Side Dish: Upside-down cake

The Food staff gets calls from readers who have misplaced newspaper clippings of favorite recipes. Those requests help the staff know what recipes interest our readers. They also bring back memories of the people who shared the recipes.

Sometimes those clipped recipes have been passed from one generation to the next. Here’s an oldie that a reader recently asked for. A variation on pineapple upside-down cake, the recipe first ran in The Advocate in 1987 and then again in 1996. Try it and see if it has stood the test of time.

Carrot Cake

Makes 10 to 12 servings. Recipe is from “Delicious Desserts: A Family Circle Cookbook” and reprinted in the “New American” FOOD FOCUS Booklet, Spring 1987.

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 (20-oz.) can pineapple slices in juice, drained and juice reserved

20 pecan halves

2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 medium)

2 cups sifted flour

11/4 cups sugar

11/4 tsps. baking soda

1 tsp. each salt, cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread melted butter over bottom of 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange pineapple slices over bottom of pan. Place 2 pecan halves in center of each pineapple ring. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, bring 1⁄3 cup reserved pineapple juice to a boil. Place carrots in a large mixing bowl and pour juice over carrots. Let stand 5 minutes. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt,cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes longer. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake in preheated oven until center springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip, about 30 to 35 minutes.

5. Place large tray or platter over top of cake pan and invert. Cool for 2 minutes. Carefully lift off pan and allow cake to cool completely.

Note: To freeze, cool cake completely and wrap well. To serve,unwrap and thaw at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Cheramie Sonnier is The Advocate’s Food editor. Her email address is