Friday, December 01, 2006

pecans & pineapple, southern style

what could be better than pineapple & pecans dripping in butter and brown sugar, all enveloped in a warm vanilla-scented soft buttermilk cake? not much, if you have a sweet tooth.

this cake is an old time favourite, especially in the south of the united states. it is easily whipped up, baked, and eaten, perhaps as quickly as it was made!

best served warm, it tastes great with vanilla ice cream along side it or thick crème fraîche to complement its sweetness. you can also serve it with a thick mediterranean style yogourt or whipped cream. plain is good too. but why? :0

pineapple pecan upside-down cake


3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 can pineapple rings, drained
whole pecans

1/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c white sugar
1 egg
1/2 c buttermilk

1/2 c AP flour
1/2 c cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla


preheat oven to 375 F

in an 8 inch pan square or round, spread the melted butter. place the brown sugar on top and spread evenly. pack down. place as many pineapple rings as will fit. in between the pineapple rings and in the middles of them, place pecans. set this aside. i cut up an extra pineapple to put in but you can add more pecans instead. it's a tight fit.

in a bowl, mix together the two flours, the baking powder and soda and salt. mix well. in another bowl, cream the butter and sugar well and then add the egg. mix again and add the buttermilk. then add the flour mix and beat til incorporated.

put this on top of the pineapple mixture and bake for about 35 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick shows it is cooked.

remove from oven and let sit for about 3 minutes. take a cake stand or plate big enough and put it on top of the cake pan. carefully flip it over quickly and wait for it to fall against the plate or stand.

enjoy while warm. serve with whipped cream or crème fraîche. this cake, unlike some other versions of it, is still actually extremely good the next day if well wrapped.

note: this can be made parve with soy milk curdled with 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar [to substitute for buttermilk] & margarine.

update 2007: for a different way to make this cake, try using extra large muffin tins and replacing the pecans with the classic maraschino cherries such as one person did who tried this and photographed it beautifully (thanks papercrane!).


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love pineapple upside-down! As a child, it was one of my favorite supper meals...
Instead of cream, try pouring unsweetened condensed milk over it. Delicious!

burekaboy — said...

ha rosa! did you mean dessert or meal?? i could make it a meal ;P

never thought of sweetened condensed milk. sounds like it would be really good :-) and extra sugary!!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I eat it as a meal, in the evening (souper). Do use UNSWEETENED condensed milk, otherwise you'll choke (too sugary) on your slice!!!

burekaboy — said...

tu sais, je pense que c'est quelque chose tres suisse manger des affaires comme ca pour le souper. on mangeait souvent (comme) une tarte/gateau des abricots; une espece de clafouti. je me rapelle mes amis non europeans etaient toujours etonnes qu'on a mangé que ca avec une soupe. ils pensaient que c'etait le dessert! lol.

ha, i don't even think you can buy unsweetened here. never saw it in the stores. only sweetened condensed.

Chanita Harel חני הראל said...

לא טעמתי אף פעם אבל נראה יופי

aja said...

Hey BB,
Carnation (Elsie the Cow) makes unsweetened condensed milk that I know used to be easily available in Canada. This upside down cake looks gorgeous!

burekaboy — said...

חנית -
האם אף פעם לא טעמת עוגה הזאת, צריכה לנסות אותה יום אחד

you will LOVE it!

aja - hey thanks for that info. i've never seen it. then again, i have never wanted to use the unsweetened version.

Cheryl said...

Delicious cake! My son and I made it for dinner tonight using maraschino cherries instead of pecans - very festive! J (my son) has multiple special needs and baking is one of the things he's good at and really enjoys. I'm always looking for easy recipes we can make together. Thanks for posting this one. Definitely a keeper!

burekaboy — said...

hi ostara - thank you so much for the feedback. i am thrilled to hear you and J both really enjoyed it. mine never lasts long, it's just that good :P even better is that this cake will still be perfect the next day or two [others i have tried in the past just don't fare well the next day]. the buttermilk really adds alot to it. i forgot to mention the maraschino cherry option.

keep checking back, i like easy recipes, too. J would probably like making the peanut butter cookies i posted as those are easy beyond belief -- only 3 ingredients!

and the best part is that you get to eat the fruits of your labour. always my favourite part :-]

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes that looks scrumptious. I need to go buy some pineapple and cake flour pronto.

burekaboy — said...

miss sassy - hey there :D it IS as good as it looks! now RUN and get your pineapple and cake flour!! LOL.

thanks for the visit and comment.

Unknown said...

Hey....i m a newbie as far as baking is concerned...came across ur site,luvd dis pineapple cake recipe...tried it...d taste came out very well...except tht mine dint rise a loot....d cake has turned out to be veryyyy smoooth....but not risen beyond d quantity i put in d oven??? can i know y?? i did not use butter as i dint hav it...used canola oil instead....dats d only change i made....plss'll help me in my further baking expeditions....thnks...lovely recipe...

burekaboy — said...

hi jyoti - thank you for trying out the recipe and leaving me your feedback about it.

i am glad to hear that you liked it. it sounds like you got the right results from your baking experiment with this recipe -- the cake does NOT rise a lot and it also has a smooth texture, so you get 100% LOL :) as i am sure you saw, the batter is also very thick. it should, however, rise a little bit unless your baking powder was old and no longer active. sometimes people keep it for long amounts of time and it loses its rising power. using a double acting type baking powder, if you can get it, is better. double acting means it rises a bit in the batter and then again in the heat of the oven.

if you want/ed, you can also double the amount of the ingredients for the cake batter to get a larger cake but leave the amount for the topping the same unless you use a larger pan. the cake will probably have to bake longer if you double the amount for the batter. just test it with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean from the center point.

baking is a bit like chemistry. if you change things in the recipe you will end up with a little different results from the original. also, the steps need to be followed carefully as it's not the same as cooking.

upside down cakes like this one do not typically rise a tremendous amount (at least all the ones i know about).

i have never tried using oil instead of butter for this one but it would work. i often change recipes to use oil in place of butter but in general it does NOT always work. using margarine instead would be a better substitute. also 1 Tbsp of butter is equal to 7/8 tsp of oil, so just a little less, like a drop or two but in small amounts like in this recipe, it doesn't really matter that much.

i hope that makes sense to you! the only thing i'd say is that next time try it using butter to see the difference in taste as oil does not come close to the flavour of butter.

if you need help with baking and/or cooking things, you can always ask or email me. i'd be happy to try to help.

burekaboy — said...

jyoti, forgot to say that because it is a very heavy batter and there is not a lot of baking powder and soda, it won't rise too much.

Unknown said...

hi bureka boy,
thnk u sooo much fer taking out ur time and leaving sucha detail ans....i got wat u trying to u sed,i get 100 cos its very smooth nd its risen a lil :)
nyways....thnks again...will try wid butter dis husband finished d entire cake yest :) by the way...m going to try Apple cake 2day...wish me luck :)....bubbyeee
PS:hey,do u hav ny recipes fer cakes,muffins tht can b diabetic dad is a diabetic and he loveesss juss substituting d sugar wid Splenda or another sweetener wud do justice???? or ny other changes as well??? do u hav ny idea on tht?? thnks...bye

burekaboy — said...

jyoti - you're very welcome; i just realized that in the pictures there is a shot of the risen cake after it has baked. usually it rises more in the middle and you'll get a crack (that part is normal). so, next time you try this, see if that happens. another thing is to make sure your oven is at the right temperature because sometimes an oven says it's at the right temp but it's not. it's always a good idea to have an oven thermometer which you can get for 3 or 4 dollars from the hardware store or a place like walmart or target.

the apple cake is VERY large, jyoti, and it is a sweet cake. it's also a little trickier so make sure to read all the instructions well and use the right kind of cake pan. if you want a smaller cake you can cut the recipe in half. this cake, i find, also tastes even better the day after it is baked.

this is an easy muffin recipe which has very little sugar in it. i'm sure you can replace it w/ splenda.

i usually just make six from it even though you can make 12 smaller ones. only thing is be sure to have the oven preheated and ready once you put the batter in the pan.

not sure if you like oatmeal but this is a super simple, quick and plain (but tasty) muffin. you can add blueberries or nuts, too. it's up to you.

oatmeal muffins

* 1 cup flour
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup oatmeal (rolled NOT instant)
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 1 cup milk
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 12 muffin tin or a 6 large one with shortening. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oatmeal, stir to mix. Mix in egg, milk, and oil, stirring only to moisten. Fill muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.

Pdk said...

Hi Bureka..
ur pineapple upside down cake looks so yummy... i was to make it eggless... what would u suggest? i want to try baking a cake for my hubby's bday... do u suggest this or the eggless chocolate cake with whipped cream? which is more tasty and feels special? this pineapple upside cake is so beautiful that i cant stop staring at it...
Priya Dilip

burekaboy — said...

priya - hi there :D thanks for your nice comment and stopping by.

in answer to your question, yes, you can make this cake without the egg; here are 2 methods:

use 1/4 c of applesauce to replace the egg and and increase the baking powder to 1 tsp. all should be fine.

my preferred replacement, however is this: you need 1 tbsp of GROUND flaxseed (buy at health food store and grind yourself) and mix it with 3 tbsp of hot water. let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. it will become very thick. use this to replace the egg and continue with recipe. make sure to grind the flaxseed to a powder.

i don't know if you know already (you probably do) that there is something called ener-g egg replacer which is totally vegan and vegetarian. you can get it at healthfood stores.

the chocolate cake is also a very nice choice, especially with whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries :))

i say maybe try the pineapple upside cake since you like how it looks. the pineapple and the brown sugar and butter make it extra moist and delicious. LOL, you can always find another excuse to make the chocolate cake for another time! )) much depends on personal preference however.

hope this helps, priya.

would love to hear which you choose and how it turns out :) if you have other questions, just ask. i will try to help.