Tag Archives: birthday cakes

How to make a Classic dessert: Pineapple Upside-down Cake!

How to make a Classic dessert: Pineapple Upside-down Cake!

Now here’s a beautifully wonderful classic dessert that I haven’t tried for ages!!  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever even tried making it before, but the last time I tried tasting it was ages ago for sure!  I saw a delicious photo of this cake made by Averie Sunshine over at Averie Cooks and I couldn’t stop staring at the photos, with mouth watering.  After that, I was just waiting for a special occasion…..

A very special occasion soon came to pass, the double birthday of my dear Father- and Sister-in-law!  So I tried out the cake…and well….it was…….everything I had hoped.

The recipe from Averie Cooks is super!  And quite easy.  Brown sugar and butter glaze, with sliced pineapple and maraschino cherries, covered in sour cream batter.  Bake, rest, flip, photograph, eat!  Here are a few how-to-assemble-the-cake photos that I took as I whipped together this baby:how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com - Page 012 how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com - Page 011 how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com - Page 010 how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com You can find the recipe here on Averie Cooks.  I added my photos so you can see how I layered the pineapple and cherries.  The only thing that I did differently from her recipe was to use a 10 inch round pan instead of a 9 inch one and to accidentally put the side pineapple pieces upside-down!  oh, and a few extra cherries!  It was so easy to flip it out of the pan after it had baked and rested awhile…123 flip!  I had to take a whole bunch of photos of the luscious beauty….classic pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com

See the yummy sweet juiciness? classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

Since I used a slightly larger pan, the batter wasn’t very deep, but that was fine.  The taste was……….so…………wonderful!!classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

Here’s my little glass hen, coming to check it out…classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

For some reason the flavor of this cake transported me to my childhood….(though my Mom says she didn’t make it very often)

classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

The lovely cake was devoured quite quickly, though it was very very sweet.  Needs a cold glass of milk!  Even with all my photos of the cake, the ones on the blog with the recipe are even more amazing! 🙂classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideashow to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com Ahem, if you know me, you know that my in-laws live very far away….so they didn’t actually get to taste the cake….um, we gobbled it down while we thought of them.  It’s our way of celebrating….. 😉


“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows” cake

“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows” cake

“everything that’s wonderful is how I feel when we’re together…”  it’s about spending time together.  And in this case it happens that the kids and I were spending time making a cake together.  Some little person figured that we should “play home-school” on Saturday and had mapped out the whole day including gym, matematica, recess and craft class.  Why does it feel so ironic that this same little person complains every morning about having to go to school all day?

We did play school (though I explain every time that Home-schooling is really a very different thing, and that playing school one Saturday is not at all the same thing as home-schooling).  It was real old-fashioned one-room school where each child had their own “slate” to write on: what a novel idea!  Some matematica was involved (I write it that way because that’s how the little person says it) and some figuring and whatnot, but best of all was the “baking/craft” class!  I decided I’d let them play with some fondant and we could put together and decorate a cake (and then eat it up for snack time of course!).

I cut the layers for the cake, then the younger kids helped me fill it.  We were experimenting, so one side of the cake was filled with jam and the other side was filled with buttercream icing.  This said to explain the fondant squiggles on the edges of the cake plate….I wanted to know which side was filled with what when it came time to cut the cake…

First a short demonstration of how to roll the fondant out and cover the iced cake in a smooth-ish layer of fondant, then everyone set about coloring their fondant and making flowers and snails and leaves and braids.  Being the perfectionista type, of course I decided that I would be the one to put the flowers on the cake (and tweak a bit here and there)….what can I say, I can’t help myself.  So we worked together to create this colorful masterpiece….denna's ideas- sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeColorful is definitely the right adjective!  The colors all turned out quite bright, not quite that pastel look I had in mind, but I’m fine with bright colors….and they tasted just as good to the kids!denna's ideas- sunshine lollipops and rainbow cake(I took some of the swirly “braids” and rolled them into usable flowers.)  This is actually marshmallow fondant, not the traditional almond kind and it’s for sure not playdough (no matter how much it resembles that stinky stuff!!)denna's ideas- sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeWe had a few tools to play with.  Each of the kids worked for awhile on flowers while I was busy making stems and leaves….denna's ideas-sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeAnd then (almost as soon as we were done decorating) time to cut and eat the cake!!denna's ideas-sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeThe iced layers looked the best, but the jam-filled side tasted the best!!denna's ideas:sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeI just need to work a bit on the jam filling technique….but this colorful cake sure tasted great!!!denna's ideas- sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeA little birdie friend even flew down for a peek at the cake…denna's ideas-sunshine lollipops and rainbow cakeHmm, gotta go now, after looking at these photos that last piece of cake is definitely calling my name!

a candy Lego skyscraper (and recipe)

a candy Lego skyscraper (and recipe)

We love Lego at our house!  There are usually bits and pieces of it to be found everywhere, in every single room of the house…so it’s no surprise that I should get baking inspiration from those colorful little toys!  For my son’s family-only birthday party, at the last minute, I had an idea for a Lego skyscraper…out of candy.  I’m afraid that cracker candy is my new craze.  My friend Dana made us some for Christmas, and I loved it so much, I went online and found a recipe, and I’m afraid that I’ve been making it a lot lately.  So I used the cracker candy to make a skyscraper.  It was really a lot easier than it looks! heh heh. Really.

Here’s what I did (recipe will follow the photos):

First, prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Instead of covering the whole pan as usual, I divided it into 2 equal sides and made sure there was a little edge around the whole thing, so the sugar won’t spill over the sides.  Evenly set the crackers out.

Boil the butter and sugar in a small saucepan for 3 minutes.  Then pour the sugar mixture evenly over the crackers, then bake for 5 minutes.  This next photo is the white sugar mixture.  (I made one recipe with white sugar and the other with brown sugar.  The brown sugar is way tastier!)

The butter and sugar will really bubble in the oven, it looks weird, but it’s supposed to do that.  Don’t overcook, only 5 min!  After pulling the pan out of the oven, right away sprinkle with chocolate chips or candy melts.  I did 2 sides with chocochips and 2 sides with colored candy melts.  I set a skewer across to guide were the colors would go.

Let the candy melts set for a minute or two, then spread them around.  Refridgerate until hard.  Peel the panels from the aluminum foil.  I set up a box to use as a base for the walls.  Melt some candy melts in baggies to use as icing to pipe onto the edges and fill in the cracks joining up the walls.

The panels weren’t totally flat, so the back sides didn’t match up and there was a big gap.  Oh well….

Oh, I had piped the “bricks” onto the panels while they were still flat in the pan.  I had made a square for the roof, but it wasn’t big enough, so I had to patch it in with plain crackers!  I had to do a lot of filling in with the candy melts.  Then to decorate, just add candles, some mini M&M baking bits and lego Toy Story figures.  The whole project really only took half an afternoon and evening, I assembled the whole thing while my son was at his swimming class.  It was worth it to see his face!


The Cracker Candy recipe:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter.

soda crackers (I used stoned wheat crackers, they are heavier) maybe about 35? enough to cover the pan.

1 1/2 or 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

(optional: nuts)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking pan (cookie sheet or jelly roll pan) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Cover it completely with crackers, side by side, not leaving any empty spaces.  Melt the the sugar and butter in a small saucepan on medium-high heat.  When it starts boiling, set a timer for 3 minutes, and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. Pour the mixture onto the crackers, covering them.  Bake them for 5 minutes, then promptly remove them from the oven.  Right away, sprinkle on the chocolate chips and let them sit for one or 2 minutes so they start melting, then with the back of a spoon, spread them around, completely covering the crackers.  If you like, add chopped up nuts, like pecans.  Refridgerate on the tray until hard (or freeze in the freezer for a little while).  You can peel them off the aluminum foil and cut them into squares, or just break them up.  Store in an airtight container in the refridgerator.  Enjoy!!