Mikey asked me to make a cake for him. That's pretty rare. I told him of course I would. He is not a big fan of chocolate cake and that was all we had in the house. He had a dream about pineapple upside down cake and woke up with a craving. Robin to the rescue!
No problem. Except I haven't found the right recipe yet. I went to Betty Crocker and used one of her's with a couple of modifications. I was also happy that I would be able to use my maraschino cherries in something so soon.
I had to do some guessing when I made this because I don't actually eat it myself so the taste test only happens when it's too late. When I look at it I imagine most of the appeal is in the caramel that runs down after the cake is turned out of the pan so the first change I usually make is doubling those proportions in the recipe.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used Splenda Brown sugar blend)
1 can sliced pineapple in juice (from 14-oz can), drained (reserve)
7-9 maraschino cherries without stems, if desired
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda)
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
Heat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch cast iron skillet (or 9" square pan), melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Place back in oven for 5 minutes to melt the sugar slightly. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.
In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. I believe by using Splenda it changed the consistency quite a bit. I added about 1 tablespoon of the pineapple juice but could have added 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the juice. The batter was very thick! Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries. (Or in my case, spread it.)
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. (I knew at this point the cake wasn't great. The top was quite hard.)
Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.
My husband did not the cake at all. He said it was flavorless and dry. (Except the caramel and outside edges.)
The next day I used a yellow cake mix and instead of water used pineapple juice, 1/3 cup oil and 2 eggs. It turned out much better!