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We celebrated my husband’s birthday this past weekend.   I always bake a cake on his birthday and this year I decided to bake a pineapple upside down cake. Pineapple Upside Down Cake-1-10

It’s something I’ve baked for him when we first met 16 years ago and it was his absolute favorite. Pineapple Upside Down Cake-1-2 I mean it’s pineapple that’s caramelized in brown sugar atop a sweet cake—what’s not to love?  I’ve made many pineapple upside down cakes over the year, some with a cake mix and others from scratch but none as good as this.   Pineapple Upside Down Cake-1-3This buttery cake has an ingredient I’ve never seen used in any other recipe and that’s cardamom.   I’ve always added nutmeg since I love the combination of nutmeg and pineapple and was pleasantly surprised once cardamom was added to the mix.   Pineapple Upside Down Cake-1-9It’s the perfect amount of the spice and the smell is out of this world.  This cake was amazing and the birthday boy approved!

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

For the Topping:

1 20 oz can pineapple rings in juice

¾ stick butter (6 tbsp)

¾ cup light brown sugar

Maraschino cherry

For the Batter:

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¾ stick butter (6 tbsp) at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp dark rum

½ cup pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the topping:

Place butter and sugar in a small pot over medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until the butter is melted.  Pour into a 9 inch cake pan and spread to form an even level.   Next cut 6 pineapple slices in half.  Place a whole pineapple slice in the middle of the cake pan, then place the half slices around the pineapple slice to form a pattern.  Place a maraschino cherry in the center and add on the outside as little or as many as you like.  Set aside.

To make the batter:

Sift flour, cardamom, nutmeg, baking powder and salt into a bowl.   Next beat the softened butter until light and fluffy and then mix in the sugar.   Next add eggs one at a time making sure to beat well before adding the next egg.

Next add vanilla and rum and mix.  Then add half of the flour on a low speed and mix until incorporated.  Add pineapple juice and mix in then add the remaining half of the flour and mix until incorporated.

Spoon batter over pineapple in prepared pan and spread evenly.   Place the cake in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown.  To test if the cake is done, stick a toothpick in the center of the cake.  If the toothpick is clean then the cake is done.   Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.   Run a knife around the edge of the cake then invert the cake onto a serving plate.   Serve warm.