Ever since living in Germany and befriending a few Swedes who showed me the value of celebrating midsommer, I’ve tried to celebrate or have a party to mark some of the longest days of the year. This year, the event was a Tiki Party! I mainly decided on this months ago because I found this super cute dress on etsy, and after thinking through all potential, I decided it was a go.
Once I was set on this theme, I got excited about the mai thai’s and kitchy tropical foods that would help set the scene. I bought some tiki torches, tons of rum and landed on tropical chicken skewers, coconut ice cream and pineapple upside-down cake for the snacks.
I have been saving this recipe for over 10 years! A friend made it around the time we graduated from college, and when I was having a hard time finding a recipe online that really struck me, I went back through the depths of my email to find the recipe she’d sent me.
The cornmeal and almond extract really set this apart for me. I LOVE almond extract and the cornmeal adds great texture and a little density that makes this not your every day cake. The fruit and caramel are sweet, but the cake batter itself isn’t over the top, so it ends up being a nice balance. Seeing as that I don’t think you can say pineapple upside-down cake without thinking of kitchy 1950’s I didn’t want to stray from tradition and went circular pan, maraschino cherries and all.
It helped set the perfect scene for the part and cake was definitely the star food served (along with the ice cream, which I’ll share at some point too!).
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
- 7 pineapple rings (canned in own juice) patted dry
- 7 maraschino cherries
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 3 large eggs + 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Prepare the fruit: In a pan over medium, melt together butter and brown sugar in a pan until sugar is dissolved. Add pineapple rings and stir to coat in liquid. Arrange fruit in the bottom of a 9″ round (with high sides) baking pan, pour over remaining sugar mixture. Place a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring.
- Make the cake: In a bowl, add liquid ingredients and whisk to combine – buttermilk, eggs, egg white and extracts.
- In a separate bowl whisk to combine the dry ingredients – four, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer paddle together the sugar and butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add half the liquid ingredients, mix to combine. Turn off mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Resume the mixer on low, add half the dry ingredients, mix to combine. Add the remaining liquid then dry ingredients, mixing to combine after each addition.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl one more time and pour the batter over the fruit in the baking pan.
- Bake at for 35-50 minutes until a tooth pick inserted into the cake only comes out clean. Note: if using a spring form pan (that’s my highest sided 9″ pan) be sure to cover the bottom in foil or place a baking sheet on the rack under the pan as the caramel on the bottom will seep out a bit. The foil covering can case the baking time to be slightly longer.
- When done baking, remove from oven and let cool for 3 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto the serving plate. Continue to cool, serve warm or at room temperature.