Sunday, December 26, 2010

The party continues...

It seems that my family is participating in a marathon of baking/eating/celebrating.  Today is my son-in-law Bill's 34th birthday -- Happy Birthday Bill! -- and to celebrate I made his favorite, a pineapple upside down cake.  He loves this and I make it every year for his birthday.  Then I make sure to wrap his gift in NON-holiday paper.  It seems anti-climactic to have a birthday the day after Christmas -- talk about a tough act to follow!  So, he gets his favorite cake.  This isn't anything difficult or fancy.  For this cake, because I didn't want to spend too much more time in the kitchen after Christmas, I went the simple route.  I used a standard vanilla cake mix and instead of using water, I use the juice from a can of pineapple rings.  It's a simple cake.  The directions follow, but if you've got the energy and ambition, go ahead and make one from scratch.  I can't imagine it'd be any better than Bill's cake, which was outrageously delicious!

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE, the easy version...

1 bar butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 vanilla or yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 standard can of pineapple rings
Pineapple juice and water to equal 1 1/3 cups (there's almost a cup in a can of pineapple rings)

Mix cake mix according to package directions, substituting pineapple juice for as much water as possible, up to 1 1/3 cups.  Make up the difference with water. 

Prepare pan:

Spray a 10" round cake pan (2" sides, at least) well with vegetable spray. 

In microwave, in a microwave-safe container, melt 1 bar butter.  Pour into cake pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter.  Even out with a fork.

Place pineapple rings over butter/sugar mixture in bottom of pan.  Place a maraschino cherry in the middle of each ring.  Pour batter over pineapple and cherries, but stop adding batter when you get within an inch of the rim.  (Use the remaining batter to make a mini-cake or cupcakes.)

Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes, no more or it may stick.  Turn out onto a large plate or platter. (Place plate on top of cake, flip -- carefully! -- and remove pan.)  Allow to completely cool.

Serve with whipped cream.

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