Cooking Up A Hooley in the Kitchen: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

Cooking Up a Hooley In the Kitchen: Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes
By Katie Gagne

~~ A Twist on One of My Favorites ~

Nothing says spring like Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. That was our traditional dessert every Easter. Light and fruity, but still so sticky sweet and yummy. It is just the perfect dessert. Here is a twist on this that you can make for Easter or any time of year.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes
These tender little bites just burst with sweetness and sunshine.
(Makes 24 regular cupcakes)

I box Yellow Cake Mix ~ any brand
1 20 oz can of Pineapple Chunks
½ cup Pineapple Juice (from the can of pineapple chunks)
1 ½ cups Brown Sugar
2 sticks Unsalted Butter ~ melted
24 Maraschino Cherries
1 cup Chopped Pecans
½ cup Crushed Pineapple or Pineapple Tidbits ~ drained well

3 cups of Vanilla Frosting – store-bought or homemade buttercream
¼ cup Pineapple Juice (from the can of pineapple chunks)
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
24 Maraschino Cherries
½ cup Chopped Pecans

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box.
Substitute half of the water for pineapple juice.
Stir in the crushed pineapple or pineapple tidbits.
Melt butter and in a medium bowl combine with the brown sugar and stir until blended.
Add just a pinch of salt. It should be fairly thick but still a bit runny.
Place a small spoonful of the mixture in the bottom of each cupcake space in a regular size cupcake pan.
Cut the cherries in half and put two halves in each cupcake space and sprinkle some chopped pecans in each one as well.
Take 2-3 pineapple chunks and place in each cupcake space.
Fill each cupcake space 2/3 full with the cake batter.

Baking Instructions
Bake for approximately 15 minutes in a preheated 350* oven. Cupcakes are done when they are slightly golden on top, a bit springy to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Gently loosen all around the edges with a knife.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and flip the cupcake tin over, allowing the cupcakes to gently drop onto the baking sheet.
Top the cupcakes with any sugar, cherries and nuts that stayed in the pan.
Allow to cool completely.

Place each one in a cupcake wrapper.
Mix the vanilla frosting with the pineapple juice and brown sugar. Pipe or spoon frosting onto each cupcake.
Top each with a cherry and additional pecans.

*Katie Gagne teaches English at Trinity High School in Garfield Heights. She is also the owner of her in-home bakery Sassy’s Sweets and Oh So Much More. You can contact her at (440) 773-4459 or at [email protected], or find her on Facebook at @sassyssweetsandmore.

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