This pineapple upside-down cake is one of my father’s favorite recipes (he’ll look for almost any excuse to make it). The cake is wonderfully dense, with a slight almond flavor and with sweetness from caramel and pineapple. Dad has recently changed the way he makes the caramel topping, so I’ve added this alternative approach as an addendum to the instructions.
- 1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp cake flour
- 6 Tbsp of ground almonds (from about 2 oz of whole almonds)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups of sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sour cream
1 Start by making the caramel topping. Take brown sugar and butter and combine and melt in a saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly, this should take several minutes. (After sugar melts, don't stir.) Pour mixture into a 10 inch diameter stick-free cake pan with 2 inch high sides. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer ontop of the caramel mixture.
2 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Whisk the flours, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition. Pour cake batter over caramel and pineapple in pan.
3 Bake cake until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 12 to 14 servings.
* Note an alternative topping that my father is favoring these days. 2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup butter. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until all sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Boil until syrup becomes warm amber in color (about 10 minutes). Add 1/4 cup butter, carefully as it will foam up a bit. Swirl the pan so that the butter is all incorporated, stirring with a wooden spoon if necessary. Remove from heat and pour out into cake pan. Continue with recipe as noted.