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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Fourth Grade Desserts Activities: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

The upside-down cake has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake showed up in the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog. Coinciding with mass consumption of canned fruits and vegetables in the 1920s and '30s, this cake became a popular way for Americans to experience the exotic flavors of the pineapple and the cherry, and made an easy party recipe for hosts and hostesses to put together. Your fourth-grader can hone her baking skills with this classic American recipe the whole family will enjoy!

What You Need:

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 20-oz. can of sliced pineapple rings – or a fresh pineapple, cored and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Medium sauté pan
  • 9-inch round cake pan
  • Maraschino cherries

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Invite your child to open a can of pineapple rings and drain the liquid.
  3. Have her place the rounds flat (you might not use them all) in the sauté pan. Help her measure and add the brown sugar and butter. Turn on the burner to medium heat (if your child is younger, you might want to do this yourself). Set the timer for 20 minutes to let the rings cook and caramelize, turning every 5 minutes.
  4. While you wait, have your fourth-grader make the cake batter. Offer her a set of measuring cups for measuring the flour, sugar, and sour cream. Have her add the other ingredients and give everything a good stir.
  5. Once the pineapple rings have cooked through and the butter and sugar have caramelized, have your child turn off the heat, carefully remove the rings from the pan and position them on the bottom of the cake pan.  Have her pour the remaining butter and brown sugar liquid over the pineapple rings, helping as needed.
  6. Have her add a maraschino cherry to the center of each pineapple ring.
  7. It’s time to get baking! Invite your daughter to gently pour the cake batter over the pineapple rings and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  8. When the timer dings, help your child remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes. Help her place a plate over the top of the cake and flip the finished creation over, releasing the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from the pan!

All that’s left to do is invite some friends over to taste-test the finished product!

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

Updated on Aug 30, 2012
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: Fourth Grade, Desserts
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