Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Hull)

Locale: USA

Source: Bessie Hull, Family Recipe File


  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 0.5 c shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Upside down topping:

  • 4 tbs (0.5 stick) sweet butter, melted
  • 0.75 c brown sugar
  • pineapple, sliced
  • 0.5 c pecans or walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Use a 9x13 cake pan, preferably pyrex.

  2. Melt butter. Mix in brown sugar. Fill in bottom of pan with butter/brown sugar mix, pineapple, nuts.

  3. In mixer, cream shortening, sugar, eggs. Sift flour and baking powder; add to mix. Add vanilla. Pour batter over pineapple topping. Bake 35-40 minutes, until done.


  1. This seems like an incomplete recipe, inasmuch as it omits any liquid (other than the vanilla). The resulting dough is cookie-like, and the cake more closely resembles shortbread, unlike every pineapple upside down cake I can recall my mother making. The result was more like a cobbler, and was remarkable in its own right. I may have made matters worse -- actually, more extreme -- by making some variations: I wound up putting more butter and brown sugar in the bottom because the brown sugar I had was hard and uncooperative; I used pecans, which are sweeter than walnuts; I sprinkled the pineapple mix with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (and since this was going with a Chinese menu, a dash of five spice powder); I substituted butter for half of the shortening. The aroma was reminiscent of apple pie, which was a negative for me, but the taste was clearly pineapple, with sharp accents, and very sweet.

  2. Comparing to other recipes, I've added 0.5 c milk, but haven't retried it. For the alternate recipe I've been using of late, look here.


  1. 2008-11-21: