Miss Fats is not a picky eater. She’ll eat just about anything (apparently even toilet cookies. actually she won’t. don’t ask.) However, she has never been a fan of warm pineapple, particularly when paired with savory meats (get out of my life, Hawaiian pizza.) She gets it: for some this combo is out of control crazy good. But Miss Fats doesn’t really understand why anyone would want to mess with raw pineapple’s perfect tart flavor and magically slightly crisp and soft texture. Ok, enough of this: a battle that will never be won.
Anyway, this past weekend Miss Fats had some serious birthday cake to bake. The request: pineapple upside down cake. At first she vetoed, but quickly got over herself and decided to take on the challenge. Since she was baking for a crowd, she immediately went for her go-to cake form: the cupcake.
Researching this kitsch cake, Miss Fats found it to be relatively involved and contained some things she was not ok with: canned fruit, maraschino cherries, and too much sugar. However, with a couple of tweaks and a solid base recipe, she’s adapted this classic for you all. Welcome to the not-so-upside-down pineapple coconut cupcake.
By refusing to turn these on their heads, the cupcakes have a ooey gooey bottom layer of caramely fruit, which contrasts with a light whipped cream frosting. (Not to mention this makes Miss Fats’ life a hell of a lot easier when she’s not having to scrub caramelized sugar off the bottom of her cake pans.)
Not-So-Upside-Down Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes
makes 16 cupcakes
cake recipe adapted from Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Coconut Cake
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
heavy pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup coconut oil (you can substitute with canola or vegi oil)
2 tbs oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut milk (melted)
1/2 cup milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar (can be adjusted based on your preference for level of sweetness)
toasted coconut for decorating (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pans with FOIL cupcake liners. (This is important: if you use the regular liners, there’s a good chance the hot caramel sauce and fruit will seep through and make a big ‘ol mess) Get your fruit tetris on: cut up your pineapple into little slices (approximately 1/2 inch thick) and arrange in the bottom of your liners (see pretty picture above).
2. Make the cake: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ginger. Add the oils and milks, and whisk vigorously for 1 minute (or slightly longer if you have weak arms like me). Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until completely combined.
3. Make the caramel sauce: heat the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer for about 4 minutes or until the sugar has all dissolved and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt (be careful! it will bubble a bit). Spoon about a tablespoon of the caramel into each cup. Spoon the cake batter over the pineapple caramel goodness. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Allow to fully cool before frosting.
4. Make the Frosting: beat the cream, sugar and vanilla on high until soft peaks form. (these soft peaks. not these.) To frost, I like to throw the whipped cream into a large ziplock bag, cut off the tip and create some pretty little swirls. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and enjoy!
Miss Fats was VERY happy with the way these little delights turned out. She apologizes for not properly documenting the bottom layer, but eager guests were a bit too hungro to stop for photo ops. Despite her aversion to cooked pineapple, Miss Fats gives full pardon to these cakes. Using fresh pineapple allowed the fruit to keep a little bite that paired well with the slightly-crispy cake tops. Double yum. Miss Fats just hopes all the guests enjoyed them as much as she did: though she’s no expert on this cooked pineapple nonsense and therefore cannot expertly speak on these matters.
-EDIT: Other half of Miss Fats here, my lovely partner-in-thyme is being insanely modest. Everyone flipped the fuck out over these, they’re like, “I’m-a-girl-but-these-are-so-good-I’m-going-to-eat-three-even-if-everyone-IS-watching-me-shove-them-in-my-face-I-just-don’t-care-because-I-*have*-to-have-this-in-my-mouth-again” good. And if you have tastebuds, you should make them for yourself and your friends, even if they ARE girls.