I grew up in the upper south, in southeast Missouri. We ate all of those delicious traditional southern desserts like coconut cake, banana pudding, peach and blackberry cobblers, fried pies, etc. One of my all time favorites though, was pineapple upside down cake. I love the gooey brown sugar, the rich juicy pineapple and the tender buttery cake. And when you got a mouthful of all three at once, it was heavenly! They are really fairly easy to make too, the only real requirement is 10 inch cast iron skillet. I've made them in regular pans and they come out very good, but I think the cast iron holds the heat better and gives a better crust, not to mention browning the brown sugar and pineapple topping better. And although well drained canned pineapple is perfectly acceptable (and delicious) for this cake, I really do prefer using fresh pineapple, cut into bite sized bits. But no matter what you use, you will love this! Enjoy!
In a 10 inch cast iron skillet, melt 1/3 cup butter. Remove from the heat and scatter 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar evenly over the melted butter, then evenly cover the brown sugar with drained pineapple rings or bits. Set aside. Now to make the cake batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Beat in 1/2 cup softened butter
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat until smooth, then pour on top of the pineapple, brown sugar and butter. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When you take it out of the oven, run a knife around the edge of the pan, cover the top of the pan with your serving plate and carefully turn the pan upside down. Allow the pan to remain in place for a few minutes, then gently remove. If any bits of pineapple remain in the pan, take a spoon and gently replace on the cake. Allow to cool before cutting. Enjoy!
Variations: some people like to decorate the top of the cake with maraschino cherries and chopped pecans, just place them on top of the brown sugar and butter mixture when add the pineapple bits.