Caramel Surprise Upside-Down Cake (1953) ★★★

I wish I had found this recipe around Halloween, because it seems like a great way to use up any leftover caramel candies. Actually, that's what my plan was...yes, I still have Halloween candy. Well - not anymore!
I have to say though, the picture of this cake isn't really appetizing. They could have tried a little harder...

Original Recipe:

The Verdict:

Two things had me worried about this recipe. Firstly, the caramel "sauce" was pretty much just brown water. I don't know if I added too much water (I eyeballed it) or if it was really supposed to be that liquidy. Secondly, even though I used the appropriate sized skillet, it was nearly overflowing from the batter plus the pineapple and caramel. I was worried about the structural stability once the cake rose.
In the end, I was a bit disappointed with this cake. The pineapple pieces didn't really embed into the cake and the caramel sauce congealed into chunks. The cake was a bit too much for the skillet, but it all came out more or less in one piece, so I guess that was okay in the end. Taste-wise, it was just okay. Mostly just boxed cake flavour. I'm not sure I would make this again, as I think its not super great for a pineapple upside-down cake. It is edible, though, so three stars.

Modernized Recipe:

(Adapted from McCall's, July 1953, found here and here)

1/2 pound CARAMELS (28 caramels)
1/2 cup HOT WATER
6 slices PINEAPPLE (one whole, others halved)

1. In a small saucepan, melt the caramels in the hot water. Stir frequently until the sauce is smooth.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Pour in one cup of the prepared caramel sauce. Arrange the pineapple slices in the sauce - the whole slice in the center and the halves around the outside.
3. Prepare the cake mix according to directions. Pour into the skillet.
4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate or serving dish and let cool.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.