Mean Chef's Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Recipe by newspapergal
READY IN: 1hr 5mins




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Use a 10-inch (measure across the bottom) cast iron pan. (although this cake can be made in a round cake pan, it is better if you use cast iron).
  • Drain pineapple slices and place on paper towels to absorb moisture. (you will need 8 whole slices; the other 6 will be cut in half).
  • Whisk or stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together just to blend; set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, stir the vanilla into the creme fraiche or sour cream; set aside.
  • Melt 2 oz of butter in the cast iron pan.
  • Add the brown sugar and bourbon (if using) and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar melts.
  • Place 1 whole pineapple slice in the center of the pan and 7 whole slices surrounding it.
  • Place the half slices side by side against the sides of the pan, the two cut edges down touching the brown sugar.
  • Place pecan halves in the middle of each pineapple slice and in the gaps between the fruit.
  • Place remaining butter (4 oz.) and the granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use a hand-held mixer, and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • The butter and sugar must be beaten until light and fluffy; don't rush it- the process can take 3 to 4 minutes with a heavy-duty mixer and 6 to 8 minutes with a hand-held mixer.
  • Reduce speed to medium adding eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Working with a rubber spatula, carefully fold in dry ingredients and creme fraiche alternately- 3 additions of dry ingredients, 2 of creme fraiche. (you will end up with a thick batter).
  • Spoon batter over pineapple and smooth the top by spreading the batter with an offset spatula.
  • Put the cast iron pan in the oven and bake for 20 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean (test in a couple places to be certain).
  • As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, turn it out onto a round plate large enough to hold the cake.
  • If any of the fruit sticks to the skillet, use a small spatula to place it back on the cake.
  • NOTE: The cake can be kept wrapped in plastic at room temperature overnight.