In honor of the second season of Stranger Things, Chop & Brew presents the recipe for The Upside Down (Cake), a gingerbread pineapple upside-down cake inspired by the popular show — a great fit for your viewing parties. You end up with a warm, buttery, gingerbread-style cake with citrus-y pineapple and some kick from the rum. This cake would also make a welcome addition on any dessert table at your holiday get-together, or at house parties and potlucks all year-round.
The recipe below is for the cake you see being made throughout most of the video from Chop & Brew | Chapter 71. This version includes scored and chopped carrot in the batter mixture. Another version seen briefly in the episode did not have carrot, but instead had sweetened coconut flakes. All of that is to say that this cake is highly improvisational and could include many ingredients we didn’t use including things like nuts, dried fruits, liquors that are not rum, etc. Feel free to experiment. We have also switched the process up a bit over our test cakes – sometimes we make the batter first, then start with the pan work, other times we’ve made the batter while heating up the oven and starting the skillet. Again, you do you.
Note: for this recipe, we suggest using a 12-inch cast iron skillet. You can scale down for smaller skillet, but we certainly suggest cast iron either way. Serves 6-8, depending on the size of your slices.
- 1 can pineapple slices (in juice, not syrup) – rings and juice
- 2 glugs rum or other spirit (optional)
- 1 stick butter
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger (more than 1 pinch)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (more than 1 pinch)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 carrots, peeled and scored/chopped… or you grate the carrot
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly cook pineapple. Melt one Tbsp butter in skillet. Put pineapple slices in cast iron skillet. Add one glug of rum. Heat over medium-low heat to lightly brown the pineapple, flipping to cook both sides.
Mix batter. Cream butter into mixture of molasses and maple syrup. An immersion blender may work if your butter isn’t too cold. You can also use the back of a fork to work the butter into the molasses/syrup mixture. Once butter is incorporated, add flour and eggs, mixing thoroughly between each addition. As mixture thickens, add dry spices, vanilla extract, baking powder and soda, pineapple juice, and a glug of rum. Mix well. You are aiming for a batter with the consistency of peanut butter (or a bit wetter).
Pour batter over pineapple rings in skillet.
Cook in oven 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake pulls out clean. Remove from oven.
Allow to cool for a few minutes. Gently cut edge of cake away from sides of skillet if needed. Place large plate or platter on top of skillet. With oven mitts or thick towels in hand, flip skillet and platter over (like a Mommers Ninja!). Remove pan to reveal an amazing upside-down cake. At this point, we took a mixture of maple syrup and rum, and brush it onto our cakes. You could skip this step, but we don’t know why you would. That syrupy rum mixture soaks into the top part of the cake and creates a nice shiny sheen on the cake. Slice and serve.