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Pineapple Upside-Down Coffee Cake

I adore pineapple upside-down cake. It’s just one of those classics that I return to over and over again. I’ve even asked for one several times instead of a birthday cake. This is a relatively easy recipe that makes a substantial 9 x 13 cake. I used a glass pyrex pan which worked nicely here. The topping stayed put and gave me no trouble at all. My son watched in awe as I flipped the cake over to reveal the pineapple top. (I love that he thinks I am some kind of master baker. He is five years old and I will enjoy it while it lasts.) I like that this is a dense coffee cake. It makes for just the right amount of cake to pineapple topping. Don’t forget the cherry on top to make it extra special!

Pineapple Upside-Down Coffee Cake

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens,  April 2011

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

12 canned pineapple rings in juice (You will need one 20 oz. can plus one 8 oz. can of pineapple slices for 12 rings. Save the extra for snacking!)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Sweetened whipped cream and 12 maraschino cherries (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Line the bottom of pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.

For pineapple topping, melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup brown sugar. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Pour into prepared pan. Drain pineapple rings, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Fit 12 rings into bottom of pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl beat softened butter, granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add eggs; beat until combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture. Pour in reserved 1/2 cup pineapple juice and the milk; beat until combined. Beat in remaining flour mixture and vanilla.

Spread batter carefully over pineapple slices in pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Place a serving tray or baking sheet over coffee cake; carefully invert. Peel off the parchment paper. If any pineapple sticks to the pan, gently replace on cake top.

Top with whipped cream and maraschino cherries. Yum!