A New Easter Tradition–Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Someone else’s attempt at this classic, which is usually round.

 

This year, I’m recovering from second degree burns and have been rather ill from them all week. Pretty much everything suffered, with my poor, sweet husband having to pick up some of the slack for me. God used a friend I hadn’t seen in forever to get me the meds I needed, and today I have energy for a change, so I took my house down from near total disaster area to only “a little a mess.”

I finished the Easter centerpiece I’d been working on in bits and pieces (flowers made from green straws and #2 cone coffee filters soaked in leftover Easter egg dye and left to dry. Carefully tear it open, fold accordion style 1/2 way, then wrap the other half around, tucking in the short corner. Twist bottom into a point, stick on straw, arrange in a vase or suitable substitute) I stuck saved cracked egg shells in the dye, too, and arranged them in the vase and on a plate (paper) around the vase, crumpled up a few extra dyed coffee filters to go with them. Cute and inexpensive. Not bad at all for a first try, while I’ve been ill, really.

You know, this reads exactly like every recipe online where I get annoyed by the blather and skim to the actual recipe, lol.

A few years back, I decided to start a new family tradition of serving pineapple upside down cake on Easter. This new tradition is based upon my short story “Pineapple Upside Down Cake,” loosely based on actual events from my childhood. Namely, shortly before she died of Parkinson’s disease, my paternal grandmother promised to bake my dad said concoction when she got better. In the story, the local church sends a care package full of food to the family (as mine did) and among the items is a pineapple upside down cake. Not sure how much of this is fiction, but to the children in the story, the cake is a reminder of, and assurance of, the funeral preacher’s assurances Grandma was now in Heaven and was well again there. Thus the spiritual meaning it has for me makes it perfect for Easter.

That treat isn’t exactly kosher on my current diet (for health reasons). So I made a few modifications that seem to have worked. Note I used home-made nut milk in mine.

Healthier (Gluten-Free, Dairy Free) Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 hour and 10 minutes to make 9 servings

Ingredients:

Topping:
¼ cup coconut oil
2/3c coconut sugar
9 slices pineapple in, drained (reserve juice)
9 maraschino cherries, destemmed.
Cake:
11/3c Gluten-Free flour mix (I used Krusteauz, from Albertsons)
¾ c Splenda + ¼ cup coconut sugar OR 1 c white sugar
1 1/2tsps baking powder
1/2teaspoon salt
½c almond milk or coconut milk
1/4 c pineapple juice (increase non-dairy milk if omitting)
2-3 eggs

Directions:
1) Heat oven to350 degrees F. In 9 in square pan (or baking dish) melt the coconut oil in the oven as needed. (Trust me, do this FIRST). After it is melted, remove pan from oven. Shake dish good to ensure the oil greases all surfaces well or the cake will stick. Sprinkle in the coconut sugar then arrange the pineapple over the coconut sugar. Place cherries in the center of each pineapple ring. If you use a brownie pan, you’ll have to do some squeezing to get them to fit. Note these cakes are usually round so if you want to use a round pan, go for it. If it’s a larger pan you may need to double the recipe to fill it.
2) In a bowl, stir together the flour mix, the baking powder, and salt. Cut in the remaining 1/3 c coconut oil, the nondairy milk, the pineapple juice (if using) and 2-3 eggs. Beat lumps out of the batter with an electric mixer on high, about 3 minutes, scraping bowl 2-3 times. Pour batter over the topping mix that’s on the bottom of the pan.
3) Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place a heatproof serving plate (I used my pizza pan) upside down over the cake’s pan. Quickly flip over the plate and the pan. May need to gently bang on the pan to get the cake to fall off it onto the plate upside down. Leave the pan on over the plate to let the caramelized sugar-oil mix drizzle down; you may need to scrape some off. It’s suggested to serve cake warm but it is delicious cold, too..

Adapted from the classic Betty Crocker recipe.

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