U Is For Upside Down Pineapple Cake

When my mom was a young mother with a brood of 5 kids, she would have my aunts over for the afternoon. All of us kids would run amok while our moms chatted, sipped coffee, and ate cake. My mom would “doctor” box cake mixes for the company. Most of her ideas came from the box the mix came in.

Aunt Betty loved the chocolate cakes.

“Diana bakes the best chocolate cakes! ” exclaimed Aunt Betty.

It was true. Mom did bak the best cakes and cookies (her Christmas cookies were legendary, but that’s another story). The cakes baked in a rectangle Pyrex pan. Mom didn’t bother with frosting. If she prepared a golden cake, chocolate chips were stirred into the batter just for Aunt Betty. Aunt Betty’s favorite was the chocolate brownie cake. Mom added chocolate pudding mix to the cake mix giving the treat a fudgy texture.

But now and then, Mom would want to try something different. The most famous was the upside down pineapple cake. Mom sprinkled brown sugar on the bottom of the pan, placed round canned pineapple slices, then poured golden cake batter on top. She had to flip the cake out of the pan carefully so that the pineapple and cake did not separate. Mom put maraschino cherries in the middle of each pineapple slice making the cake look like a bouquet of flowers. Everyone agreed it was one of her best cakes—everyone but Aunt Betty.

“But Diana, there is no chocolate! Where’s the chocolate?” lamented Aunt Betty, “How good could this cake be without chocolate?”

It must have been good enough. Aunt Betty ate two pieces.


Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’  kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure.  If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk.  Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!


Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

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16 thoughts

  1. Food stories are so charming, they speak volumes. Love your mom’s experimental approach.

    My grandmother was a famous cook, her skills appreciated by the entire family. Whenever I would try to get a recipe from her, for all ingredients and time, she’s say “andaz re” (meaning an informed guess!!) 😀

    Do share your thoughts on my #BlogchatterAtoZ post for U:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a charming story of cakes – and the importance of chocolate ones. 🙂 Pineapple upside down cake is my brother’s favorite and once a year I make it. With copious amounts of butter-infused brown sugar, and cake batter made with pineapple juice, and the whole thing served with plenty of whipped cream it’s quite a decadent treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aunt Betty loved that cake but typical Italian not giving in that yes it might be good! I wrote my first A to Z in my Southern foods and Memories. I guess I should do hubbys Italian foods next year! I have compiled two family cookbooks for the family with recipes – as no one had any recipes written! I’m enjoying your food stories. Sorry I hadn’t read before but when I clicked on your name it said blog removed. When you posted s link was when I found your blog

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Antoinette,
    My Mum made a Pineapple Upside Down Cake too where you mixed brown sugar together first and then added the pineapple and she skipped the cherries from memory. I don’t use packet mixes and make everything from scratch or not at all. Shame it’s midnight because I’d love to make the PUDC right now. Here’s something that looks like the recipe: https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/pineapple-upside-down-cake-2/f2699455-68a5-418b-877e-73322412d894
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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