Spice cake was a staple because Salem, Massachusetts, and other New England ports, were hubs for the Far East spice trade. After ships from the Caribbean brought back pineapples, an inventive cook layered pineapple and sugar on the bottom of the spice cake pan. The result: an instant classic.
4 teaspoons stick margarine
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
7 (1/2-inch) slices fresh pineapple
1/4 cup stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup skim milk
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt 4 teaspoons margarine in a 10-inch cast-iron or heavy skillet. Add orange juice and brown sugar; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer over brown sugar mixture; set aside.
Beat 1/4 cup margarine, granulated sugar, honey, and egg at medium speed of a mixer until thick and fluffy. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a bowl. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat well after each addition. Stir in rind and vanilla. Pour batter over pineapple slices.
Bake cake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert onto a cake plate, and cut into wedges. Serve warm.