-down cake {or how to live dangerously without leaving your kitchen}

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So after making the delicious Hawaiian Luau Teriyaki Chicken Bowls, I had a ton of leftover pineapple in the fridge. I’ve been craving pineapple upside-down cake for a couple weeks and decided that today was the day to make one.

I put my ingredients together the same way I always do, and stupidly decided at the last minute that I didn’t need to put anything under the cake pan. I just popped it in the oven, thinking correctly, that there was plenty of room for the cake to rise so why bother with a jelly roll pan or foil? Ahem. Well, as the cake baked the batter behaved but the buttery caramel that makes this cake famous proceeded to start bubbling over onto the bottom of the oven. Luckily I caught it after only a couple Tablespoons had escaped the pan, but unfortunately it wasn’t soon enough. As soon as I opened the oven our entire kitchen (and other downstairs rooms) started to fill with the thickest smoke I’ve ever seen. I’m not kidding. I’ve never seen so much smoke! If I hadn’t been in such a lather to get the blasted stuff OUT of my house I would have taken a photo for this post as a visual cautionary tale with a caption under the picture that said, “If your cake does THIS while it’s baking, you’re doing it wrong.” My husband and I ran around the kitchen like crazy people, scraping the oven, dousing the bottom with water and paper towels, turning on fans, closing doors…. Ugh. I was a little worried that by the time we got the cake back into the oven it would be ruined or refuse to rise. As the haze subsided, I lined the rack with foil, put the cake back in the oven, closed the door, turned on the timer for the remaining half hour, and waited. Miraculously, a half hour passed without any further disasters and without having to call the fire department. The cake came out perfect.

I hope you still want to make my cake. It really and truly is the best. I swear.

Anyhoo, after it was safely out of the oven and flipped onto a jelly roll pan I started to laugh. I thought of different things to call my post and some of the stuff I came up with cracked me up. Other than what I ended up calling the post, I thought of calling it: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake {or this cake is so damn good it just may be worth risking your life for.} I don’t know why I thought that was so funny. Smoke inhalation?

Note: Use fresh pineapple for this. It makes all the difference.

~ preheat oven to 350 degrees F. ~

1/2 cup real, unsalted butter

1 and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 and 1/2 cups fresh pineapple chunks

2 and 2/3 cup all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 and 1/2 cups milk + 1 Tablespoon white vinegar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the butter in a 9×13 glass baking pan. Place pan in oven to melt it. Once melted, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter, followed by an even layer of the pineapple chunks. Set pan aside.

In the bowl of a counter top mixer, combine: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix by hand, using a wire whisk.

Add: oil, milk and vinegar mixture, eggs, and vanilla. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low for 30 seconds just to combine ingredients. Then, turn mixer to high and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl a couple times during the process. Pour batter into cake pan over pineapple.

Place cake pan on a jelly roll pan or line the rack with aluminum foil, for the love of all that is HOLY. 🙂

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a couple moist crumbs on it. Once done, remove cake from oven. Gently loosen sides of cake from pan using a butter knife. Place a clean jelly roll pan or large rectangular platter over the cake pan and carefully flip cake over while still in pan. Allow cake pan to rest over the cake for 3 minutes prior to removing it so the the caramelized brown sugar can drizzle over the top of the cake. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold with sweetened whipped cream and maraschino cherries.



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