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History of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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In honor of Pineapple Upside Down Cake day , let us explore its roots.  Centuries ago, cakes were cooked in cast iron skillets over an open fire.  It was easy to add fruit and sugar to the bottom of the skillet and pour  batter over the mixture. Once cooked, flipping it over onto a plate not only released the cake from the skillet, but showed how pretty the caramelized fruit was.  

In the 19th century, Americans made cakes over an open fire in a spider (a cast iron skillet with legs).  So by the mid 1800's these were called spider cakes.  As the home oven (which was iron) became more commonplace, the flat bottomed cast iron skillet emerged. 

Around 1911, on of James Dole's engineers came up with a machine that cut the pineapple into perfect rings. It wasn't long before these convenient rings were used in the upside down cake to add flavor and color.  Maraschino cherries were added for an extra burst of color. 

The Pineapple Upside Down cake is now a favorite cake for a lot of people.  With the ease of cooking these days, it is an easier cake to make than in the old days.