Pineapple & Mint Upside-Down Cake

This week, we bring you a pineapple upside-down cake, which happens to be one of our favorite cakes of all time. Here we have a classic recipe with a couple of adjustments. First, a milk caramel (which we like more than a pure sugar or cream-based one) that’s not too sweet and gives the top of your cake a good glazing. Second, the addition of spices, mint and pineapple  juice  to the batter, which gives your crumb a strong flavor that stands up to the syrup. This cake will keep for a couple of days, but better on the day it is made and best when still warm and freshly baked.

For the caramel & pineapple topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups pineapple tidbits

For the cake:
2 sticks / 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp powdered ginger
1 tsp five spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract

Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. Grease and flour two 9×2 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment.

Make your pineapple topping. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Stir until the caramel has turned into a darkened amber color and has achieved desired consistency.

Pour some of your caramel mixture into a prepared cake pans. Arrange pineapple bits in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture.

Make your cake. In one bowl, combine and whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Set aside.

Combine milk, pineapple juice and mint. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar with your electric mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes or until it has become creamy and light-colored.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you do. Beat on high speed for 30 seconds after each addition. Beat for 1 minute after all eggs have been added. Add the vanilla and orange extracts.

Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir by hand to finish. Be careful not to overbeat.

Assemble your cake. Pour cake batter on top of pineapple topping. Divide evenly between the two pans. Smooth with spatula if necessary.

Bake at 176°C/350°F for 40-45 minutes (rotate halfway through) or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the cake pans for at least 10 minutes. Unmold and serve.

Have some cake. With some ice cream. And I know, I always suggest that, but is there any other cake that goes better with ice cream than an upside down cake?

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