It seems hard to believe that the Pineapple Upside Down cake has not always been with us. Canned pineapple was not available until 1903 when Jim Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole Pineapple) perfected a way to tin them.
Fruit at the bottom of a cake pan is a technique which has been around since the middle ages. Apples, cherries and other seasonal fruits were used in upside down cakes which were often made in cast-iron skillets on top of the stove. The use of pineapple (and an oven) was just the newest most novel twist, an ode to twentieth century technologies and notions of convenience. Indeed, it did not take long for the recipe to work its way into the American housewife’s repertoire.
The Hawaiian Pineapple Company (Dole) requested submissions for creative ways to prepare Pineapple. By 1925 they received 2500 recipes for Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It’s no doubt that the Pineapple Upside Down Cake had become a pop icon.
In 1925 women’s magazines there was a Gold Medal Flour advertisement with a full-page, four-color picture of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake-a round cake with six slices of pineapple, candied red cherries, and a brown sugar glaze. The date: November 1925.” —American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson
By 1926 the Hawaiian Pineapple company capitalized on the popularity of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake, running a national ad campaign featuring the recipe. Further solidifying its place in culinary history.