Pineapple Upsidedown Gingerbread Cake

Spice cake tastes like travel

I saw pineapples growing in Hawaii, Kenya and Laos. I saw spice plants growing in Zanzibar. And now I eat as much of this cake as I can get.

The not-too-sweet-spice cake is a perfect match for the delicate sweet tang of the pineapple.

Recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Gingerbread Cake

Ingredient for pineapple topping
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter)
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
One 20-ounce can pineapple tidbits in heavy syrup, drained, patted dry with paper towels

Ingredient for cake mix
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened coca powder (tastes great with or without this)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup mild flavored molasses
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger (tastes great with or without this)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Make the topping
Melt 1/4 cup butter in 10-inch-diameter cast iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium heat.

Add 2/3 cup brown sugar and stir until mixture begins to form thick mass, about four minutes.

Continue cooking, without stirring, until butter mixture spreads and covers bottom of the skillet and bubbles appear all over surface, about six minutes.

Remove skillet from heat. Arrange pineapple tidbits close together atop sugar mixture in skillet.

Make the cake batter
Sift first eight ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat molasses, golden brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl until well blended, about two minutes.

Add half of dry ingredients, then whole milk, then remaining half of dry ingredients, beating until well blended after each addition.

Beat in crystallized giner.

Spread batter evenly over pineapple in skillet.

Bake the cake
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clen, about 38 minutes.

Cool cake in skillet about five minutes.

Run small knife around sides of skillet to loosen cake. Place platter over cake and invert skillet so cake sits on the platter.

Cool cake at least one hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

About Kristine K. Stevens

Book Cover200Kristine is the author of "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It Isn't Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World." This nonfiction book tells the story of how she sold her house, quit her job and traveled around the world.

Kirkus Book Review: "... Stevens makes a friendly, relatable narrator ... plenty of colorful stories to make this an enjoyable, inspiring read... An often sweet memoir about finding oneself in many different places."

Next travel book to spotlight Iceland

25817249396_f6c787ef9f_z Kristine broke free from a desk job once again, and this time ended up volunteering in the far corners of Iceland!

Details about the release of this book will be posted on Facebook.