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Pineapple Upside Down Cake - in Cast Iron Skillet Glory

Updated on November 21, 2011

There are times when you take a classic and give it an 'update' or 'modern' twist, and times when you keep your hands off and do it the way it was meant to be done. This is absolutely the case with my Granny's Pineapple Upside Down Cake. This is the real deal - Southern to the core, baked in a cast iron skillet and all the way 'scratch'. The really cool thing? It's simple - there just isn't much here to mess up.

This is the way this cake has been done in my family for at least five generations - it was my great-grandmother Frankie's way, and how I'm teaching my children to make it. I LOVE having that kind of connection between generations. I use it to tell stories about these beautiful women that they never met - and to help keep the love they passed on moving on down the line.

I've seen recipes using cake pans, or fresh pineapple and cherries, or a much more delicate cake - and I think it's all extraneous. I've done them that way, and the recipes are good, but not this good. Everything about this homey, country Southern dessert is just right. So do it country Southern dessert is just right. A wonderful crumb on a rich yellow cake, the caramel layer on top with the fruit, the ease of preparation. So do it Granny's way. Period.


The Recipe

  • 6 slices of canned or fresh pineapple
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 generous pinch table salt (I like it to bake with because it distributes more evenly through the batter)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 maraschino cherries, drained

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Over low heat, melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet. Sprinkle in the brown sugar, whisking to combine well. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the rest of the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Alternating in three batches, starting with the buttermilk, add the buttermilk and flour mixture. For more information, check out the video. Mix just until each addition is fully incorporated, and scrape the sides of the bowl often.
  6. In the cooled sugar mixture in the skillet, arrange pineapple in a pretty pattern. Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice, and arrange the pecan halves between pineapple slices.
  7. Gently spoon the batter over the top of the pineapple slices in the cast iron skillet.
  8. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Allow the skillet to cool for just about five minutes, then immediately invert onto a serving platter. If you lose a slice or two of pineapple, just pop it back in place. Again - I show this in the video.


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    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Excellent idea! I love the idea of making this in a skillet. Great pictures too! Thank you!

      voted up!

    • DixieMockingbird profile image

      Jan Charles 7 years ago from East Tennessee

      Awww - thank you! This one IS a personal favorite - close to my heart but just down slap delicious. Thanks again!

    • Michael Jay profile image

      Michael Jay 7 years ago

      Yummy! Thanks for sharing this recipe and this wonderful hub. Welcome to Hubpages!