Pineapple Upside Down Sponge Cake (Bizcocho de Piña)

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The movie of the month at Food ‘N Flix is The Help, hosted at Can’t Believe We Ate. The movie centers around a woman named Eugenia, who writes a newspaper column for housewives, called Miss Myra (she aspires to write about civil rights). Her job is ironic because she in no way desires to live as an adult in the traditional sense. She has never been on a date and when she wants to collect her thoughts, she sits under the same weeping willow that she did as a kid. However, I identified with Celia, who just moved to town and is relentlessly optimistic to make friends with her fellow belles in the face of her reputation as a homewrecker and “white trash.” She tries to be grown-up by doing her best to clean, work on substantial home improvements, cook, and tend to her looks, but she doesn’t have any idea how to do it, can only passably cook corn pone, and has had three miscarriages from over-exerting herself and from stress. While other nannies are taking care of their bosses’ children, Celia’s nanny takes care of her. Celia’s home is a gift from her husband’s family, and spells nightmare for her (Her husband, on the other hand, is happy and relaxed in any situation.). Her stove is as rusty as her cooking skills, the house is full of the junk that her in-laws didn’t want in their homes (animal statues, a conch shell, taxidermied animals, et all.) and, while the movie is set in 1963, Celia’s home is trapped in the 1930s. She constantly falls short of achieving anything, but she has everything that matters: a best friend and a loving husband, which is more than any other character accomplishes. I cooked a pineapple upside down cake because an upside down cake is the first thing we see Celia attempting to cook (in high heels, at that).

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Pineapple Upside Down Sponge Cake (Bizcocho de Piña)

Pineapple: one large, peeled and cored (4 1/2 cups cubed or two 20 oz. cans cubed)

Eggs 3

Cake flour 1 cup (or substitute with 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour plus 2 tbsp cornstarch)

Butter 1 cup

Brown sugar 1 cup

1. Puree half of the pineapple in a blender.

2. Sift the cake flour or sift the all-purpose flour and cornstarch.

3. Mix the pineapple into the cake flour. Taste it and add sugar if desired (it’s very sweet without it). Crack eggs in a separate bowl to make sure none are bad, then slowly incorporate them into the batter.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

5. Melt the butter in a microwave (if the butter is a creamy spread like Olivio, don’t melt it) and mix it with the sugar. Coat the bottom of the baking pan with them.

6. Place pineapples on the bottom of the baking pan. Crushed pineapple works best because cubed pineapple and pineapple rings get a little rubbery in the oven (but they still taste great).

7. Pour the batter on top of the pineapple spread and bake for about an hour. When cooked, flip the cake over so that the pineapple pieces are on top.

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6 thoughts on “Pineapple Upside Down Sponge Cake (Bizcocho de Piña)

    • Thank you! I used a 9 x 13 glass baking dish (I actually needed a whole pineapple just to line the bottom of the cake), and the butter and sugar at the bottom bubbled up and kind of evaporated without burning either the pan nor the pineapples chunks on top of them. The pineapple chunks, however, retained the butter and sugar taste. 🙂

    • Thank you! So Hawaiians really do eat pineapple upside down cake! (Dole, who got their pineapples from Hawaii, produced the first ad campaign for the dish.) I loved your Food ‘N Flix recipe too. I’m not a fan of sweet tea, so I’ve really been wanting to figure out a different way of using it.

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