Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Baking a pineapple upside down cake in a dutch oven is a classic dessert among river guides and other dutch oven chefs. Most dutch oven cakes are actually quite easy, but a pineapple upside down cake requires a few tricks to get it just right. It will end up as perfection or a gooey mess.
This recipe is based on baking with a 12” or 14” cast iron dutch oven.
2 Boxes classic yellow cake mix
1 Cup vegetable oil
1 Can of sliced pineapple
2-4 Cups of brown sugar
1-2 Sticks of butter
40 charcoal briquettes
1. Get a fire going and begin heating up 40 charcoal briquettes. You’ll end up using around 26 briquettes but you'll need to start with more since a few are typically lost to the fire.
2. Follow the directions on the cake mix - combine the cake mix with eggs, water and vegetable oil in a large bowl.
4. Caramelize the butter and brown sugar by heating them in the dutch oven over the fire. Keep an eye on the butter and brown sugar and stir occasionally to keep it from burning. One stick of butter and two cups of brown sugar do a good job but if you like sugar and butter then double it!
4. After the butter and brown sugar become a caramelized goo, take the dutch oven off the fire and put a layer of sliced pineapple on top of the caramelized sugar.
5. Wait for the charcoal briquettes to be half or fully grey.
6. Once the briquettes are ready to go, pour the cake mix over the caramelized sugar and pineapples.
7. Put 6 briquettes below the dutch oven and 20 on top.
8. Make sure your dutch oven is level. If it’s not level then low side will be more cooked than the high side.
9. It typically takes 20-40 minutes to bake the cake, depending on outside temperature and wind. Once you can put a knife through the cake and it comes out clean you’ll know it’s done.
10. Let it cool down for about 10-15 minutes before flipping. I like to prepare a large cutting board with aluminum foil for an easy clean up.
11. After the cake cools a little it’s time to flip it. You need to do this with some force to make sure it all comes out.