One of the most rewarding parts of guiding multi-day river trips is cooking with dutch ovens and serving beautiful, tasty meals. Pineapple upside-down cake is one that looks particularly impressive and is fairly easy to make.
This recipe works best with a 14" cast iron dutch oven. Aluminum dutch ovens work as well but you have to be careful so that wind doesn't blow the heat away.
- 2 Boxes Yellow Cake Mix
- 2 Cans Sliced Pineapple
- 4 Eggs
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 12 cherries (optional)
1. Grab your dutch oven and heat it up on a stove or open fire. Add a stick of butter and cup of brown sugar. Heat and stir until carmelized.
2. Open 2 cans of sliced pineapple.
3. Follow instructions on the side of the yellow cake mix and combine the cake mix, water, eggs, and vegetable oil in a mixing bowl. Pro-tip: replace water with the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple.
4. Once the brown sugar is done carmelizing lay the sliced pineapple on bottom of the dutch oven. Pro-tip: put cherries the center of the sliced pineapples.
5. Pour the cake mix on top of the carmelized brown sugar and sliced pineapple. Once this is done it's ready to bake!
When baking with a dutch oven consistent heat is important. You'll want to cook with charcoal, make sure the dutch oven on a level surface, and keep the it out of the wind.
6. Prepare 30+ charcoals. They are ready when partially white. You'll want to put 6 below the dutch oven and 20+ on top of the lid.
7. Baking time is around 25 minutes. If you can put a knife in the center of the cake and it comes out clean the cake is ready. Pro-tip: the cake is usually done once you've smelled it twice.
8. The best part is slamming the dutch oven on a sturdy surface so that the pineapples are on top. The key to success here is using a lot of butter in step #1.
That's it! Now you can impress your friends an play it off like it's no big deal. If you have more pro-tips please leave them in the comments below.
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