The History of the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (with recipe)

Pineapple Upside Down CakeIt seems hard to believe that the Pineapple Upside Down cake has not always been with us, however in reality canned pineapples were not available until 1903 when Jim Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole Pineapple) perfected a way to tin them.

So where did people get the idea of putting fruit at the bottom of a cake pan?
Well this technique has been around since the Middle Ages. Traditionally made with apples, cherries and other seasonal fruit upside down cakes were often made in cast-iron skillets on top of the stove. The use of pineapple (and an oven) was just the newest most novel twist, an ode to twentieth century technologies and notions of convenience. Indeed it did not take long for the recipe to work its way into the American housewife’s repertoire.

By 1925 the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (1925) was receiving 2500 recipes for Pineapple Upside Down Cake when it asked people to submit creative ways to prepare pineapples. Only 2 decades after the introduction of the canned pineapple the Pineapple Upside Down Cake had become a pop icon!

While rooting around in old women’s magazines I found a Gold Medal Flour ad with a full-page, four-color picture of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake–a round cake with six slices of pineapple, candied red cherries, and a brown sugar glaze. The date: November 1925.” —American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson

The next year (1926) the Hawaiian Pineapple company capitalized on the popularity of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake by running a national ad campaign featuring the recipe. Further solidifying its place in culinary history :)

So are you ready to try your hand at this American classic? Why not check out this recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from Retro-food.com :) !

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  • http://retro-food.com Retrofood

    I am always startled even though I know this is the case when I see older cookbooks that have all sorts of upside-down cakes that have nothing to do with pineapple. I do have a nice recipe for a peach upside down cake though…

    Thanks for the link…(and those rum truffles…I am going to have to make those.)

  • http://retro-food.com Retrofood

    I am always startled even though I know this is the case when I see older cookbooks that have all sorts of upside-down cakes that have nothing to do with pineapple. I do have a nice recipe for a peach upside down cake though…

    Thanks for the link…(and those rum truffles…I am going to have to make those.)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    no probs retro :) i love old cookbooks :) i have a very creepy one that has no temperatures, practically no measurements and a lot of recipes for brain :P

    • msdrpepper

      Wow, that sounds like really old cookbook – maybe designed for cooks on wood-burning stove/fireplace? My mom has one kinda like that. No way to set a temperature. Just had to go by how it smelled, looked, tasted. Brains were common foods, considered a delicacy – it's actually got some redeeming nutritional qualities. I remember my mom making dishes with brains and "sweetbreads" was typically made with it too, but in this day and age of "Mad Cow" disease, I wouldn't eat any more unless I absolutely 100% knew the pedigree of the cow, what it had been fed, been with it birth to death maybe even back 4 or 5 generations ago. As a result it's been nearly 30 years since I last had any!!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    no probs retro :) i love old cookbooks :) i have a very creepy one that has no temperatures, practically no measurements and a lot of recipes for brain :P

    • msdrpepper

      Wow, that sounds like really old cookbook – maybe designed for cooks on wood-burning stove/fireplace? My mom has one kinda like that. No way to set a temperature. Just had to go by how it smelled, looked, tasted. Brains were common foods, considered a delicacy – it's actually got some redeeming nutritional qualities. I remember my mom making dishes with brains and "sweetbreads" was typically made with it too, but in this day and age of "Mad Cow" disease, I wouldn't eat any more unless I absolutely 100% knew the pedigree of the cow, what it had been fed, been with it birth to death maybe even back 4 or 5 generations ago. As a result it's been nearly 30 years since I last had any!!

  • boo

    i have our great aunt mary’s recipe box and she has 2 recipes for this kind of cake. one has candied cherries and one has maraschino cherries. they both have the circles of pineapple with a cherry in each circle. and they both are in cast iron pans, heated on the stove then baked in the oven. grampa (his dad was oldest of 14 and mary was youngest) always made it with the maraschino cherries in a cast iron pan too. i wonder if i can make a gluten free version! mmmmmmmmmmm

    boo

  • boo

    i have our great aunt mary’s recipe box and she has 2 recipes for this kind of cake. one has candied cherries and one has maraschino cherries. they both have the circles of pineapple with a cherry in each circle. and they both are in cast iron pans, heated on the stove then baked in the oven. grampa (his dad was oldest of 14 and mary was youngest) always made it with the maraschino cherries in a cast iron pan too. i wonder if i can make a gluten free version! mmmmmmmmmmm

    boo

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Aren’t old recipe books the best boo ? :) They really make me feel like i’m in a time machine :) If you come up with a gluten free version feel free to share it :) I’ll credit you of course!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Aren’t old recipe books the best boo ? :) They really make me feel like i’m in a time machine :) If you come up with a gluten free version feel free to share it :) I’ll credit you of course!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Aren’t old recipe books the best boo ? :) They really make me feel like i’m in a time machine :) If you come up with a gluten free version feel free to share it :) I’ll credit you of course!

  • http://www.pineapplefacts.info Pineapple Pete

    well, now I will appreciate my pineapple cake much more, when I know its history :)

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