Best Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that Ever Came out of a Box

I’ve posted this recipe before, in my “Let’s Pack a Perfect Picnic Together”. But it’s worth a second post. There’s something about summertime and Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that seem to go hand in hand. The beauty of Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake it that it packs up so well. No need to worry about droopy frosting on a warm summer’s day. No need to stress over pudding or cream desserts spoiling in the summer sun. You can bake the cake as Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cupcakes, which is fun.

I’ve seen recipes that use square baking pans. I’ve seen recipes that use large cake pans. Me? Hey, I’m my father’s daughter – nothin’ beats a good cast iron skillet! It’s great because you can melt all that butter and create a wonderful brown sugar topping when the cake is inverted. The cake cooks evenly and comes out super moist. I like to add walnut or pecans to the cake for two reasons – it looks pretty and it tastes good. The nuts become like little candied jewels in the brown sugar.

pineapple cake mixNow I like to bake from scratch, but certain cake mixes, when “doctored”, are not only convenient, but yummy. And what really counts is flavor, right? You can use either a yellow cake or pineapple flavored cake. The pineapple flavored cake become intensified when you add pineapple juice to the batter. The yellow cake becomes more rich, although not nearly as intense. The choice is up to you. My mix of choice is the is Duncan Hines

Pineapple Up-Side-Down Cake
6 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
Walnuts or Pecans (optional)
1 Can pineapple rings, drained, reserving pineapple juice
Maraschino cherries
1 Box Yellow or Pineapple Cake Mix
1/2 Cup of Oil
3 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Pour about 1 tablespoon or so olive oil into the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. With a pastry brush, spread the oil over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. You’ll want the oil more over the sides to help release the cake.

Over low heat, melt butter in a 9-inch cast iron skillet, thoroughly covering the surface. Remove the skillet from heat. Add brown sugar, mix with butter to dissolve, then spread to coat bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Arrange 7 pineapple slices in a single layer in the skillet (your 9-inch skillet should accommodate 7 slices without overlapping). Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each slice. Place whole walnut or pecans between the pineapple slices if desired. Set skillet aside until ready to use.

Place eggs and oil in a mixing bowl. Beat until well blended. Measure reserved pineapple juice and add enough water to make 1 cup of liquid. Add to eggs, beat 1 minute. Add cake mix, beat on low 30 seconds to blend, increase speed to medium-high and beat 2 minutes.

Gently pour cake batter evenly over pineapple slices, taking care not to disturb the arrangement of the rings. Bake cake for 35-40 minutes. Cool the cake in the skillet for no more than 10 minutes; run a thin knife between the edge of the cake and the skillet to help loosen, then invert it onto a serving plate.

Serve, sit back and enjoy the wonderful pineapple flavor!

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