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Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

March 28, 2010

While I wait for my neighborhood farmers market to open, I’ve been noticing an abundance of certain fruits and vegetables at my local grocery store. One of them happens to be pineapple. These juicy golden-yellow fruits satisfy my sweet tooth and brighten my day. Nothing reminds me of summer more than a warm fruit dessert, especially a caramelized fruit dessert.

The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality. It expresses a sense of welcome, good cheer, human warmth and family affection. To welcome a new spring season, I was inspired to make mini pineapple upside down cakes this morning. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Invite a neighbor over, share them with your best friend, or surprise a loved one with these delicious treats.

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

*Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice plus 2/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 (19 ounce) box white cake mix

Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a pan (mini loaf, mini muffin, or mini bundt pan) with cooking spray.

For the Cakes:  Coarsely chop the fresh pineapple. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, combine the chopped pineapple, 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, sugar, and butter over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook until the liquid evaporates and the mixture begins to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the pineapple mixture into the prepared pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg whites, water, vegetable oil, almond extract, cake mix, and 2/3 cup pineapple juice. Using a stand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until mixed. Pour the batter over the cooked pineapple. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and the tops are golden. Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the cakes. Put a baking sheet, upside-down, on top of the parchment paper. Flip both pans over and allow the cakes to cool completely while still in the pan, about 1 hour. Unmold the cakes and place on individual serving plates.

Seasonally Yours,

Kelly

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