Monday, August 24, 2009

The Fresh Version

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!

Fresh Pineapple & Strawberry Upside-Down Cake from Martha's Baking Handbook
  • 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!


Coleens Recipes said...

Yum, yum, yum. Your cakes looks luscious and I am totally impressed with your photographs these days. They are ultra-professional!!

Mermaid Sews said...

Yummers, never made a pinnaple upside down cake before, but this makes me totally want to.

Mar Varela said...

Look great! with pinnaple and strawberry is absoluty delicious... I hope you understand me because my english is not good
A kiss from Spain

Donna-FFW said...

Wow! Another gorgeous beautiful post. I love how you showed how to set this up. And the description of the fluffy vanilla cake makes me want to run out and try it.

Heather S-G said...

I remember wanting to make Coleen's I want to make this...fresh pineapples are ever so superior to canned! And I like it with the strawberries, too. MMMMM. Those are some sky-high cakes...not sure, but I'll keep my eyes peeled!

Bunny said...

I love pineapple upside down cake. I always just used canned pineapple and cherries, your totally fresh cake looks wonderful!!

vanillasugarblog said...

oh yeah way better than cherries! your photos are so good woman. you've really become such a talented photographer with food.
I can't wait for the cool down to come and start baking again. It's been 70% dew point for the last two weeks, tropical.

Smitten Sugar said...

What a great idea! They are my 2 favorite fruits as well, dont know why I never thought of it before! Pics look amazing!

Lissaloo said...

Beautitul, it sounds so good, definitely not with the mango though, mango is meant to be eaten raw. Did you look at cake carriers at Micheal's craft store? I think there were a couple different styles at mine last I went :)

Amanda from Faith, Food and Family said...

I LOVE pineapple upside-down cake! This looks yummy!
God bless,

cjvierow said...

Hi Monica--The cake looks sooooo good!!! I also suggest trying Michaels or Hobby Lobby for a carrier. A trick I used when I took cake decorating classes and later to transport decorated cakes to clients--I went to JoAnn's to the upholstry/pillow making section, used a 40% off coupon, bought a heavy duty sponge rubber pad about 4 inches thick and 3 or 4 feet long. Used a bread knife to cut a square about 18 X 18 or so. Save the rest for other sizes you'll need. Put a little frosting blob on the plate before you put down your first cake layer, then proceed as usual. The sponge rubber "platform" keeps the plate from sliding around and the "icing blob" keeps the cake on the plate. It's not hard to carry if the foam is nice and thick. I never did buy a carrier--just used my trusty sponge pads. Have fun with your classes.

Denise said...

This is so bookmarked. I love the strawberries instead of cherries. Great pics.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

I've never had upside down pineapple cake. Off the bat, the best thing about this cake is that the fruit is placed at the bottom of the pan to begin with. No worries about my fruit sinking. :)

vanillasugarblog said...

do you remember me trying to find a recipe for you (well many)? I found one, finally. It was one of those dessert bombs that Ina made. Well, I found one almost like it from MS. Finally.

Kim said...

Looks beautiful with the strawberries. My mom bought me a very large plastic cupcake carrier with locking tabs on each side. It is rectangular with 3 removable and stackable inserts. Each insert holds 12 cupcakes. You can remove all inserts and carry a very large cake (not sure about sky high) instead of cupcakes. I have found this carrier to be the most-used carrier in my pantry just because it works well with muffins, cupcakes, and most cakes or even pies. I'm not sure who makes it though.

Cathy said...

Wow,,yummo looking.. My family loves pineapple upside down cake so I will have to try this. thanks for the idea.

Palidor said...

I didn't know pineapple upside down cake had cherries in it. Guess I must not have been eating the real thing! But I like your idea of using strawberries much better.

Maria said...

Beautiful! I just found out I am allergic to pineapple though. So sad!

Foodiewife said...

You are an angel, my dear! I have a ripe, fresh pineapple waiting to become something wonderful. I absolutely LOVE pineapple upside down cake. Though (don't gasp) I happen to love Red Dye, icky sweet maraschinos. Forgive me. Love this recipe! I have to make it!

Mimi said...

Timing is everything... On our visit to the nursing home yesterday, visiting my children's former baby sitter, she announced that for her 85th birthday, she wanted a pinapple upside down cake. Now I know which one I'll be making for her.

Linda said...

Your blog is beautiful!!
This pineapple upside down cake looks delish!!

I read your story. My daughter and SIL tried acupuncture after much heartache themselves. We now have a gorgeous 18 month old granddaugher and another due in April. My prayers are with you both. Keep the faith.

Spryte said...

Yum! That sounds delicious!!

Molly Jean said...

Do you have a Michael's in your town? They have an air tight cake caddy that would be perfect! That is what I did when I took the Wilton courses (and I took them at Michael's).

Your cake looks amazing. What a genius idea to use strawberries!

Sophie said...

I love that you used strawberries, definitely better than jarred sweet cherries (though I have a soft-spot for them sometimes too :). I love cake and this is one of my favorites.

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