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National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day, celebrated annually on April 20, encourages you to tingle your taste buds with this tropical delight. If you’ve never tried this dessert, today, you have no excuse. It has been dubbed one of the most popular recipes of the 20th century and there are dozens of variations that will fit the needs of any palette. For example, if you’d like to amp up the tropical factor in this dish, go ahead and add a splash of dark rum to the batter. For other fun ideas on how to celebrate this day, read on!
History of National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day
While the history of National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day is unclear, the history of the dessert itself is well-documented and well-loved.
Hundreds of years ago, people used cast-iron skillets to cook fruit cakes over open flames. Any type of fruit would produce a delicious tasting cake. With the fruit lining the bottom of the skillet and cake batter added over the fruit, the pan would be flipped after cooking, revealing a beautiful showing of caramelized fruit on top.
The earliest cast-iron skillets were called ‘spiders’ because they had legs. The cakes themselves were commonly known at this time as ‘spider cakes.’ Once ovens became a fixture in the homes of Americans, the skillets lost their legs, transitioning to a flat-bottomed pan that would more easily fit into the ovens.
In 1925, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company sponsored a contest to find the best pineapple recipes. With “Good Housekeeping” and “McCall’s” magazines promoting the contest, over 60,000 submissions were entered. Of those, 2,500 recipes were for pineapple upside-down cake alone! The cake’s popularity soared with the publishing of 100 of the winning recipes in a cookbook the next year.
Today, we still crave an occasional pineapple upside-down cake so try your hand at this relatively simple-to-make dessert and celebrate with your friends.
National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day timeline
The first commercially grown pineapple crop is established in Hawaii — Hawaii continues to be a mass producer of pineapples supplying much of the U.S.
The first profitable lot of canned pineapples is produced by Dole’s Hawaiian Pineapple Company.
Mrs. Robert Davis, from Norfolk, Virginia, wins a contest sponsored by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company hoping to find new, creative pineapple recipes.
With the rise in food creativity and sharing the unusual through social media, the pineapple upside-down cake cocktail arrives.
National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day FAQs
How many people hate the word “moist”?
Raise your hand if you are in this boat! In 2012, The New Yorker invited readers to select a word that should be deleted from the English language and the vote was clear – 20% said they dislike the word ‘moist.’
How long does a pineapple upside-down cake keep?
Once prepared, you can save leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also freeze a pineapple upside-down cake for up to one month. But seriously, who ever has leftovers?
How do you keep pineapple upside-down cake from sticking?
The secret to keeping the cake from sticking to the pan is melted butter. Swirl the melted butter around the entire bottom of the pan and on up the sides a little to ensure it is well coated before adding the other ingredients.
National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day Activities
Learn how to cut a pineapple
While canned pineapple rings taste perfectly fine in every pineapple upside-down cake recipe, nothing beats fresh pineapple. Plus, cutting your own pineapple is an adventure in itself. Search online for ways to cut a fresh pineapple, whether in rings as with this dessert or chopping it into smaller pieces for cooking.
Take one to a neighbor
Pineapple upside-down cake can be made ahead of time so if you are looking for a simple and easily transportable dessert, look no further. You can make these to take to a potluck or to give to someone as a gift. It’s always a welcomed treat.
Bring out your pineapple-themed serving pieces
Since today is a day of sharing and celebrating, use hospitable pineapple-themed serving pieces. If you don’t already have anything, today is a good day to buy something. There are serving trays, bowls, pie cutters, napkins, and many other options that brighten up the table and experience of serving your guests.
5 Fun Facts About Pineapples
Annually, just under 28 million tons of pineapples are produced all over the world with the greatest production serving the U.S. coming from Costa Rica.
Lots of water
Raw pineapple pulp is 86% water.
Pineapples are rich in vitamin C and loaded with antioxidants.
The multiple fruit
A pineapple is not a single fruit but a group of berries that have grown together.
As ripe as it gets
Once harvested, pineapple does not continue to ripen so it remains as ripe as the day it was picked.
Why We Love National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day
Easy to make an individual serving
A fun way to serve pineapple upside-down cake is in individual ramekins — match the ramekin size to a pineapple ring and continue using whatever recipe you love most. It will be just as tasty as if you had made one cake but will be a cool way to serve at your next dinner party.
It’s all about the presentation
When you make the final flip of the cake onto your cake server, you realize this is the star of the show. The pineapple rings and cherries (or whatever other fruit you choose to use) create a beautiful presentation — part of the draw of the dessert. You start eating with your eyes, right?!
We love hospitality
The pineapple has long been considered a symbol of hospitality. This idea and tradition began with Caribbean Indians who placed pineapples at the entrance of their homes.
National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day dates