Oh pineapple. My favorite fruit, my favorite flavor, quiet possibly my favorite food. My mom said she ate ridiculous amounts of pineapple when she was pregnant with me, and she thinks I’m predisposed to love it. I probably go through a pineapple a week. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it’s not. I grab a piece as I’m running out the door to work, when I’m bored and looking for something too much on, or chop it up to put in mashed sweet potatoes for dinner.
When I go visit my parents that are living in Hawaii, I always find new and interesting ways to incorporate pineapple into everything I’m making or eating. The Passover/ Easter holiday gave me a chance to go see my parents and BAKE! This pineapple crumb cake is a hybrid of all things my family loves, a sweet yeast dough, pineapple and irresistible crunchy sugary buttery crumb topping (with Macadamia nuts)!
This cake works for all the right reasons. The dough isn’t overly sweet like one from a cake batter with a high ratio of sugar to flour. The pineapple is sweet, but tart has the perfect brightness, and the topping… well its sugar and butter and represents everything that is right in the world.
As I was making this cake I realized that there’s a chance some people might be scared of this cake. I realized there is a reason why most pineapple upside cakes have perfect little canned pineapple rings… most people don’t know where to start when it comes to cutting a pineapple! My father is living proof. He swears by this “pineapple cutter” that he twists into the fruit and it mushes and mangles the thing to a pulp… literally. So here’s a quick tutorial on how to make the nice little slices that are perfect baking and even better for snacking on.
Step 1: Cut the ends off
Step 4: Remove the core. It’s my favorite part to snack on with baking and doesn’t break down during baking like the rest of the fruit.
Step 5: Slice it up!
Now lets talk cake! I make sweet yeast dough for cakes all the time and I use the same basic recipe that you can find here!
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup warm water
½ cup milk
3 Tablespoons butter melted
1 package yeast
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 pineapple sliced
1 ½ cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup macadamia nuts (optional, but highly recommended)
To make cake:
- Mix flour and sugar together on a large mixing bowl
- Place warm water, warm milk and yeast in a small bowl and let proof
- Pour yeast mixture into the flour and add the extract and butter. Mix together. I prefer to use my hands (t’s the way I learned to make it), but you can do this in a stand mixer with a dough hook
- Add more flour if needed to create a dough. You want it to spring back and not be too sticky
- If mixing by hand knead a few times on a floured surface (this is my favorite part) when you poke the dough it will spring back at you if it is ready.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size
- Mix the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- Add the butter and mix together into it is crumbly
- Add the macadamia nuts
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle the size of your pan (about 9″ x 13″) or just press it into the pan.
- Layer the pineapple on top of the dough. I like to take the slices right after chopping and keep them in their neat little row so I can simply spread them out.
- Lastly sprinkle the streusel over the pineapple, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes while the oven heats to 375° F.
Bake the cake for about 45 minutes until the top is crunchy and brown and the cake is done. Slice and serve, it’s the perfect treat to go with some Kona Coffee!And check out other delicious yeast treats over at yeastspotting!