Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet

I got a beautiful cast iron skillet for Christmas from my parents and have been having so much fun trying it out – so much so that I’m even willing to try something baked and sweet (two things I don’t do very often!).

As usual I got every book I could from the library to learn about cooking in my new skillet, so far the favourite is The Everything Cast-Iron Cookbook by Cinnamon Cooper (with a name like Cinnamon, what else can you do but write cookbooks!).  This recipe is adapted from page 276, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, the original is here.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet

1 18-ounce can crushed pineapple (I didn’t have rings!)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I didn’t have sour cream)
1 large carrot, finely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the juice from the can of pineapple into the skillet. Add 4 tablespoons butter and ½ cup of brown sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon as everything melts. Boil to a thick caramel-like consistency. Turn off the heat, dump the crushed pineapple into the skillet. Place in the oven to preheat the pan while you prepare the cake.  I have a bad feeling this will stick because of the crushed pineapple, but I’m going for it anyway.

Butter, brown sugar, and pineapple juice caramelizing.
Butter, brown sugar, and pineapple juice caramelizing.

Combine the cold butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until it is light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Make sure the first egg is completely incorporated before mixing in the second. Add the milk, greek yogurt and vanilla.  Stop mixing once it is combined but not smooth.  Fold in the grated carrot.

Wet and dry ingredients.
Wet and dry ingredients.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a spatula or spoon to fold in the wet ingredients. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour the batter in. Gently shake the skillet back and forth to even out the batter. Bake for 45–50 minutes.

Batter poured into preheated pan with caramel sauce and pineapple underneath
Batter poured into preheated pan with caramel sauce and pineapple underneath

Let sit for 5–10 minutes. Place a large plate upside down on top of the skillet. Turn the skillet upside down. If any caramel or fruit sticks, remove with a spatula and place it back on the cake. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cake fresh from the oven, ready to cool for 10 minutes.
Cake fresh from the oven, ready to cool for 10 minutes.

Result:  This cake was quite simple to make, not fussy at all, and it smelled wonderful while cooking.  We had to use the cutting board covered in waxed paper to overturn the cake on, as we had no plate big enough!  It took about 30 seconds to detach from the bottom of the upside down pan, but was suprisingly non-sticky!  Tastes great too!

Cake flipped over the cutting board with waxed paper.
Cake flipped over the cutting board with waxed paper.
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