- The term ‘upside down cake’ wasn’t used very much before the middle of the 19th century, but the style of baking probably dates back much further, probably to the Middle Ages.
- The early recipes for fruit upside down cakes were made in cast iron skillets on top of the stove.
- The classic American ‘Pineapple Upside Down Cake’ dates to sometime after 1903, when Jim Dole invented canned pineapple.
- The Hawaiian Pineapple Co. (now Dole Pineapple) held a pineapple recipe contest in 1925, with judges from Fannie Farmer’s School, Good Housekeeping and McCall’s magazine on the judging panel. The 100 winning recipes would be published in a cookbook the following year.
- The Hawaiin Pineapple Company ran an ad campaign in 1926 based on the fact that so many recipes for the cake had been submitted, naturally making the Pineapple Upside Down Cake even more popular.
- Caribbean Indians placed pineapples or pineapple crowns outside the entrances of their homes to symbolize friendship and hospitality.
- The Spanish explorers thought pineapples looked like pinecones, so they called them “Pina.” The English added “apple” to associate it with juicy delectable fruits.
- Pineapple, “halakahiki” in Hawaiian, meaning foreign fruit, has been grown in Hawaii since the early 1800’s.
1 1/4 cups water (for cake mix)
1/2 cup butter, melted (for cake mix)
1/2 cup butter (for topping)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
Whipped cream for garnish, if desired
9 maraschino cherries 9 without stems (optional)
9 slices pineapple from 14-ounce can, drained
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray bottom and sides of 9 inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/2 cup butter into baking dish and melt in oven. Remove from oven and sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange pineapple rings over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple ring.
Prepare cake mix with water, 1/2 cup melted butter and eggs according to package directions. Divide in half. Pour half (about 2 cups) over pineapple and cherries. Use other half as desired (bake separately or use in second upside-down cake recipe).
Bake cake at 350° F for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture drizzles over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.