Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home

For Pan Schmear

  • One stick (4 oz) butter at room temperature
  • 1.5 Tb honey
  • 1 tsp dark rum
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

For cake

  • One can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • One stick (4 oz) butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tb granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tb plus 1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make pan schmear by mixing all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Spread 1/3 cup evenly over the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  (The remaining schmear can be saved for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)

Spread the pineapple evenly over the schmear.

Make the cake batter: begin by combining the flour and baking powder.  Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle and mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes – until light, creamy, and well combined.  With the mixer running, add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, then the milk.  Add the flour in 2 or 3 batches, making sure the mixture is well combined with each addition.

Spread the batter over the pineapple.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes.  Rotate the pan and bake another 25 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for 20 – 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a serving tray.


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