My husband's birthday was yesterday. I have the day off today, and asked him what he would like for his official Birthday Dinner. He requested chicken cordon bleu for dinner, and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. Since our niece baked him a pumpkin pie yesterday, a whole cake would have gone to waste, so I made cupcakes instead. We will have some after dinner tonight, and freeze some for later.
Normally I would make the cake from scratch. Today I am interested in convenience, so I used a cake mix.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
pineapple rings (save the juice to use in the cake batter)
1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup oil
1 1/3 cup liquid (use the pineapple juice, and add water to make 1/3 cup)
First, preheat the oven, and gather the ingredients:
Make the topping: put butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until it boils.
When you aren't stirring the topping, prepare the muffin pan. I sprayed them with Baker's Joy. These are going to be sticky! These are Texas-sized muffin pans, not the regular size. I wanted the pineapple rings to fit!
Pour the caramel into the muffin tins, dividing evenly among the holes. I had 10 pineapple slices, so I used 10 holes. Put one pineapple ring in each hole, and a maraschino cherry in the middle.
Now prepare the cake batter following the directions on the box.
Fill each hole with cake batter:
I wish you the best of luck getting even amounts of topping and batter into the holes. I got batter all over the place and had to wipe it off the tops of the pans with a paper towel.
Put them in the oven and bake them. My cake mix said 18-21 minutes for 24 cupcakes. I made 10 cupcakes, and started checking them at 18 minutes. They were really puffed up and raw in the middle, so I gave them another 10 minutes.
While they are baking, clean up the dishes and wipe all the batter off of the counter.
Let the cupcakes cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. As you see, the topping bubbled up and all over the pans. Although this may make cleanup a little more obnoxious, it does mean that the topping will be all over the sides of the cupcakes, not just on top. Yay!
After they have cooled for 15 minutes, run a knife around each cupcake to help release it from the pan. Put a platter over the pan, hold on tight, and flip them over. You will have to use two platters. Guess which cake I had to put back together after the topping flipped off of it: