Monday, August 15, 2016

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake

  Usually, when you think of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, you usually think of a sheet cake with pineapple rings, and a cherry in the center of each one, correct? Well how about making it in a bundt pan instead? Clever, huh? No, this is definitely not my own idea, but it's too good not to share! Actually, I'm not even sure where I originally saw it. (probably a video on Facebook).
 So, I decided to look into it, but it seems MANY recipes use a cake mix to start. Am I the only one who still prefers to bake a cake from scratch? I mean, seriously, baking a cake from scratch is really only one or two steps more than a boxed cake mix, and the results are just SO much better!  Well, I FINALLY found a couple recipes that looked pretty good, and this was the one I picked. (Actually, I was originally gonna try a different one, but then discovered that included corn starch in the cake batter. Any idea why one would add corn starch? If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them) Anyway, this is a tweaked version of a recipe that I found on a blog called Bundt Cake Season. It uses basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand, it turned out perfectly and it got rave reviews! And of course, it's a showstopper. Just look at how beautiful it is! It's just the thing for a special occasion, but simple enough for any Sunday supper. For an added treat, try serving it with a scoop of coconut ice cream. YUM.
If you're a fan of pineapple, then I KNOW you'll love this one!

1 (20oz) can pineapple rings, drained
16 maraschino cherries

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (softened)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tbs vanilla
1 cup whole milk 
1/4 cup pineapple juice from can

1/2 cup butter
1 tbp corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Drain pineapples reserving 1/4 of the juice. Slice pineapple rings in half. Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add vanilla and pineapple juice to milk. Add sifted four mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating well after each addition.
Coat bundt pan generously with a baker's cooking spray that includes flour.
 Make the caramel by combining the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Pour into bottom of prepared pan. Stand half rings on end in the pan, then place a cherry in between each one, as shown.
Very gently spoon the cake batter over the pineapples, making sure they're still standing upright.  Bake for about 60-70 minutes or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for a good 20 minutes before inverting the cake onto a serving platter.

-When you make the caramel, it will be SCREAMING hot. Please please please be careful not to burn yourself!
-Be sure to let the cake cool in the pan for a good 20 minutes. If you invert it right out of the oven, the caramel will spill out all over the place, which is potentially dangerous and not at all what you want. At the same time, you don't want to let it cool completely in the pan, because then the caramel will stick to the pan, and your design will be ruined. You want to find that sweet spot where the caramel has set up but is still soft enough to come out of the pan in one go. 20 minutes worked perfectly for me!
-If you dump all the batter into the pan at once, you'll knock over all the pineapples like dominoes. So that's the reason for spooning it in a little at a time. Just take your time, spoon some of the batter in between each slice of pineapple, right over the cherries. Then you can go ahead and pour the rest of the batter over everything. The cherries will also help to keep everything standing up straight.
-The caramel will bubble up the sides of the pan while it's baking, so be sure to put a sheet of foil or even a baking sheet on the rack below, in case any of it bubbles over. Easy clean up!

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