(Photo courtesy of Duncan Hines)
While pineapples aren’t grown commercially in
Virginia—at least not until ’s Extension specialists start to experiment with them—fresh pineapples are often available in grocery stores. And if they’re not, you can find them on the canned fruit aisle. Virginia State University
I recommend buying some pineapple so you can properly celebrate National Pineapple Upside-down Cake Day, which is today.
According to some historians, the term “upside-down cake” first began appearing in the late
1800s. Until then, this type of cake was referred to as a skillet cake, which was made on top of the stove in a cast-iron skillet.
The first upside-down cakes were made with apples and cherries. In
1901, Jim Dole formed the Hawaiian Pineapple Co., and it began producing canned pineapple, which was used in upside-down cakes.
PUDC has long been one of my favorite desserts, and I’d like to share a classic recipe with you.
Cast-iron Pineapple Upside-down Cake
¼ cup butter
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
9 slices pineapple rings in juice, drained
9 maraschino cherries
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup butter, softened
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Place ¼ cup butter in a large cast-iron skillet, and place the skillet in the oven to melt the butter. Remove the skillet, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.
Arrange pineapple slices over the brown sugar, cutting some in half if needed to make them fit. Place a cherry in the center of each ring.
In a medium bowl, beat the remaining ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Then beat on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour the batter over the pineapple and cherries.