I remember being fascinated watching my mom make this when I was younger, Melting the butter in the pan, putting in all the brown sugar and then carefully placing all of those round pineapple o’s in a design with a cherry in the center of each one. I hated when she would put walnuts on the top (My tastes have matured, I love the walnuts or pecans now!) and luckily every now and then she would forget to put the nuts on top just for me.
Well it’s my turn to make this cake now, and with all this extra time on my hands lately I felt like I would try and make it a little EXTRA special. So I decided I would use fresh pineapple, and instead of a box cake I thought it would be nice to use a genoise sponge cake. Since my genoise sponge cake recipe makes two cakes, I thought it would be fun to change things up a little bit with the topping of one of the cakes. One traditional and something a little different
Genoise Cake is probably my favorite cake of all time. It’s history is long and I am just amazed that this cake is pretty much all naturally leavened. The egg whites you fold in are what cause the cake to rise. Nowadays we add a little bit of baking powder just for insurance sake. Once upon a time though, this cake was baking powder free and really relied on the skill of the baker to insure it success.
I chose this cake because all of the butter and brown sugar and juices from the fruit will soak right into the cake and help keep it nice and tender. The name Genoise Sponge cake, yep it pretty much is a cake that will soak up anything just like a sponge. Whatever flavor you decide, in this case we are just using the fruit from the top – the pineapples, cherries and caramel from the brown sugar and butter.
Another thing that is so important for cakes like this, where you are baking the design into the cake. You must spray the cake pan well with non-stick spray. I really like the ones made for baking, they usually are mixed with some kind of flour. Bakers Joy is my ultimate favorite. But when I can’t find it, something with flour will do! (If I can’t get bakers joy I usually cheap out and get the most generic el cheapo baking spray I can get)
So I made a very traditional Pineapple upside down cake – One that had Pineapples, Cherries, and Nuts. It came out beautifully, the colors were so vibrant and it really did soak up all the juices from the fruit.
I also thought that it would be nice to make a cake using some of the fruits I had around. Specifically, Blueberries and Strawberries. Now this cake ended up baking out just the way I wanted, EXCEPT, the strawberries really lost their color during the baking process. They became an insipid color that I really didn’t care for. Now I am the only person who noticed this, and it really doesn’t matter. In the future though, I think I would choose to go with a Red Raspberry instead of a Strawberry. I feel like the color of the top of the cake would be amazing with this change.
What do you think? Do you like Pineapple Upside Down Cake?