Sweet glazed chunks of pineapple complimented by crunchy nuts set in a rich vanilla cake batter--that's what pineapple upside-down cake is all about. Make the cake batter from scratch, or use a boxed product as the basis. The classic pineapple cake recipe uses canned pineapple, maraschino cherries and pecans. Create your own take on the classic by varying the ingredients.
Grease the bottom of a cake pan with butter. Add 5 tbsp. of melted butter to the pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup of brown sugar. Place canned pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar in a single layer. Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each ring. Place three pecan halves around each cherry. Cover with vanilla cake batter and bake per package or recipe directions until done. Remove from the oven. Let the cake cool five minutes. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan. Invert the pan over a plate. The cake should slide out. Serve with the pineapple and cherry side up.
Grease the pan, add melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Drain a can of crushed pineapple, pressing on it to remove as much liquid as possible. Drop spoonfuls of the crushed pineapple over the pan as evenly as possible. Add macadamia nuts between the spoonfuls of pineapple. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. Cover with spice cake batter and bake. Remove from the pan as in the basic recipe.
Not Just Pineapple
Grease the pan, add melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Peel a fresh pineapple, core and cut it into chunks that are no more than 1inch. Place the chunks evenly on the bottom of the pan. Slice a banana and put the slices between the chunks. Drain a can of mandarin orange sections. Place the sections between the bananas and pineapple chunks. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped walnuts over everything. Cover with lemon cake batter. Bake and remove from the pan as in the basic recipe.
While it may not seem obvious, pineapple and chocolate are a luscious combination. Hydrate 1 cup of dried cherries in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry. Grease the pan, add melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place pineapple rings cut to 1/2-inch thickness on top of the brown sugar. Fill the center of the rings with the hydrated cherries. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of chocolate chips to vanilla cake batter and pour over the fruit. Bake and remove from the pan as in the basic recipe.