Princess has been begging to bake a cake, ever since I bought her a much-pleaded-for Cooking up Fun with Strawberry Shortcake DVD a few weeks ago (on sale at Target for $4.88).
I have to admit, things have been a little crazy around her lately. Between caring for the girls, maintaining two blogs, preparing for house guests and Trouble’s birthday party next week, getting ready to take an extended vacation in June (more on that later), and just all the general day-to-day living stuff like cooking, cleaning, and bill-paying, baking has been the last thing on my mind.
I’m honestly not complaining. I love being busy and tend to thrive on having a few too many things on my to-do list. But yesterday, as Trouble went down for her afternoon nap, I realized that most of the stuff on my list was either a.) already done or b.) not that important.
I told Princess we could finally bake a cake. She was not only up for the challenge, she surprised me by taking over completely and insisting on doing everything by herself. She may be just like her daddy in most ways, but I think she’s inherited my love of baking.
And she absolutely cracked me up with her newfound cooking expertise, courtesy of Strawberry Shortcake.
“Mommy, baking powder makes it get all puffy and big!” [making dramatic arm gestures.]
“Sugar is for making things taste sugary.”
“Mommy, we have to use the right measures, we can’t just put things in!”
“Did you know a tablespoon is bigger than a teaspoon?”
She wasn’t overly enthusiastic over my cake choice, but she did perk up considerably when she realized it involved maraschino cherries. (Am I the only one who thinks those things are completely disgusting?)
We loosely followed the recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (really a must-have for every kitchen–this is pretty much the ultimate cooking reference book), but made several adjustments and additions of our own.
I have never made this cake before, so we may have done something “wrong,” but I gotta tell you, it was beyond amazing! I love desserts & baked goods, but I don’t like things that are too sweet. This was perfection on a plate. I’m drooling just thinking about it.Pineapple Upside Down Cake 1/4 cup butter 1/2 c brown sugar, packed 1 can sliced pineapple rings, sliced maraschino cherries, halved 1 1/3 c. Flour 3 tablespoons cornmeal (I love the added texture) 2/3 c. sugar 2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 2/3 c. milk 1/4 c butter, softened 2 eggs 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Step 1: Melt 1/4 c. butter in 9″ round cake pan. Mix in brown sugar, then spread out evenly across bottom of pan.
Step 2: Arrange pineapples and cherries on top of sugar mixture; set aside.
Step 3: Measure flour, cornmeal, salt, & baking powder into a bowl; mix. Add milk, butter, eggs, & vanilla. Mix on low until blended, then on medium for 1-2 minutes.
Step 4: Carefully pour cake batter over pineapple rings; bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes, until knife inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Step 5: Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then loosen edges with a knife and invert onto plate. Delicious served warm OR cold!
Have a wonderful, joy-filled weekend!
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