Pineapple Upside-Down Spice Cake

This cake was really good. I made it for this past Easter and it was a hit. And this one cooks completely in a skillet. Easy.

Serves 6 to 8 (Adapted from Stonewall Kitchen Favorites)

Ingredients

Topping

1 small fresh pineapple (2-1/2 to 3 pounds)

1/2 stick unsalted butter

3/4 c. packed light brown sugar

Cake

1-1/2 c. all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground allspice

pinch of salt

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.

1 c. sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c. fresh orange juice

Directions

Place a rack in middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375. To make topping: Cut the tough outer skin and any eyes off the outside of the pineapple. Cut in half lengthwise, and cut out the core with a small, sharp knife. Cut the pineapple into 1/2 inch thick half moons. You should have about 2-1/2 cups pineapple.

In a 10 inch cast iron or heavy skillet, heat the butter over low heat. Increase the heat to medium, add the brown sugar, stir and let cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from the heat.

Carefully lay the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar mixture, fitting the pieces together like a puzzle, and pressing them down to create a flat layer. You will have more than one layer – fit the pineapple into the pan as tightly as possible.

To make the cake: In a bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, ginger, allspice, and salt and set aside.

Working with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft and light on medium speed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions and scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low-speed until blended. Add the orange juice and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Pour the (thick) cake batter on top of the pineapple slices and, using a soft spatula, spread it out evenly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for about 5 minutes, but not longer or it may stick to the pan. Place a large serving plate on top of the skillet and, very carefully, flip the cake over onto the plate. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

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