I remember my mom making pineapple upside down cake for us all the time.  She made it in her old cast iron skillet and I remember thinking how exotic it was because it was made with Hawaiian pineapple and had those red cherries in the center of each slice.  I would always stand there in amazement when she would flip it out onto a plate and it would be all shiny and bubbly and smelled so amazing.  I can’t say that it was my favorite dessert but I loved it on those occasions when she would make it for us.

These little gems are incredibly good. While they may not stir the imagination the way my moms upside-down cake did, they sure get my mouth watering.  There is something about the smell of bubbling caramel that just makes you salivate.  These are simple to make and are an elegant dessert for a dinner party and are just big enough to satisfy that midnight sweet tooth.

I have to admit that I cheated.  I certainly wasn’t going to buy a fresh pineapple and go through the trouble to peel, core and slice it for these little cakes when perfectly adequate canned pineapple slices are available.  I’ve also made my opinions clear on buying these single use pans.  And I have to say, who is getting what for endorsing this ridiculous pineapple pan.  I can see absolutely no use for ever buying this pan.  It even seems silly to use it for these cakes when ramekins work perfectly fine.  I hope I haven’t offended anyone who went out and bought this pan to make these cakes, just my opinion here.

The pineapple slices are drained and patted dry as well as the cherries. 

The sugar, lime juice and butter are boiled to dark amber (300 degrees) and then poured evenly into the molds.  I skipped the heatproof glass container business.  Who needs another thing to wash.  The caramel is allowed to harden and then the pineapple slices are added and a cherry goes into the center of each slice.  Then on to the batter.

The egg, vanilla and part of the yogurt are mixed together and set aside.  The flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt are mixed together, then the rest of the yogurt and butter are added until the mixture is moistened.  The egg mixture is added in two additions and then the batter is spooned into the pan and into the oven they go.

cakes ready for baking

My cakes tested done after 20 minutes at 350 degrees in my convection oven.  Then they are unmolded onto serving plates and allowed to cool.

The baked cakes

 To make the caramel drizzle the sugar and part of the pinapple juice are heated to 300 degrees to make a deep amber caramel.  While the sugar is caramelizing, the remaining pinapple juice is heated.  When the sugar mixture comes to temperature it is taken off the heat and the remaining pineapple juice is added and the mixture is heated to 170 degrees and then set aside to cool.

I thought these cakes were delicious and I will certainly be making them again.  I think I may experiment and try to make just one big cake like my moms old fashioned upside down cake.  I have to admit that I didn’t particularly care for the drizzle.  I found it to have a slightly burnt aftertaste which I didn’t really mind but didn’t think it enhanced the flavor of the cake.  I enjoyed them better plain.  All in all these little beauties are a winner.

Next Up:  True Orange Genoise