7 slices canned unsweetened pineapple (20-ounce can)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
19 maraschino cherries
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have ready a 9x2-inch round cake pan. Drain pineapple and place in one layer on paper towels to absorb the excess juice.
2. Place the 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in the cake pan. Place the pan in the oven until the butter is melted. Tilt to coat all sides with butter. The extra butter will settle in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.
3. Place one pineapple ring in the center of the pan and arrange six more around it. Place the maraschino cherries in the center of each ring and in the spaces between them.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and vanilla with a fork.
5. In a mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 6 tablespoons of buttermilk. Beat on low speed just until the flour is moistened, then increase the speed to medium, or high if using a handheld mixer, and beat for exactly 1½ minutes. The batter will be stiff. Add one-third of the egg mixture at a time, beating for exactly 20 seconds and scraping the bowl after each addition. Scrape the batter over the fruit in the pan and spread evenly.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and tilt the pan in all directions to detach it from the sides of the pan. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before unmolding.
7. Invert a serving platter on top of the pan. Cover your hands with oven mitts and turn the cake onto the platter. Lift off the pan. If any fruit or cherry pieces are askew, use a fork to push them back into place. If any brown sugar is left in the pan, scrape it up and spoon it over the cake. Serve warm or cool.