A couple months ago I saw a pineapple upside-down cupcake on A Baked Creation. But this was no ordinary upside down cake. It was made with fresh pineapple and strawberries instead of sugary jarred cherries. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? I mean duh! strawberries are my favorite fruit and I've never been known to pass up a slice of pineapple upside-down cake! Ever. So this was immediately put on the very top of my "to make" list.
Funny thing...she got the recipe from Martha's Baking Handbook, which I already owned but looked past because the original recipe was made with mango. I like mangoes but the final product didn't appeal to me. I like mango fresh and raw not cooked. So I set off to my kitchen a couple days later only to find out that Coleen of Coleen's Recipes has posted a fresh pineapple upside down cake the same day!
It was fate. And it was delicious. The cake was fluffy and buttery with a pronounced vanilla flavor and the fruit was sweet and so much tastier than canned. And it was pretty and a great way to use up summer produce. I highly recommend you make this cake using your favorite fruit before summer comes to an end!
- 1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
- 1 medium ripe pineapple (about 3 1/2 lbs), peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 4 large strawberries, hulled, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-by-8-inch cake pan, line it with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds from centers of four of the pineapple slices. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out the centers of each of the four rounds, and discard; set rings aside. Finely chop enough of the remaining pineapple to yield 1/2 cup (reserve remainder for another use). Place chopped fruit in a fine sieve set over a bowl to drain.
Cut the 4 strawberries in half lengthwise. Using the 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out 8 rounds from strawberry halves and set aside. Discard or eat the scraps.
In a large bowl, beat 2 tablespoons butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, evenly spread butter mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan; set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside. Place a reserved pineapple ring in each corner of the prepared pan. Place a reserved strawberry round in the center of each ring (the pretty red side down). (You should have 8 strawberry rounds. Place 4 in the middle of the pineapple rings, then cut the others in half or in quarters to fill in the gaps on the sides and corners of the pan).
In your bowl, beat remaining stick of butter with granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer on lowest speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
Transfer the chopped pineapple to cake pan; discard juice. Using a small offset spatula, carefully spread fruit in an even layer on top of cut-out fruit, making sure to fill all the empty spaces, including any gaps in the corners. Using the offset spatula, spread batter evenly over fruit.
Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Invert onto a cake plate; peel off the parchment paper.
Serve cake slightly warm or at room temperature.
Makes 1 8-inch cake.
Wait, I have a question for you: I'm looking to buy a cake carrier so I can transport my cakes to and from my Wilton class. I have a stainless steel and glass vintage version but it's not airtight and the lid just sits on the cake plate so unless you're holding it in place (during transport) the lid can slide off and mess up the cake. I need a cake caddy with a locking lid that is big enough to house my sky high cakes (10"wide x 5"high).
Any suggestions/recommendations would be helpful!