I don’t know about you, but I always have a tough time trying deciding what to take to a potluck. Often the hostess doesn’t have enough room to squeeze all the extra food into her fridge (so anything melty or with mayo is out). Unless you want to bring along your crock pot, anything that needs to be reheated is out too. And you certainly can’t expect the hostess to bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Not happening — she has more than enough to do.
So the search for something not needing refrigeration or reheating yet also memorable and oh-so-edible began…
Aren’t they cute? An entire tray of them just screams “Eat Me” while looking like an edible arrangement. Perfect for your next potluck, right?
Party Pineapple Upside-down Cupcakes
**Note: This recipe makes 24 cupcakes in a muffin pan measuring 1 1/ inches deep. I own two “regular” sized cupcake pans, but one is 1 inch deep while the other is 1 1/4 inches deep. If your pan is of the shallower variety you can get 30 cupcakes up the sugar & butter by 1/4 cup to fill the extras.
(If you have your own fab recipe — fine, be that way — follow it and ignore this entire section.)
1 box pineapple cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups water (may replace with pineapple juice – see below)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp. spiced rum (optional, but good)
1 can pineapple slices
12 maraschino cherries (well-drained and sliced in half)
1 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Coat cupcake pan with cooking spray. (If you feel the need to be fancy and butter each cup, be my guest.)
3. Melt butter in microwave. Add brown sugar and mix well.
4. Drop about 2 tbsp. sugar/butter mixture in each cup.
5. Drain pineapple saving the juice. (For some extra pineapple goodness replace the water called for on the cake mix box with juice.)
6. Slice the pineapple rounds into 8 pieces.
7. Place 5-6 pineapple pieces around the edges of each cupcake mold (wide side out, narrow side in). Stick a cherry in the center (cut side up). This should look like a flower. (If not try again.)
8. Blend cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds).
9. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
10. Pour batter into cups, filling each no more than 3/4 full. This is important. If you overfill you will get peaked tops and you want tops flat–remember, we are flipping them over.
11. Bake at 350 for 21-23 minutes.
12. Cool for 5 minutes on cooling rack. While cooling run a knife around the edges of each cupcake to ensure they are not sticking. Then place cooling rack (if it is as big as your pan–if not use a cookie sheet) over the top of cupcake pan. Carefully flip and set down. Gently raise pan (this is the upside-down part). *Note: cupcakes may drip. Make sure to have some wax paper or foil below if using cooling rack.
Arrange on your beautiful serving platter. Chill until ready to take to potluck. Watch the “oohhhs” as your friends and family spot your mini delicacies on the buffet line.