upside-down-pineapple-cakeWelcome back to Easy Desserts,

As the April weather can’t make up its mind (in SoCal anyway), I thought we could use an island getaway themed dessert. When I think about an island getaway, 3 desserts come to mind; Coconut Cream Cake, Island Road Parfait (a dessert I made up, inspired by Rocky Road Ice Cream, but using tropical flavors instead), and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. I decided to make a Parfait with the flavor ideas of the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake; since I’ll change the recipe of the cake slightly I’ll call it a Pineapple Cream Parfait instead and fill our Joli cups. Seeing that Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is already an established dessert I thought we’d learn about the history and fun facts/dates there are for that Cake.


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(Pineapple) Upside-Down Cake History:

Upside-Down Cakes were invented because several other convenience items were developed that gave the housewife time to make a cake pretty as well as delicious. However, the idea of cooking a cake upside down is an old technique that started centuries ago when cakes were cooked in cast iron skillets. It was easy for the cook to add fruit and sugar in the bottom of the pan and a simple cake batter on top and put it over the fire to cook.   Then flipping it over onto a plate was a natural way to show the pretty fruit and let it run into the cake as well.

In the 19th century, Americans without access to an oven made cornbreads, biscuits, and shortcakes over the coals of a fire in a spider (a cast-iron skillet with legs – more common than a plain skillet through much of the 19th century), which by the mid-1800s became known as spider cakes. These were frequently served warm for breakfast. As the home iron oven became increasingly commonplace in the country, flat-bottomed frying pans supplanted the spider and the term skillet cake emerged. In addition, Americans began baking chemically-leavened butter cakes in the skillets. To enhance the simple cake, huckleberries might be stirred into the batter or various fruits mixed with a sugar-and-butter syrup before adding the batter to the pan. Blackened cast-iron skillets proved ideal for caramelizing the sugar while preventing the butter from burning.


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((picture of James Dole))

The idea to add the pineapple to the cake took off soon after 1911 when one of James Dole, an engineer had invented the machine to cut his pineapples into nice rings. Soon the convenient and pretty rings were used in this age-old technique of the skillet cake. The invention of the maraschino cherry added the necessary color needed to make this cake stunning.


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The first mention in print of such a cake was in 1930 and was so listed in the 1936 Sears Roebuck catalog, but the cake is somewhat older. “In Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads” (1995), Sylvia Lovegren traces pineapple upside-down cake to a 1924 Seattle fund-raising cookbook.


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Pineapple Fun Facts:


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The record of heaviest pineapple set in 2011 goes to, Christine McCallum. Her pineapple measured 32 cm (just over 12 and a half in long) and weighing 8.28 kilograms (18 and a quarter lbs).


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If there’s ever a pumpkin shortage in October, try craving pineapple instead.


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Like The Doctor in the British TV show “Doctor Who” pineapples can also regenerate.

Pineapple (Upside-Down Cake) Dates:

April 20th Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day
June 27th Pineapple Day
September 27th James Dole’s birthday


What You’ll Need:

~Note that this parfait will be assembled “Upside-Down” like the cake which inspires it.

       1 can crushed pineapple (if you want to use a fresh pineapple feel free)
       6 (cut in half) or 12 maraschino cherries
Pineapple Filling:
       1 box pineapple gelatin
       1 cup whipped cream
       golden Oreo cookie crumble
       2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


Pineapple & Cherry Layer:

Place the cherry in the middle of the cup and cover with the crushed (or chopped) pineapple. Fill to the line of the cups. ((I often wondered about the lines of the cups and over time I have grown to like them as a way to measure))


Pineapple Filling Layer:

Whisk the whipped cream to medium peaks. Slowly, sprinkle in the gelatin until the flavor of pineapple is achieved to your liking. Continue to whip until till stiff peaks form. Spoon or pipe the filling on top of the fruit.


Finishing Touches, Cookie Crumble:

Add cookies into mixer and pulse until well blended. Stir in the butter, then scoop the crumble and fill to the top of the cups.


You can make them the normal way we have been making our parfaits too if you like. There’s no wrong way to making them. Just have fun and leave your guest wondering, if and when you make these.


Enjoy these treats for about a week when covered or unless the dairy expires before.


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Until next time …

Dessert Girlie




April 18, 2018 by Monique Moussan
Tags: pineapple
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