Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake @LucyBurdette

Molly and Lucy in front of defunct Duck Tour boat
LUCY BURDETTE: We've had a steady stream of visitors in Key West this winter (not a surprise, right?), most recently a quick bonus trip from our daughter. Molly was escaping the rigors of her Emergency Medicine residency and came with hopes of playing tennis, relaxing by the pool, and baking a cake. 

Baking a cake! What could be better than that request? We chose to try a pineapple upside cake because I'd come across a beauty of a pineapple at the Botanical Gardens open house over the weekend. (For sale, I mean--I didn't steal it off a tree:). 

This is an easy recipe--with two of us working on it, I'd say it took half an hour to put together. Molly talked me into using my new stand mixer--I'm still working on my relationship with that machine, after some pizza dough turned out a little tough.

1/2 fresh pineapple or canned, well-drained (not in syrup)

4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup slivered almonds (or whole maraschino cherries or pecans)

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup sugar
8 Tbsp. butter (so that makes 12 altogether)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 325. Butter a 9 inch cake pan, bottom and sides. (I used some of the butter above, figuring there's plenty in the recipe already!) Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of the pan, put it in the bottom and butter that too.

Peel and stem the pineapple; cut it into rings or whatever shape your artistic side demands.
Melt 4 oz of butter in a small pan. Add the honey and brown sugar and heat until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, sprinkle with sliced almonds, and then arrange the pineapple in the pan. 

(You can put maraschino cherries in the center if you want to be old-fashioned, or you might replace the cherries with pecans. Since I had neither on hand, we tried sliced almonds before settling the pineapple into the butter.)

Meanwhile, combine the flours and baking powder in one bowl and measure milk into a glass measuring cup.
In another bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar and vanilla and almond extracts until they are light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.

On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk until everything is mixed nicely.

Pour the batter over the fruit and nuts and bake for about 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.


Let the cake rest on a rack for at least 15 minutes. Then place your serving  plate over the top and gently invert the cake onto the platter. Ours slid out beautifully, leaving the parchment paper in the pan. Baking and cooking brings even more joy when someone's working with you, don't you think?

Speaking of joy, thanks to all the readers who bought MURDER WITH GANACHE over the past two weeks. If you haven't gotten yours yet, Duke says "why not? It's the cat's pajamas!" GANACHE can be purchased wherever books are sold.

And please stay up on all the Key West foodie news by following Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


  1. Yum! I haven't had a good pineapple upside down cake in years. Now I'm really craving one.

  2. Wow! Fresh pineapple and no maraschino cherries. That's my idea of a great cake.

    1. it was awfully good Libby:). But with that much butter and brown sugar, hard to go wrong!

  3. Thanks for the delicious foodie memory, Lucy. My partner in crime writing was captivated by your post. His grandmother baked a pineapple upside down cake (complete with retro-cherries) every Sunday. They were sprinkled with almonds, or shredded coconut, or even raisins. He talked up this cake so much I see your recipe in my future.

    ~ Cleo

    1. He's such a good guy Cleo, I bet you get a cake soon! I never thought of coconut though...

  4. Beautiful cake, Lucy. Honestly, I'm so jealous of the duck picture. Sleeveless, even! I'm so envious. Hmm, warm weather *and* a pineapple upside down cake. Does it get any better than that?


    1. I'm sorry krista:(. I shouldn't tease you guys who've had such a wearying winter...I'll send you a piece of cake, ok?

  5. Lucy, love the duck hats!!!! The cake looks lovely. And I'm thrilled that you mastered your mixer.

    Best, Daryl / Avery

    1. thanks Daryl, I think that machine and I still have some work to do!

  6. So much to love here. I want the hats and I want to see the mixer - nice formal portrait. not just a tease with the beater!

    The recipe looks mouth-watering. And it was lovely to see mother and daughter together having fun.



    1. Giggling over your formal portrait time she takes me out for a spin! xo