Dave made this cake for a July 4 celebration at our friends’ house, and I am pretty sure it is the most beautiful thing to come out of our kitchen, ever.
Making a pineapple upside down cake has several steps to it, but the one that scared me the most was transferring the cake from the cast iron skillet to the cake stand. Somehow, it came out totally flawless. I chalk that one up to perfect execution by Dave. There was nothing to improve here.
This is Alton Brown’s recipe. No adjustments needed!
You will need:
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 slices canned pineapple in heavy syrup
- 6 cherries – I don’t really recommend maraschino as the original recipe called for
- 3 tablespoons syrup from canned pineapple
- 3 whole eggs
- 1 cup AP flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Microwave the milk for a minute or so to bring it to a boil, and then add it to the cornmeal (or vice versa) and sitr. Allow to sit and soak for 30 minutes- basically, while you do the next few steps.
Melt the butter completely in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat (the pan size IS important because you will be baking the whole cake in it later). Next, add the brown sugar and whisk until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and place the pineapple rings delicately in the sugar in a flower pattern, as shown in the photos. Place a cherry in the center of each.. Drizzle pineapple juice over top.
Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs just a bit, and then add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Next, add the canola oil, still whisking to smoothness. And finally, add the cornmeal/milk mixture from the beginning. Again, whisk to combine.
Add this to the flour and stir again until combined. Pour the mixture over the fruit in the skillet, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and after cooling for 30 minutes, invert the cake onto a plate. Do this with a partner if you can – the cake in the cast iron skillet will be HEAVY. Place the plate upside down on top of the skillet. Have one person hold the plate and the other old the pan. Carefully, slowly flip. The cake should plop right onto the plate, but don’t give it any extra space so it can’t get off course.
I still can’t believe how perfect it was. And it tasted better than it looked. Make one for your next gathering with friends… I feel like this is one of those things that goes on your home cooking bucket list.