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Upside Down Cakes
Upside-down cakes made with fruit became popular in America only at the end of the nineteenth century, although they had a long history in Europe. The addition of pineapple, a New World food, most likely came about after 1903, the year a Hawaiian businessman named James Dole began marketing cans of the tropical fruit on the mainland.

In 1925 the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, as Dole was known then, ran an ad for a recipe contest, seeking creative and original recipes using pineapple. The chosen recipes would be published in a cookbook titled "Pineapple as 100 Good Cooks Serve It". The book, published in 1926 contains a recipe for "Upside Down Cake," from Mrs. Robert Davis of Norfolk Virginia.

The contest drew a response of 60,000 recipes - 2,500 of which were for Pineapple Upside Down Cake. A $50 cash prize was given for each of the 100 recipes that were chosen for the cookbook. The contest ad ran just once in nine women's magazines including Woman's Home Companion, McCall's and Modern Priscilla. Since 2,500 Upside Down Cake recipes were submitted, it's obvious the concept was not new.
But the contest certainly gave the recipe the widespread publicity.

The once wildly popular cake still has a loyal following. But pineapples aren't the only fruit we can do upside down. The following recipes are for some non-traditional upside down cakes. Enjoy!


3 T. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. slivered almonds
11/2 C. pitted sour cherries
1/4 C. vegetable shortening
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
11/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Combine the butter and almond extract in a small measuring cup and pour the mixture into a 9-inch round cake pan. Tilt the pan to coat with the butter mixture. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and almonds over the butter mixture. Arrange the cherries in a single layer in the pan. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl cream together the shortening and 3/4 cup sugar, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. In thirds, beat this mixture into the wet mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
Pour the batter evenly over the cherries. Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.


1 (14 oz.) jar spiced apple rings
6 T. butter or margarine, softened,
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. sliced almonds, toasted
1 egg
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Whipped cream (optional)

Drain apple rings, reserving 1-tablespoon syrup; set apple rings aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; add brown sugar and reserved syrup. Spread evenly in a greased 8-inch round baking pan; sprinkle with almonds. Top with apple rings; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg, milk, vanilla extract and remaining butter. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder; add to egg mixture and mix well. Spoon over apple rings. Bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of pan; invert cake onto a serving plate. Cool. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Yields 6 to 8 servings.


2 C. peeled and sliced ripe mangoes
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. plus 1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/3 C. light brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine the sliced mangoes and lemon juice in a non-reactive bowl and toss to coat the mangoes. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter or margarine in an 8-inch cake pan or non-reactive casserole. Using an iron skillet will cause the mangoes to discolor. Add the brown sugar and arrange the mango slices in an attractive pattern.
In a separate bowl, cream the remaining butter or margarine and sugar and beat in the egg. Add the remaining dry ingredients one third at a time, alternating with the milk and beat until the batter is smooth. Pour over the mangoes. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.