My Mom’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

When I was a kid, about once a month or so, my mom would disappear into the kitchen while the family was watching television. The sounds of mixing bowls and ingredients could be heard quietly from the next room. Then all would be quiet again, she’d come back and join us in the livingroom (smiling smugly) … and then the unmistakable heavenly aroma of freshly baking Pineapple Upsidedown Cake would start seeping into the room. YUM! Truly one of my warmest and fondest memories of my mom. In the wintertime, she’d do the same thing with freshly baked Gingerbread. Those two treats are still two of my all-time favorites.

In honor of my mom, here’s her recipe with a few changes over the years of making it for my family, too.

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake


For Topping: (which bakes on the bottom):-)

  • 1 8.5-ounce can sliced pineapple
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For Cake Batter:

  • 1/3 cup salad oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
  2. Melt butter in an 8-inch square baking pan.
  3. Add brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of the reserved pineapple juice.
  4. Add water to remaining juice to make 1/2 cup liquid.
  5. Arrange pineapple slices in bottom of pan.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, stir together salad oil and granulated sugar.
  7. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
  8. In a seperate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  9. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternately with the 1/2 cup pineapple juice/water mixture.
  10. Beat well after each addition.
  11. Spread batter evenly over pineapple in baking pan.
  12. Bake at 350F for 40 to 45 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven. Cool at room temperature for five minutes.
  14. Then, invert entire cake onto a serving plate.

Serve warm. Enjoy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is the author of a number of popular books including the bestselling Frozen Assets cookbook series, Frugal Living for Dummies®, and A Simple Choice: A practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity. She also edits the Simple Times email newsletter. To visit Debi online, go to:, or follow her on Facebook at:

Debi’s Mix-n-Match Quick Bread & Muffin Recipe

I’m always on the look out for recipes that are quick, easy, family-friendly, inexpensive and flexible. This quick bread meets all of my criteria for a budget-worthy recipe. Plus it’s tasty and super-simple, too! :-)

Quick Bread Tips: When making any quick bread (banana bread, zuchini bread, cornbread, etc.) be careful not to overmix. Stir mixture until just combined or it may become heavy and too dense. Also, be sure to bake in the center of the oven where the temperature is the most consistent.

MIX-N-MATCH QUICK BREAD (from Frozen Assets)
(Makes two loaves)
You can also make muffins with this recipe.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups Mix-n-Match (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts or seeds (your choice)

Mix-n-Match (one or more of the following to equal 2 cups)

  • Apples, grated or chopped
  • Applesauce
  • Apricots, chopped
  • Bananas, mashed or chopped
  • Berries
  • Carrots, cooked and mashed or grated
  • Cherries, pitted and chopped
  • Coconut, grated
  • Cranberries, dry or raw, chopped
  • Dates or figs, pitted and finely chopped
  • Lemon, 1/2 cup juice
  • Marmalade (omit 1 cup sugar)
  • Oranges, chopped
  • Orange juice, 1/2 cup juice
  • Peaches, fresh or canned, chopped
  • Pears, fresh or canned, chopped
  • Pineapple, crushed and well-drained
  • Prunes, chopped
  • Pumpkin, canned
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb, finely chopped (add 1/2 cup more sugar)
  • Strawberries, well-drained
  • Sweet Potatoes or Yams, cooked and mashed, or grated
  • Zucchini, grated and well-drained


  1. Sift together dry ingredients.
  2. In separate bowl, beat eggs; add oil and sugar; cream together.
  3. Stir in vanilla and your choice of Mix-n-Match.
  4. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in nuts.
  5. Spoon into 2 well-greased loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

For Muffins:

  1. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
  2. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tasty MIX-N-MATCH combinations:

  • Carrot-Raisin-Walnut
  • Pumpkin-Raisin-Sunflower seeds
  • Apple-Cranberry-Walnut
  • Cranberry-Orange-Walnut

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is the author of a number of popular books including the bestselling Frozen Assets cookbook series, Frugal Living for Dummies®, and A Simple Choice: A practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity. She also edits the Simple Times email newsletter. To visit Debi online, go to:

Last day for my January contest!

The prize is an autographed copy of my book, A Simple Choice: A practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity (SourceBooks).  Deadline to enter for the random drawing is Midnight tonight (Pacific Time).

Enter here:

You know you’re from Western Washington if …

 You know you’re from Western Washington if …

  1. You know what “sun breaks” are.
  2. You seldom use an umbrella when it’s raining.
  3. Although you never personally use an umbrella, you celebrate a festival called “Bumbershoot.”
  4. You find blue skies a pleasant surprise.
  5. You use the phrase “the Mountain’s out today.”
  6. Your first outdoor chores in the spring are killing the moss in your lawn and removing pine needles from your roof and gutters.
  7. You expect trees to be green in the winter.
  8. You know where “the Eastside” is located.
  9. You keep a supply of books on tape in your car for those long commutes.
  10. You look at the ground when you’re out for a walk so you won’t step on a slug.
  11. You keep a ferry schedule in your car.
  12. You either used to, currently do, or hope to someday, own a boat.
  13. You’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time.
  14. You measure distance in hours.
  15. You can identify ten different apples by taste and smell only.
  16. You know that Grey’s Anatomy takes place in an alternate universe where the Space Needle and Pike Place Market are both right next to a “hospital” which is REALLY the KOMO 4 News building!
  17. You get angry when Dr. Bailey asks for a “mocha latté” on Grey’s Anatomy, even though those are two COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DRINKS!!
  18. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
  19. You always have to specify “the state of Washington” instead of just saying Washington because of DC.
  20. You know that it’s Pike Place Market, not Pike’s Place Market.
  21. You know where Bill Gates lives and try to point it out whenever you’re driving on the 520 bridge.
  22. You’re proud that Grunge started in Seattle.
  23. When you visit another state and it rains, all the other people around you run and take cover while you continue to slowly walk around in your flip flops and shorts.
  24. You know where Jimmy Hendrix is buried.
  25. You consider a floating bridge a pain in the butt, not an engineering marvel.
  26. You personally know someone from Alaska.
  27. You’re amazed at an accurate weather forecast.
  28. You can wear a sweatshirt and jeans any time of the year and be perfectly fine.
  29. You’re shocked when people go to the beach and actually go into the ocean.
  30. You drink tap water and think nothing of it.
  31. When you’re out of state, you call the University of Washington “U-Dub” and nobody knows what you’re talking about.
  32. Flip-flops are a year-round thing.
  33. You still call it “The Bon” even though now it’s Macy’s.
  34. You regularly pass volcano evacuation route signs when driving around town.
  35. You live in utter fear of black ice
  36. You miss the King Dome.
  37. You don’t think the Panama Canal is anything special because it’s just like the Ballard Locks.
  38. Seeing a submarine, aircraft carrier, or battleship isn’t a big deal.
  39. You know the significance to the phrase, “My Oh My!”
  40. You can name at least one bridge that’s collapsed or sunk in the last 50 years.
  41. You see “Sonic” fast food commercials but have never been to or know where one is.
  42. You’re proud that Hempfest is in Western Washington.
  43. When people point out how beautiful Mount Rainier is, you say, “Oh, yeah. I guess.”
  44. You don’t grab an umbrella even though you know it’s going to rain.
  45. You go to Wild Waves even when it’s raining because you know the wave pool is heated.
  46. You have to know what time of day someone’s traveling in order to tell them how long it will take to get somewhere.
  47. You consider swimming an indoor sport.
  48. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.
  49. You aren’t fazed by “Today’s forecast: showers followed by rain,” and “Tomorrow’s forecast: rain followed by showers.”
  50. You can’t wait for a day with “sun breaks.”
  51. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
  52. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Enumclaw and Issaquah.
  53. You keep snow chains in your trunk, but they’ve never been used.
  54. You see a person carrying an umbrella and figure they must be a tourist.
  55. Eating seafood isn’t anything special.
  56. Your lawn is mostly moss and you don’t really care.
  57. You’re extremely picky about your coffee.
  58. You yell at the TV if they pronounce the name of a city wrong or make an inaccurate Seattle reference on Frasier or Grey’s Anatomy.
  59. You rarely wash your car because it’s just going to get muddy again tomorrow.
  60. You wouldn’t dream of putting an air conditioner in your house.
  61. You go to Eastern Washington to get some sun.
  62. You remember where you were on May 18th, 1980 (and you know the significance of that date).
  63. You get a terrible sunburn on the first nice day of summer.
  64. You look forward to SeaFair.
  65. You assume Christmas will be rainy, not white.
  66. You’ve owned the same bathing suit for years because you never have a chance to wear it out.
  67. You still can’t believe the new Seahawks stadium is open air.
  68. Your phonebook contains a tide table.
  69. You only visit the Space Needle if you need someplace to take out-of-town guests.
  70. You — or someone you know — works at Boeing or Microsoft.
  71. You “Do The Puyallup.”
  72. You feel guilty throwing something away that could be recycled.
  73. You know more than ten ways to order coffee.
  74. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
  75. You can point to at least two volcanoes even if you can’t actually see them through the cloud cover.
  76. You wear shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
  77. You switch to your sandals at about 60 degrees, but keep your socks on.
  78. You’ve actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
  79. You buy new sunglasses every year because you’ve lost last year’s pair after such a long time not needing them.
  80. You design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit under (or over) a raincoat.
  81. When you hear people from Eastern Washington say they’re going to “the Coast”, you assume they mean Ocean Shores (and, believe it or not, you’re wrong!). 😉
  82. You know how to pronounce “geoduck” and know that it doesn’t quack or have feathers.
  83. You get upset when a store doesn’t carry your favorite brand of bottled water.
  84. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, and Tully’s.
  85. It’s not a “real” mountain unless it has snow year round and has erupted within the last 200 years.
  86. You can tell it’s summer because the rain is warmer.
  87. You know what a Frango is.
  88. You have an earthquake story, and so does everyone else you know.
  89. You can identify seven different types of rain.
  90. You can identify five different cities by smell alone.
  91. You think espresso was invented in Seattle.
  92. You know exactly where Tom Hank’s houseboat was in Sleepless In Seattle.
  93. You know the difference between a “boat house” and a “house boat”.
  94. You know who J.P. Patches is.
  95. At least one of your neighbors has a hot tub they haven’t used in over a year.
  96. You’ve used every setting on your intermittent wipers.
  97. You know you’d better enjoy the snow the first day it falls before the rain washes it away.
  98. You marvel when the autumn leaves stay on the trees for more than three days before the rain knocks them to the ground.
  99. You give directions using Puget Sound and the Cascades as points of reference.
  100. You lose your sense of direction if you go east of the Cascades.
  101. You know at least five different ways to kill slugs.
  102. You know the difference between a rhododendron and an azalea.
  103. You know what a Dick’s Deluxe is.
  104. You know someone whose house has been partially crushed by a tree.
  105. You know the difference between an evergreen and a deciduous tree.
  106. You don’t know what a turnpike is.
  107. You own a barbeque that’s rusted.
  108. You change your wiper blades more often than your oil.
  109. You prefer one mountain range to the other.

Can’t get enough?  For more great Seattle stuff, go to:

More Kids’ Advent Resources

star_loDaily Children’s Advent Activity Calendar:

Manger Scene Advent Coloring Calendar:

Advent Group Activities: