The First Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Was Supposedly Invented During A Contest

Pineapple upside-down cake is a classic dessert loved by many — so loved, in fact, that it has its own national day on the calendar, which falls on April 20 every year. While its origins have been a subject of debate, historical records indicate that the first one was invented during a contest. 

In 1925, the Dole Pineapple Company organized a contest to promote the use of their canned pineapple products. The contest aimed to encourage innovative recipes showcasing the tropical fruit's versatility and deliciousness. The winner would receive a generous cash prize and the prestige of having their creation featured in Dole's advertisements. The honor of producing the best recipe goes to Mrs. Robert Davis of Norfolk, Virginia. According to an article published by the Dole company in 1926, more than 60,000 recipes were sent in, of which 2,500 were devoted to this specific cake. But Mrs. Davis' recipe stood out among the numerous submissions, with Dole choosing it to publish.

The pineapple upside-down cake gained immense popularity following its introduction through the Dole contest. Widely circulated, its unique presentation and delightful taste captivated people across the United States. Over the years, variations of the original recipe emerged, with different additions such as pecans or coconut. Today, the pineapple upside-down cake remains a timeless dessert loved by people of all ages.

Variations on the classic

Pineapple upside-down cake is a versatile dessert that lends itself well to creative variations and there are countless ways to elevate this classic treat. Don't be afraid to explore and personalize your pineapple upside-down cake, making it a unique and memorable dessert experience.

Embrace the tropical flavors of the original version of this cake by adding additional fruits. Slices of mango, banana, or even coconut can be layered alongside the pineapple rings for an extra burst of flavor. This variation enhances the tropical experience and adds an extra touch of exoticism. For an adult twist, consider incorporating coconut rum into your cake. After arranging the rings, cherries, and batter, drizzle the rum over the top. The rum's aromatic flavor will infuse the cake as it bakes, adding a delightful kick to each bite. Elevate the texture and flavor by adding nuts, sprinkling chopped pecans or walnuts over the pineapple rings before pouring the batter. The nuts toast as the cake bakes, providing a delightful crunch and a nutty undertone that complements the sweet fruit. Another option is to give your cake a refreshing citrus twist by incorporating lemon or orange zest into the batter. The bright, tangy flavors of the citrus zest balance the sweetness of the caramelized pineapple, creating and enhancing a harmonious blend of tastes.