This cake came about because of ripe pineapples on sale at the produce store. Golden (not green) and fragrant, so ready to eat, but I had way more pineapple than I needed. I also had some oranges that were not getting any younger, so why not experiment with flavors? What to do? Smoothies? Muffins? Cake!
Fresh fruit makes a world of difference here. Ripe sweet pineapple marries so well with the brown sugar glaze, and the cake is moist and delicious, soaking in the fruity juices and rich sugar. Wonderful with whipped cream.
My first attempt was really quite successful as far as taste goes, but some of the fruit stuck to the pan when I flipped it, so it was kinda messy looking. No biggie . . . Sissy knew how to fix that.
Keep your cake from sticking to the pan:
Cut a parchment paper to fit the pan you are using. Grease the pan with a tiny bit of butter or shortening (enough to help the paper stick well), lay the paper in, and smooth it out.
Put the cake together as usual (butter and brown sugar, then the fruit, then the batter). When you flip it over after baking, gently peel off the parchment and voilá! Perfectly pretty pineapple upside-down cake.
Pineapple-Orange Upside-Down Cake
4 Tbs butter (melted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
fresh pineapple rings
A few raspberries (cherries are classic)
1/3 cup shortening (or softened butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 tsp salt
Juice of 2 oranges +1 TBS orange zest
Peel, core, and slice the pineapple into rings.
Preheat oven (350° F) and line the bottom of a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
Pour melted butter in pan and tilt to coat evenly. Mix 1/2 of the orange zest with brown sugar; sprinkle it over melted butter in the pan. Lay pineapple slices in rows, and add decorative raspberries in the center of each ring.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut in a bowl. In another bowl, mix shortening, sugar, vanilla, and egg until combined, then add dry ingredients. Add orange juice and remaining zest and mix well.
Pour batter into pan, covering the fruit to edges of pan.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
Let the cake cool briefly, then carefully flip it onto a plate. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides of the cake. Place a plate upside down on top of the pan, use potholders to grip the plate and pan together, then turn it upside down. Lift the pan and remove the parchment paper from the cake.
Give it a sprinkle of Gran Marnier for a deliciously boozy boost.
Serve with sweetened whipped cream.