Don't you just love a stir-together cake? This recipe has been around for decades (absolutely NO credit to me!), but I recently saw Stephanie Keen's very similar Granny Cake recipe on JAP where she added a boiled topping to the hot pineapple cake. I knew I had to try it.
So here's my dusted-off recipe with Stephanie's boiled topping, used with permission. (Thanks, Stephanie!) Another option is Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting instead of the boiled topping.
Choices are what make baking so much fun, right? =^..^=
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees F & lightly mist a 13 x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.
2MANAGEMENT TIP FOR BEGINING BAKERS: Set out all of your ingredients before starting to make sure you have them all. (Don't ask how I know this!) Then, since you're measuring anyway, measure out ALL of your ingredients into the proper bowl or pan at the same time. This saves time and you're able to start the clean-up faster. OK, back to the recipe. =^..^=
3In a large bowl, add the pineapple & juice, eggs, white sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, and, if desired, cinnamon. Stir it all together until it's well-blended. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
4Sprinkle the cake batter with the brown sugar...
5...then add the nuts on top. (Notice that I only added nuts to part of my cake since not everyone in my family loves pecans as much as I do! What a pity...)
6Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, testing early with a toothpick in the center of the cake.
MANAGEMENT NOTE: If you're going to make the boiled topping, set your timer for 25 minutes so you can start cooking the topping at that point and get it all done by the time the cake is baked.
7BOILED TOPPING DIRECTIONS: Heat the evaporated milk, sugar, and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until it comes to a full, rolling boil. Remove from the heat & add the vanilla. **This takes about 10-15 minutes, so plan to have it ready when the cake comes out of the oven.
8As soon as the cake is done, take it from the oven & place on a cooling rack.
9If you've made the boiled topping, pour the HOT topping over the HOT cake. It will soak in as it cools.
10Allow the cake & topping to cool completely before serving. Or not. =^..^=
11CREAMY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING DIRECTIONS: Put the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a mixing bowl while the cake is cooling so the butter & cream cheese can soften. Using a mixer, beat them together until smooth. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar, beating between additions. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake, then decorate with nuts, if desired.