Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake || Runway Chef When Mr. RC requested pineapple upside down cake for his birthday, I of course had to oblige (wifely duties call). It’s one of our favorite cakes, what with the moist dough and the crunchy, caramel topping. But, per usual, I can never let a good recipe just be (whoever said “Don’t mess with a good thing!” clearly hadn’t met me) so this time I was determined to find a few ways to switch up the old pineapple upside down cake recipe and make it into something just a little more special. So I added lots of coconut flavors (because have you been to a tropical island?! Pineapple and coconut were just meant to be together.. obvs!) and I baked it in a skillet (because everything tastes better in a skillet, double obvs). The results? One happy birthday boy and one clean cake pan. I knew there was a method to my recipe changing madness…

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Serves 8
A light and moist cake with a crispy, caramelized topping and hints of tropical coconut, making it perfect for summer
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Topping
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 20-ounce can pineapple rings in juice, drained (reserve juice for the cake)
Cake
  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup white sugar
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  10. 1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the rings)
For the coconut cream
  1. 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled
  2. Sugar, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Next, you will prepare the topping. In a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet set over a burner on medium heat, add all of the topping ingredients, minus the pineapple rings (butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices). Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted, everything has combined and the mixture begins to bubble, about 3-5 minutes. Turn the burner off. Lay the pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar mixture (7 rings fit in the pan I used), then set the pan aside.
  3. To make the cake, begin by creaming together the butter and sugars in the bowl of stand mixer. Next, beat in the egg, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Lastly, alternate adding in the flour with the liquids (pineapple juice and coconut milk), making sure to not over mix.
  4. Pour the cake batter over the pineapple rings. The batter is really thick so you will definitely need a spatula to help spread it around. Also, don't be worried if the pineapple is showing through the batter or if it barely covers the pan. It will spread out and rise as it bakes.
  5. Bake the cake for 18-30 minutes (depends on your oven and the size of the pan you used....mine was a 12 inch skillet so it only took 18 minutes to bake), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the edge, place a serving plate on top, grasp the plate and the pan with both hands and flip it over. Gently tap the bottom of the pan all over, then slowly lift the pan off, using your knife to help loosen anything that might be stuck.
  7. To make the coconut whipped cream, open your can of coconut milk and separate the thick cream part from the watery liquid. Place the thick cream in a mixing bowl and begin beating it on medium-high speed. Add in as little or as much sugar as you would like. I don't like thinks overly sweet so I only used about 2 tablespoons. Continue whipping for a few minutes, until soft peaks form. Please note: unlike traditional whipped cream, this doesn't stay stiff forever. As it warms up, it will begin to thin slightly, but simply placing it back in the fridge will get it nice and thick again. It also tastes great thinned out, so if you don't feel like re-whipping it, don't worry!
  8. Serve the cake warm with a dollop of coconut cream. Store remaining coconut cream in an airtight container in the fridge. The cake should be tightly wrapped with plastic wrap and will last about 2 days on the counter, or about 4-5 days if stored in the fridge.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/
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Boccone Dolce

Gluten free desserts I’ve always prided myself on my Italian heritage. While I may not speak Italian and I’ve never set foot in Italy (why oh why didn’t I study abroad there when I had the chance?!), I can cook a mean Bolognese, tiramisu and cannolis are my weakness, and wine is my version of water. So anytime I stumble upon an Italian recipe I’ve never heard of, the Italian part of me cringes for not knowing it. Boccone dolce is one such dish. Except this dish caused a double cringe as it originates from the same region as my family (northern Italy). However, it wasn’t until just 2 weeks ago, when my father-in-law ordered a piece at our pre-Broadway show dinner, that I even heard the name ‘boccone dolce’ (or at least that I can remember). Eager to make up for lost time, I immediately began researching recipes and buying ingredients so that I could whip up my own boccone dolce at home. It’s not the healthiest of desserts (I promise there is fruit somewhere in all that cream!), but the airy consistency makes for a perfect summertime dessert. Oh, and bonus, it’s gluten-free! Mr. RC thinks it should be a requirement to make this dessert at least once a month, and since I have a lot of years sans boccone dolce to make up for, this Italian kind of has to agree!

P.S. This would also look really pretty topped off with a few of these!

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Boccone Dolce
Serves 8
A traditional Italian dessert that is light and fluffy. Perfect for summer, easy to adapt, and gluten-free.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 egg whites
  2. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  3. 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  4. 2 cups heavy cream
  5. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  6. 6 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
  7. 3/4 cups slivered almonds (approximately)
  8. 2 cups sliced strawberries (approximately)
Instructions
  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 250 degrees. Then, line 2 baking sheets (or 1 large sheet and 1 small sheet) with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, begin beating the egg whites on medium-high speed. Once they begin to stiffen up, add the salt and granulated sugar. Continue beating for several more minutes, until stiff peaks form.
  3. On the baking sheet spread the egg whites out evenly into 3 circles. Each circle will be about 1/4 inch thick and about 8" in diameter, give or take. Once you have the circles spread out, place them in the oven for 45-60 minutes. They should turn a nice golden brown color and be slightly sticky yet crunchy to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Back in your mixing bowl (which should be nice and clean again), begin whipping the cream. Once soft peaks begin to form, add in the sugar and Grand Marnier. Beat for just a few seconds longer, until everything is incorporated.
  5. Once the egg white roundss have cooled, begin assembling your "cake". On a serving dish place your first round. Add on a layer of whipped cream (about 1 cup), then sprinkle with almonds and finish with a layer of sliced strawberries. Repeat with the next layer. Frost the entire cake with whipped cream.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. The original recipe does not call for Grand Marnier, so feel free to leave it out.
  2. Although I have not tried it, I think it would be delicious to do this with Ameretto liquor in the whipped cream with peaches for the fruit, or lavender whipped cream and raspberries, and, for the Fourth of July, a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
  3. This can also be made sans nuts (for those with nut allergies).
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

Never Fail Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake I have a little secret about this cake. I’d tell you….but then I’d have to kill you. Jussssst kiiiidddding! But if I tell you, you have to promise me you’ll still eat this cake. I mean there’s nothing crazy in it, no mashed potatoes, or avocado, or pureed peas, just some rotten milk, and lots of chocolate. Back up! Rotten milk?! Yup, good old (and I do mean old) milk. But don’t let the old milk fool you. This cake is so good I may have even purposely let the milk go bad a time or two (I am THAT crazy for chocolate cake). One thing’s for sure, no one cries over spilled, er rotten, milk in our household!

chocolate frosting never fail chocolate cake chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

 

Never Fail Chocolate Cake
Makes one 9″ square/round cake, approximately 8 slices

1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup sifter all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ square or round cake pan and set aside. Begin by beating the egg, oil and sugar together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Sift in the dry ingredients, then add the boiling water and the sour milk and mix until well-combined, about three minutes. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Frosting

1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 ounces of chocolate, melted (I used dark chocolate)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of milk

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and 1/2 a cup of the confectioners sugar. Add in the remaining sugar as well as the other ingredients and continue beating until everything is well mixed and creamy. Can be refrigerated for several weeks (if you manage to not eat it all before then!).

Recipe passed down from my Mom’s family

Blood Orange Ricotta Coffee Cake

Blood Orange Ricotta Coffee Cake

Since it’s my birthday today, I figured it was only right that I celebrate with as much cake as possible. Coffee cake for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch (these do include all the main food groups of protein, carbs and frosting) and a decadent cake for dinner. I might even get really wild and throw in some funfetti puppy chow for a snack, washed down by birthday cake jello shots. All after giving myself this yummy “bouquet”. Do I know how to celebrate or what?!

Blood Orange Ricotta Coffee Cake

 

Blood Orange Ricotta Coffee Cake
Makes 16 square pieces

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 blood orange, cut into pieces

4 tbsp. of unsalted butter, softend
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 c. all-purpose flour

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 baking pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in ricotta cheese. Next add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and the flour. Beat for a few minutes, then turn of the mixer and toss in the orange slices. Continue mixing by hand until all the flour is incorporated. Spread batter in the prepared pan. Blood Orange Riccotta Coffee Cake To make the topping combine  the butter, brown sugar, spices and 1/2 c. flour in a small bowl. Mix until well combined and crumbling. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.

Blood Orange recipes

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving. To store, keep it tightly covered and in the refrigerator.

Blood Orange Riccotta Coffee Cake *This cake can also be made up to 24 hours ahead. Just prepare the batter, pour into the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Make the crumb topping as well, but keep that stored and covered in a bowl. When you are ready to bake the cake, remove the pan from the fridge, toss on the topping and proceed with the above baking instructions.

Ho-Ho Cake

Chocolate? On a Monday? Again??

 Why, you might ask? Well, quite simply, can you really come up with a better way to start the week? (Ok, well besides sunbathing on a yacht…..or winning the lottery…..or being gifted 10 Chanel bags….)

Ho-Ho Cake

For the cake~

6 squares  of dark chocolate

6 Tbsp.  butter

1 c.  granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 c.  flour

1/2 tsp.  baking soda

2/3 c.  water

 

For the filling~

5 tbsp. flour

1 1/4 c. milk

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. crisco

1/2 c. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

 

For the frosting~

3 oz. dark chocolate

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 tbsp. hot water

1/2 c. butter

3 c. powdered sugar

 

First prepare your cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then grease a 15x10x1 inch baking sheet. Completely line with wax paper and then spray with more cooking spray; set aside. Microwave 3 of the chocolate squares and butter in medium microwaveable bowl for 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir to completely melt the chocolate, then mix in the sugar. In a mixer bowl, on high speed, beat eggs for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Blend in chocolate mixture. Add 1/4 cup flour and baking soda; beat just until blended. Alternate adding the remaining flour and water. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 min. or until top of cake springs back when touched; dust with powdered sugar. Immediately invert cake onto clean towel and remove pan. Carefully peel off paper. Starting at one short side, roll up cake and towel together. Cool completely on wire rack.

While the cake is cooling, begin making your filling and frosting. Heat flour and milk in saucepan. Cook until thick, make sure to whisk/stir to avoid getting lumps, and then cool completely. Beat sugar, butter, shortening, and vanilla for 4-5 minutes or until creamy. Add cooled flour mixture and beat until smooth. For the frosting, first melt the chocolate. Then mix in the vanilla, milk, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth.

To assemble the ho-ho, first unroll the cooled cake. Spread it with the white filling making sure to leave about a one inch gap between the frosting and the edge of the cake. Begin rolling the cake up from the short end. Place the rolled cake, edge side down, on your serving dish. (Side note, any frosting that spilled out I just filled in on either end of the cake.)  Spread on your chocolate frosting and refrigerate.

Inspired by a recipe from my Mom, originally from Kelsey‘s family; cake recipe from Kraft