I just love old fashioned desserts like pineapple upside down cake and what makes this one extra-special is that I use honey for the topping, instead of brown sugar, for a fresher take. Pineapple upside down cake has been around for decades and it’s something most of our mom’s used to bake, and it still has a delightful place on any dessert table. The ingredients are simple, and I did used canned pineapple, even though you could use fresh, especially if you possess one of those pineapple gadgets that remove the core so easily. Well, I don’t. So, Dole did the trick just beautifully and remains my pineapple of choice for this recipe.
The glaze is made with honey and a pat of butter or two, just melted until combined, then swirled gently in a cake pan. The pineapple rings go on top and the holes are filled with a cherry. I used Luxardo cherries (the ones I use in cocktails) because I don’t care for classic red maraschinos, but I remember a day when I did. You can also use fresh cherries, just cut them in half and remove the pit first. As for the batter, it has a bit of cornmeal in it for texture — a good tip I got from Southern Living Magazine. This cake is a simple classic summertime dessert that tastes so good after a meal of barbecue or other grilled foods.
1 cup honey, any variety
2 tablespoons salted butter
20 ounce can pineapple rings, drained
8 to 9 maraschino cherries, any variety
12 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, or whole milk with 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or oil a 10-inch cake pan, set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add honey and butter. Place over medium heat and cook until boiling, stir. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pan, swirl to coat bottom.
- Place pineapple rings on top of honey. Cut to fit rings, if necessary to fit bottom of pan. Place a cherry in each hole.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Scrape down sides and add vanilla. Mix for 1 minute.
- Add eggs one-at-a-time until incorporated.
- Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to wet and 1/3 of buttermilk. Mix on low for 1 minute. Repeat twice more.
- Spoon batter over pineapple rings and smooth out on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before loosening around edges with knife and inverting onto cake pan or stand.
- Slice and serve. Enjoy!