People have been making upside-down cakes featuring seasonal fruits since the Middle Ages, usually cooked in iron skillets over the stove-top. But the pineapple upside-down cake is a relatively new dessert, created sometime after the process of canning pineapples was developed by Jim Dole in 1903. Two decades later, in 1925, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company sponsored a contest in search of creative pineapple recipes. The company received a shocking response of over 60,000 recipes, with between two and three thousand describing pineapple upside-down cake. Incidentally, the winner was one Mrs. Robert Davis from Norfolk, in our home state of Virginia. After the contest The Hawaiian Pineapple company published a cookbook of the top recipes and ran an ad campaign featuring the winning recipe, and it wasn’t long before the pineapple upside-down cake had become a classic American dessert.
I love to bake but until today I had never made a pineapple upside-down cake. That might have something to do with the fact that, until recently, Chris swore that he hated pineapples. He only started to come around to the fruit when we began frequenting our favorite restaurant, Fujiya House in Fredericksburg. They give their customers a delicious fresh pineapple dessert after every meal (and it’s carved to look like a fish!) Chris started sampling the dessert after our weekly date to the japanese restaurant and decided that it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, he kind of liked it. That’s fine by me because I love pineapple!
We decided to celebrate today’s “unofficial” by baking our very own pineapple upside-down cake. The recipe we chose was extremely simple, consisting primarily of cake mix and a few other ingredients. I have to admit that I started to feel guilty as I was making the cake — it’s filled with butter and brown sugar and I could just see it all going straight to my rear end. So I chose instead to focus on the fresh pineapple slices and cherries. Fruit is healthy, right? After the cake was finished baking I had the unpleasant task of having to flip it upside down to eject it from it’s pan.