Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is a classic “skillet cake” recipe. I have often made it in my big cast iron skillet, although it can also be made in a regular baking dish. My husband asks for this cake for his birthday just about every year. It reminds him of a cake his mother used to make when he was growing up. Note that this recipe will work with other fruit that can be substituted for the pineapple, so imagine and play. (A gluten-free variation is provided in the directions below.) 

For topping:
¼ c. melted butter
½ c. honey
Approximately 6 sliced pineapple rings (a 15-oz. can should do it)
For cake:
1 c. whole wheat flour (see below for gluten-free alternative)
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ c. honey 
4 eggs (separated)
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla 


First make the topping. Melt the butter and pour it into the baking dish (or skillet). Add the honey and blend it well with the butter. Drain the pineapple and lay the rings in the butter/honey mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder. For a gluten-free version of this cake, substitute the following for the whole wheat flour:  ¾ c. brown rice flour, ¼ c. teff flour, 2 tbsp. flax seed meal. Set the flour mixture aside.

Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Combine the egg yolks, honey, 1 tbsp. melted butter, and vanilla. Then fold this mixture into the beaten egg whites. Finally, fold in the flour and baking powder mixture so that all the cake ingredients are combined.

Pour the cake mixture over the topping in the baking dish (or skillet), covering it completely, and bake for 30 minutes at 350°. The gluten-free version might take a few minutes longer to bake. Insert a knife into the center to test the cake if necessary (should come out clean). Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, turn it over onto a large serving plate. Beware:  the butter and pineapple juice will run down the sides so could get messy. Leave the baking dish over the cake for a few minutes to make sure that all the topping mixture drains down into the cake.

Eat well, be well, live deliciously!

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