I have found out something about myself. I always thought I wasn’t a cake person. Sure, I tolerate cake. If cake is put in front of me I’ll eat the heck out of it. But it’s not something that I crave often. (Besides the occasional chocolate cake craving that is so intense that I almost go make one at 11 pm…) And also, minor rant, why don’t more places sell good quality slices of cake?! When I was having chocolate cake cravings, The Chef went out to find a slice of cake for me without any luck. I’m thinking a future business venture would be to sell slices of cake. I don’t know how, but I feel like people would really benefit from that because they’ve had a horrible day at work. Or pregnant. Or hungry. Or Tuesday.
What I have realized though, is that I’m a major fan of heritage style cakes. I’m not actually sure if this is a genre, but if it’s not, it should be. Heritage cakes: cakes that don’t have a ton a frosting on them. They have frosting alternatives, such as icing, glaze, or a caramelizing of sorts. They have an old fashion feel to them. They’re minimalistic. Bundt pans or loaf are often used, cast iron skillets, or a simple tier. Sourced from the McClearen Dictionary…
This cake. THIS cake, takes the cake. I found out about hummingbird cakes when The Chef was working at one of our local restaurants. I instantly found a favorite as far as cakes go. It took me a few years to actually make one myself, but when I did I felt like the traditional cream cheese frosting took away from the cake. I actually love cream cheese frosting, but with this recipe, the cake was so good it didn’t need it. I wanted to find a way to showcase the cake, while making it more fun than plopping down a bare cake and expecting people to be excited about it. Pizzazz people. Ooo. That makes me think of pizza. Pizza sounds so good right now.
Then it hit me while I was watching The Great British Bake Off. One of the contestants made a traditional pineapple upside down cake. I had them all the time growing up, but I had never made one myself. Why hadn’t I ever made one? I love those cakes! It made me wander off thinking about how it would be a perfect cake with tea at my imaginary dreamland tea party that I have in my head when I need an escape. I ended up combining thoughts of pineapple upside down cake with banana bread and married them into Pineapple Upside Down Hummingbird cake. I texted The Chef and asked him to pick up a pineapple on his way home.
Here are a couple quick tips that will make for any stellar banana bread/ pineapple cake/ hummingbird cake. Use the ripest fruit that you can muster. Not fermenting fruit, but RIPE fruit. It has the most sugar content. I’ve made the best banana bread with black banana’s. Also freezing and un-thawing banana’s helps kick up the sugar as well. Using the ripest fruit actually does make a huge difference with how the cake(s) will turn out. I used a not as ripe pineapple and could tell a difference. I also tried a can of pineapple and could DEFINITELY taste a difference. Please don’t use canned. Please.
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- Fresh Pineapple slices/rings
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs at room temp
- 1 1/2 cups oil (vegetable or coconut)
- 1 cup fresh and ripe pineapple
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 extremely ripe bananas
- In a cast medium/large cast iron skillet melt butter and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top. Gently place pineapple slices around skillet. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl/ 4 cup measuring container, whisk eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. Finely chop the pineapple and banana's and add in to mixture.
- Pour carefully into prepared skillet and pop in the oven for 35 min or until edges are slightly coming off the sides, and the color is golden brown, and a cake tester comes out clean. Can't be too careful. But be careful to not over bake! Not too much pressure right...? You'll be fine.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes. Place a serving platter over top and carefully confident, flip er over. Pound on the top of the skillet a few times and left it up slowly. If anything sticks (which it shouldn't) just scrape it off the skillet and place it on. Rustic is in.
- You can add in more butter and brown sugar if you desire for a more saturated top. I loved just how crispy this was though. It was my favorite part!
It also is quite a showstopper to either yourself or an audience when you flip that skillet over. You don’t know what it’s going to look like, you’re praying, your sweating, and (hopefully) BLAM-O. There she is in all of her glory. This is served best with tea. But what isn’t??