Thursday, October 27, 2011

Granny's Layered Pineapple Cake

While visiting my grandma several years ago, she made a yummy, layered pineapple cake that my husband fell in love with.  Well, anytime that HandyManlyPapa expresses his appreciation for a particular delectable dish, I try to procure the recipe for my files.  My grandma, affectionately known to my children as Granny, generously shared her recipe on a paper plate.  It's not pretty, but it's her handwriting, and it will remain in my recipe collection forever.

This is an easy recipe, and although I do generally prefer recipes made from homemade ingredients, for special occasions I use boxed ingredients as the recipe dictates.  This is not a fancy-smancy gourmet food blog!  Most recipes I post will be down-home comforting foods, or focusing on ease of preparation and feeding my brood healthfully and economically.  I am always looking for the delicate balance of practicality and good nutrition.  Or sometimes, I just make tasty, family recipes like these, which have the added benefit of being super easy to make!

Granny's Pineapple Cake starts off which baking a yellow cake mix according to the box directions.  I don't buy a particular brand, just whatever is on sale.

After mixing up the cake, I pour it into an 11x14 baking dish.  Normally, I'd bake a cake like this in a 9x13, but we want to have plenty of room for all the yummy layers!

While the cake baked, I worked on my Great Kitchen Flip Flop, which I'll be blogging about later.  We moved into this house only a few weeks ago, and I am still getting my kitchen set up just the way I want.  With four kiddos, it's impossible to have one free day to get it all done, so instead I work on it a few minutes while cooking or cleaning up.  Eventually I'll have a well organized kitchen again!

When the cake is finished baking, I pull it out onto the stove and begin making the pineapple topping.  It's super easy; just pour a can of crushed pineapple and a cup of brown sugar into a sauce pan and heat it up until mixed to sweet pineappley goodness. 

 Then, poke holes in the still warm cake.  There's no rule, just as many holes as you're moved to make.  Some days, that may be more than others!  I like a well pineapple juice-saturated cake, so I make lots of holes for the sauce to sink in to.  You can use a fork or whatever is handy, but I prefer to use the end of a plastic chopstick.  My little guys particularly enjoy helping out with this step.

Next, I spread the pineapple sauce over the top of the cake.  It will be pretty juicy at first, but most seeps into the cake and you end up with a nice pineapple layer.

I let the cake cool for a bit at this point and meanwhile, mix up a large box of instant vanilla pudding.  By the time I prepare this and leave it in the fridge for a bit to set, the cake has cooled some.  Then I spread the pudding over the top of the pineapple layer.
Slice up a few bananas and spread the slices over the pudding.  This is another step little helpers love, especially since mama doesn't mind them taste-testing the bananas. 

Finally, spread a tub of Cool Whip over the banana and pudding layer as a fluffy frosting.  I usually stick the cool whip in the fridge an hour or two ahead so it won't be frozen anymore and spreads easily.
At the end, you have a lovely, layered, Pineapple Cake.  Easy to make and a treat for the whole family. 

Happy Birthday HandyManlyPapa!  

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