I was a little skeptical about this recipe when I first saw it. Flaked coconut is often a miss for me. The same is true of canned pineapple. But the convenience of each is undeniable, particularly in the dead of winter, when the idea of finding a beautiful, ripe Pineapple at the local Giant seems utterly fantastic. But on the strength of the Cooking Light name, I decided to give this recipe a fair chance.
In the course of cooking and posting recipes on my blog, the Cooking Light Desserts book has offered delight after delight – from apple cinnamon cake to crème caramel to ginger snaps to white-chocolate chip blondies. Recipe after recipe has proved a success. A delicious and sweet and guiltless success. Indeed, flipping through the pages of the cookbook, I get the impression that I have made more recipes from the book than I have not. And that thought brings a quick smile to my face, as I think back to past successes.
With that track-record in mind, I set out to make the Pineapple Upside Down Cake on page 60. The recipe did not disappoint. The cake was incredibly moist, and the butter-brown sugar topping was delicious. The only change I made was to reduce the amount of coconut by a half-cup, based on personal preference and because the half-cup already nicely coated the pineapple halves. A delicious and beautiful dessert in the end.
Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Upside-Down Cake
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Desserts.
PREP TIMES: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: Serves 10
WHAT TO GRAB: 2 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pineapple slices in juice, undrained 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 banana) 1 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large egg
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Drain the pineapple slices over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Cut all but one of the pineapple rings into halves.
2. Over low heat, melt the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, allowing the butter to grease the sides of the pan as well. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the brown sugar, so that it coats the bottom evenly. Drain pineapple slices over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Place the whole pineapple ring in the center of skillet, and arrange the remaining pineapples halves even around the pan. Sprinkle evenly with coconut. Turn off the heat and set aside.
3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the reserved pineapple juice, banana, oil, and egg, stirring with a whisk. Add the pineapple juice mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until combined.
4. Pour the combined mixture over the coconut and pineapples. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and then invert the cake onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.