There are many recipes on 'Zaar for this cake, but I came up with this recipe after reading many others and lots of trial and error. It's a big favorite with my sister, so I'm posting it here for safekeeping. Note that this makes a 6" cake. I like to use my cast iron skillet because I believe it results in a very flavorful cake. This recipe can be made fully by hand, no mixer required.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1oz)
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple slices
- 11 pecan halves
- 3⁄4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon poppy seed, lightly toasted (blue poppy not white)
- 1⁄4 cup pineapple juice (from the can of slices)
- 1⁄4 cup buttermilk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dark rum
- Over medium heat, melt the butter in the skillet and add the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Stir until sugar begins to melt.
- Arrange pineapple slices and pecan halves as seen in the picture.
- In case you're not using a cast iron skillet, after you add the brown sugar and it melts, pour that mixture into the cake pan you're going to use, then arrange the pineapple and pecans.
- You can also replace the pecans with red or green maraschino cherries.
- For the cake -
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, sifted baking powder, salt and coconut flakes.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This takes a little time so be patient.
- Add vanilla to butter sugar mixture. Beat.
- Then add the egg, beat well.
- Add poppy seeds, mix.
- In another small bowl combine buttermilk, pineapple juice and rum. You can double the quantity of rum if you prefer a stronger taste.
- FOLD the wet ingredients into the dry alternating between additions of the butter-sugar-egg mixture and the buttermilk-juice-rum mixture.
- Stir until just combined. Take care not to overmix.
- Pour the cake batter over the prepared topping.
- Bake at 350 for about 35 min or till it tests done.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, invert a plate over the skillet and flip it.
- Be careful to avoid splashing any of the melted sugar around, it's extremely hot.
- I also like to put a piece of parchment paper on my plate before flipping the cake.