Growing up, Pineapple Upside Down (PUD) cake was a coveted dessert. Mother didn’t make it often, but when she did, we ate until gone. I still remember her huge cast iron skillet in which she melted butter and brown sugar, set in place pineapple rings, dotted the centers with maraschino cherries, and then poured a rich yellow cake batter over it all.
We kids all gathered for the turning over of the skillet onto a large platter and watched this delectable dessert land on the plate ready for whipped cream once it cooled down. The pineapple upside down cake was almost a miracle of transformation for us. No surprise then that Li’l Bro always requested this for his birthday cake.
Fast forward a couple decades (okay more than a couple), and Li’l Bro is visiting us over his birthday. I decided to surprise him with a PUD cake. But, now with his diabetes, this isn’t the best dessert option.
Fortunately for me, Betty Crocker, my partner in baking for many moons, had a solution. Mini-PUD cakes. If you follow the recipe as given, you end up with 24 PUD cakes. Only eating 1/24 of the total cake allowed him to have his sweet treat by planning his carbs carefully that day. (The rest went into the freezer to avoid temptation.) Portion control is a major key with diabetes.
I make this cake just as described EXCEPT I only make 12 mini PUD cakes. I use the rest of the pineapple slices and batter in mini-loaf pans. I freeze them for later. When thawed, I upend them and they are cute, too.
So here’s Betty’s recipe. Enjoy!
1 can (20 oz) sliced pineapple, drained, juice reserved
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
12 maraschino cherries, cut in half
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
Cut each pineapple slice into 4 pieces; set aside. In large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, eggs and reserved pineapple juice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
In small bowl, stir together melted butter and brown sugar. Spoon 1½ teaspoons butter mixture into each muffin cup. Top each with 2 pineapple pieces. Place cherry half, cut side up, in center of pineapple pieces. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each cup.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of cupcakes to loosen; invert onto cookie sheet. Serve warm.
NOTE: I drain the pineapple juice into the cake mix bowl and cut the pineapple rings into four equal segments while still in the can. Easy peasy.
DH’s RATING: 5+ Tongues Up
The fruit and cake and brown sugar butter make this a different kind of cake recipe from what I usually make. And with little effort he can have a mini-dessert of it whenever I pull some from the freezer.