The highlight of the classic upside-down cake is the luscious combination of caramelized brown sugar and butter with the juicy, sweet-tart pineapple. Now, imagine throwing a bit of salty bacon in there and BAM, this is a whole new take on the classic cake. Without the bacon, the recipe is a great version of the traditional cake, but try the bacon-enhanced version; we think you will be converted. We like to use a cast-iron skillet to make this cake, but any heavy, ovenproof skillet will work. (Make sure your handle is ovenproof!)
Image: Peter Muka
- 4 strips bacon, cooked semi-crisp, divided
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 8 slices canned pineapple (in juice, not sugar syrup) drained on paper towels, ¼ cup of juice reserved
- 2 large eggs, separated
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Using a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron pan, melt the butter then add the brown sugar, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Arrange pineapple slices around the edges and one in the middle (see image). Using 3 pieces of bacon, place small pieces inside each pineapple ring and in any spaces between the fruit (use image for guidance).
- Beat egg yolks and sugar until creamy. Add reserved juice and beat until combined (mixture will be thin). Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt just until smooth.
- Beat the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold one quarter of the whites into the batter to lighten, then fold in the rest. Pour batter over pineapple and spread evenly over fruit in pan.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or just until a toothpick tests clean. Loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and invert onto a large, flat serving plate. If any pineapple or bacon pieces stick to the pan, simply pry them loose and put into place. Take the last piece of bacon and place some pieces here and there. Serve as soon as possible. Cake is best served the same day and may be served warm or at room temperature.