This Week's Muffin: Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes, in Honor of the Muffin Runners

11947565_10153525264597969_462372193102116566_nA year ago in early August, I joined Moms Run This Town for my first group run. It was at 5 a.m. and was affectionately called the Muffin Run, because the host would bake muffins for everyone as an enticement for them to come out so ungodly early. On my one-year anniversary of that first MRTT run, I was running on a tibial stress fracture without knowing it. So yeah, it doesn't always work out nice and neat. But that's running for you.

The host of the muffin run host still bakes every week, which is amazing considering we can get upwards of 30-40 people. And while the snacks are nice, folks don't need the enticement anymore. There are 5 a.m. runs (and earlier) almost every day of the week.

Our family moves on Friday, so today was my last muffin run as a Springfield resident. I'll still run with these ladies often, but it'll mostly be long weekend runs. Although, I've already told the group that my first run post-injury will be with the 5 a.m. track babes. Yes, I will drive down for that triumphant (I hope) half mile.

IMG_8250This week I asked to be the muffin-maker. Since I can't run, I biked around the neighborhood, which may be a first for the group. I brought these decadent beauties, adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything. These are fun and easy. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • cooking spray
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 24 maraschino cherries
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple--reserve the juice
  • 1 package yellow cake mix (and oil and eggs called for on the package)
  • 1⅓ cups pineapple juice (you just need as much pineapple juice as water called for on the cake mix package - see note)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 24 muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Line a work surface with parchment or waxed paper.
  3. Spoon 1 teaspoon melted butter into the bottom of each sprayed muffin cup.
  4. Spoon 1 tablespoon brown sugar in each muffin cup.
  5. Press a maraschino cherry into the center of the brown sugar in each muffin cup.
  6. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of crushed pineapple over the cherry and compact it with the back of a spoon into an even layer.
  7. Mix cake mix according to the package directions, replacing the water with pineapple juice. This may vary according to which cake mix you use. In large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Turn mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes.
  8. Pour pineapple cake batter into the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  10. Allow cupcakes to cool at least 10 minutes before inverting muffin cups onto the waxed paper to release. (Unfortunately some of the topping stuck to the muffin pans, and I needed to spoon it back on. Still looked and tasted fine though.) Serve with pineapple and cherry sides up.