I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but this pineapple upside down skillet cake is the first time we’ve actually used our cast iron skillet! And I can’t even take credit for this one — this is a kids kitchen recipe!
I don’t know how or when, but Miss G somehow heard about skillet cakes and begged to make one.
At first, I thought the idea was cool but probably only something people do when camping, and I doubted that it would be that good. However, we researched “skillet cakes” and discovered that pineapple upside down cakes were originally made in skillets. Just the thought of that sticky, caramelized topping and fluffy cake was enough to make me agree immediately!
I normally try to make our dessert recipes as healthy as possible, but this being our first skillet cake and a kids kitchen recipe, I didn’t want to risk having it be a total flop so while we’ve reduced the sugar compared to most other pineapple upside down cake recipes that I’ve seen (and replaced it with pineapple juice), there is still a bit in our version.
How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Skillet Cake
First, gather your ingredients:
- 8 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 can pineapple slices
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon dark rum, optional (adds to the caramel flavour)
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice (I just use the juice from the can – as long as you’re not using pineapple slices in syrup)
And – don’t forget to grab a cast iron skillet!
First, start off by melting some brown sugar and butter in your cast iron skillet to make a caramel. Use a candy thermometer if you have one and try to get the syrup between 250 and 300F.
While I was busy making the caramel sauce, Miss G whipped up the cake batter. Since skillet recipes are supposed to be easy and bare bones, we simply used a wooden spoon to mix our batter and didn’t really follow any order — adding wet and dry ingredients in no particular order.
Layer your pineapple slices or segments overtop of your caramel sauce and then pour your cake batter overtop.
Place the whole skillet in the oven and bake at 350F for 40 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow the skillet to cool for this next tricky bit (which would make for a bit of wow factor in front of guests… provided you don’t drop the heavy skillet!)
Place your serving tray ontop of the skillet, secure the tray with one hand, and then slowly and carefully flip the skillet onto the tray to transfer and release the cake onto the serving tray! Your pineapple garnishes should be on top, held in place by that gorgeous, sticky caramel.
This pineapple upside down skillet cake was light and moist, and incredibly easy! The hardest part was knowing when to turn off the heat on the caramel sauce, which is right at the beginning and easy enough to start again if you accidentally burn a batch (and undercooking is not anything to be concerned about).
I can’t get enough of the little crunchy bits of caramel and the tender, cooked pineapple that contrast the fluffy not-too-sweet cake, and Miss G insisted this was the perfect “tea cake.” We opted not to garnish with maraschino cherries to try to keep our cake as authentic and natural as possible. I kind of think it looks prettier without them.
The best part of this kids kitchen recipe was that Miss G was incredibly proud of her work, and really any kid can do the majority of this recipe independently — I hope you give it a try!
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