This week I celebrated birthdays of two of my friends. For one I was present and one in spirit. For the one I attended, I made a pineapple cake. It has been kind of a ritual of make a cake with pineapples. Every year I make a different type of pineapple cake and this year it was pineapple cake with whipped cream's turn – the first two were pineapple upside down cake and pineapple cupcakes. For the base of the cake, I used a simple white cake box mix (since I had some at home) and added crushed canned pineapple. You can also use a pineapple cake mix or your own cake mix at home. I made a 9 inch cake and used ready made cool whip. You can also whip cream at home. My secret ingredient (as I like to call it) was cardamom. It is subtle and adds a layer of flavor.
1 white cake box mix (Duncan Hines preferred)
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
1 8 oz can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
1 pineapple slice
13 pieces of maraschino cherries
1 large tub of cool whip
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Preheat the oven. Mix the crushed pineapple, eggs, oil and water, substituting the pineapple proportionally with the water i.e. a cup of pineapple would replace a cup of water. Add the cake mix and make the batter as directed. Butter and flour two 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Divide the mix between the two pans and bake as per directions on the box. After the time given on the box, usually 30 - 35 minutes, test the cake with a skewer inserted through the middle. If it comes out clean the cake is done, else check for a few more minutes. Cool the cake completely. You can also place the cake in the refrigerator to cool it faster. Prepare a cake board by lining it with foil. Sometimes the cake rise more in the middle than the sides, so if the cakes have domes cut them off to make them level.
To assemble - place one of the cakes on the cake board with the cut-dome side up. Spoon some of the juice of the canned pineapple on the cake. Spread about 4 tablespoons of whipped cream on the cake. Next place the pineapple chunks on the cream. Fill in the space around the chunks with whipped cream. Place the second cake on top, cut-dome side on the cream. Place about 1/2 cup of cream on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. Place cream similarly on the sides and spread evenly. When the top and sides are evenly coated, place the cream in a piping bag fitted with a 1M pastry tip. Make rosettes (twisting the pastry bag clockwise with steady pressure) on the top of the cake positioned like the clock face. Drain the cherries and place one on each rosette. Place a pineapple slice in the center and place a cherry in the center. Refrigerate till ready to serve. Place a candle, make a wish and enjoy!