perfect pineapple upside-down cake

So… I have a funny story about pineapple upside down cake. My grandpa was born on June 9, and for my whole life up until he passed away when I was 18, we would go to my grandparents’ house for his birthday, and my grandma would make two cakes: a german chocolate cake, and a pineapple upside down cake. It seemed to just be the natural order of things: grandpa’s birthday = those two cakes. When I was a kid I hated coconut, so I always asked for a slice of the pineapple upside down cake, and savored every bite of it. Fast forward to when I got married, and I had the super great idea of collecting some of my favorite family recipes and making them into a cookbook. When I asked my grandma for her pineapple upside down cake recipe, she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Um… can’t you read a box?”

Since then I’ve been on the lookout for an awesome homemade recipe that could match that wondrous taste from my childhood (that it turns out came from a box). And I finally found it! I love how moist and flavorful the cake is, and the juicy caramelized pineapple on top is pretty much just awesome. Add some whipped cream and a maraschino cherry or two, and it’s pineapple upside-down perfection!

Perfect Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
adapted from Susie Freaking Homemaker

for the cake:
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 stick of butter, melted or really soft
1 tsp. vanilla

for the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter, melted
pineapple rings (I used a large can plus a small can)

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 12 jumbo size muffin wells or two 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Whisk together the cake ingredients until well blended, and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and butter, making sure that no dry spots remain. Spoon mixture into muffin tins or cake pans, spreading evenly and being sure to distribute evenly. If using muffin tins, place one ring in each well; if using cake pans, arrange evenly in the bottom of each pan. Pour the cake mixture over the top. filling 3/4 of the way full. Bake 25 minutes for the muffin tins or 30-35 minutes for the cake pans, or until golden brown on top. Quickly after removing, run a knife around the edge of each cake to release it from the sides of the pan. Let cool for a few minutes, and then invert onto a plate or platter. Enjoy!

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