One Author's Life


When Baking Brings Back Memories

July 29, 2015

One of the most popular desserts of the 1960s was Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. The way I remember it, there rarely seemed to be a gathering where someone didn’t bring one, and church suppers often featured two or three. At home, my mom sometimes made one when it was her turn to host her weekly bridge group or monthly League of Women Voters meeting.

Upside-Down Cake is easy to make. It was one of the first desserts my mom and I made together, although I doubt I did much more than lick the spoon, or arrange pineapple slices into a pretty pattern. The very idea that the cake is flipped after it’s baked, with the bottom becoming the top, made the process quite exciting to a five-year-old.

Because my “Miss Dreamsville” novels are historical fiction set in the 1960s, one of my characters in the new one (to be released Sept. 8) mentions making the familiar cake, which, in a round-about sort of fashion seemed to give me the perfect excuse to make one. After all, this was research, right?

My husband, who grew up in Collier County, Florida where my novels are set, found it amusing that I was planning to make an Upside-Down Cake, just for old times sake. But to my delight he suddenly remembered the way they were made in Collier County, with orange slices as well as pineapple. (Note that they must be Florida oranges! Never from California. If the produce manager at Winn-Dixie was foolish enough to try to sell California oranges, he got an earful!)

You'll find the recipe on this website. Just click "Recipes and Fun Stuff" on the dashboard. Enjoy!