Pineapple Upside-Down Not-Cake

Here’s what I tried to make. A gluten-free pineapple upside-down cake for Memorial Day, to accomodate one of our gluten-intolerant family friends and because pineapple rocks. Here’s what happened– not that.

birds eye cake

Maybe it had to do with the coconut flour being expired (not sorry, it smelled fine). Maybe I didn’t let it bake long enough (not sorry, it’s vegan there are no eggs). Maybe (/probably/definitely) I messed up the liquid to dry ingredient ratio. Whatever happened, it just can’t be called a cake. It didn’t really “cake up” and was only about half an inch thick, still liquidy in places when I took it out of the oven. Coconut flour was the only alternative flour I had in the house, so I figured I would try that. I read beforehand about how to work with it, but simultaneously playing around to make it vegan probably added other problems.

But I’m a big fan of not letting anything go to waste, even if it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing or what I intended to come out of the oven. And it just goes to show that not everything in the kitchen will be a success, so sometimes you have to make the best of a (literally) sticky situation. If I were diligently trying to make a gluten-free/vegan pineapple upside-down cake, I would go back, try again, and work to better the recipe before posting. But I am quite pleased with whatever this is, because it was surprisingly delicious and everyone at dinner enjoyed it and I don’t think they were just saying it to be nice. So while it may not be cake, it’s a sweet, caramelized, pineapple-y dessert with hints of warm cinnamon and is a rockstar with ice cream or fruit salad or licked from the pan. To help with clean-up, obviously.

Pineapple Upside-Down Not-Cake

Makes 9 or 10-inch round cake

~1/2 (or a bit more) of a medium pineapple, cut into small sections

3 Tbsp rum

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 tsp lime juice

1/4 cup applesauce

1/2 cup oil

2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax meal + 5 Tbsp water)

1/2 cup almond milk

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger

Start by preparing the pineapple! Combine the pineapple, brown sugar, and rum in a skillet and toss together on medium heat until it smells delicious and is kind of bubbly and the pineapple is shiny. As you can probably tell…not too precise of a science. When they’re done, brush the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with olive oil and lay the pineapple down. Drizzle with the lime juice.

Prepare the flax eggs in a smaller bowl. Combine the flax meal and water and let sit for 5 minutes. In the mean time, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Coconut flour can be clumpy, so whisk extra well.

Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the flax eggs and whisk together. This is amusing because the oil doesn’t play nicely with others so you get a cool swirl! Which I was going to post a picture of but in retrospect it’s not super attractive so I’ll let you discover that one on your own.

Put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk together until combined. Pour into the pan over the pineapples, and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool for a while, then undo the springform and let cool even more. Enjoy!

omnomnomIce cream. No one is surprised.

Raspberry Coconut Oat Bars

These cookies are from the One Girl Cookies cookbook, which I received as a birthday gift last fall from one of my dear friends Amanda. She’s the friend who will pick ice cubes out of pitchers with you using just chopsticks because really who can even pour from pitchers anyway. She’s the friend who shows up outside your door at 2am when you’re stressed about a paper just to give you a hug and tell you things will be okay. She’s the friend that will stand with you while you treadmill to keep you company (and incidentally probably annoy the rest of the gym with you). She’s the friend that accepts and enjoys, or pretends to enjoy, constant texts regarding the state of your bladder. And she’s the friend who says things like this: “I think that sometimes we expect life to be a little more dramatic and event-worthy than it actually is. That does not mean that YOU are boring. It just means that soap operas lie.” This was so prolific and she didn’t have to try. It was even over Facebook chat. What even.


So anyway, these cookies. They have coconut in and around them. And I am generally not a fan of coconut. But I figured I would make these anyway because a) the world is not my minion and there are other mouths in it and b) it shows how there are some differences that make Amanda and I such great friends! For example, she is rational and I am not. Someone’s gotta do it. That someone is never me.


I have to say though– something MAGICAL happens when you toast coconut. It’s like everything you’ve ever smelled before it never existed, and you discover smell receptors you never knew you had. And you’re suddenly on a floatie with a pina colada in the Caribbean Sea. Then you open your eyes and oh it’s 60 degrees and has been raining for 4 days but that’s cool, world, I have toasted coconut, so go ahead with your rain. Now I know why Bath and Body Works makes bank off this type of thing.

coocoo for coconuts

And then another thing. I THINK I AM A CONVERT on the coconut front because these are absolutely amazing. The coconut taste is subtler than expected, and while I was initially worried that I had crispied the base layer too much, it had the perfect amount of crunch to complement the soft, warm raspberry gooey insides. Just ask my mom. She’s already using the “I’m-gonna-cut-this-in-half-so-I’m-eating-less-but-oh-lookie-who-left-just-a-half-there-what-a-shame-might-as-well-eat-it” tactic. Clearly I get all my best tricks from her. I also employed the “add ice cream to everything” trick…and a lil more raspberry preserves and chocolate syrup for good measure. Kind of a hot mess, but a tasty one.

a la mOdE

Raspberry Coconut Oat Bars from One Girl Cookies

Makes 24 bars

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I used sweetened though and no regrets)

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350℉. Sprinkle the coconut on a baking sheet and toast it in the oven for ~3 minutes. Let cool, and leave the oven on. Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugars, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low to combine. Add the butter pieces and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Add toasted coconut and oats. Mix on low for 1 minute, until the dough looks like little crumbles. 

Put ~1/4 (or a bit more as needed) of the dough to the prepared pan and use your fingers to press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the edges are golden. Let cool for 10 minutes. Then spread the raspberry preserves over it, leaving 1/2 inch of border. 

Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the preserves, until it’s completely coated- you may have a bit left over. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the preserves are bubbling through. 

Let bars cool completely. Then, loosen the edges and transfer to a flat pan (or just cut them in the pan) into squares. Enjoy!

sittin on a plate

Happy birthday, Amanda! You’re the best and thank you for being such a wonderful friend. I made you these cookies and they’re only 22 days late. Now figure out a way to apparate and come eat them. At least your mouth and stomach. Or maybe your whole GI tract come to think of it.

Caramelized Cherry Waffles (Vegan!)

Summer is just around the corner (as I type this during a freezing rainstorm) which means that cherry season is almost here, too. It has indeed already arrived on my cutting board, in multiple shapes and sizes.Cherriez

I was never properly introduced to cherries until the summer before my freshman year of college, when I was hiking with my dad in preparation for my pre-orientation backpacking trip. We brought PB sandwiches and cherries for snacks, and when we got to a cliff he taught me how to get the pit out and we spent a good amount of time spitting them as far over the cliff as possible. Ever since then, I am an educated human being and now know how to consume a cherry. Before this monumental life event, I just assumed all cherries were maraschino cherries and thus all cherries were ick. But now I love them! And am putting them in waffles! I’ve come so far in life.

The bag of cherries in my fridge was begging to be somehow used in breakfast this morning. Plus, I’ve vowed to use my waffle maker more, and thus– these were born. I didn’t want them to be too chunky though, so I threw them over the stovetop for a bit to soften and sweeten them up. “Caramelized” might not actually be the right word choice. Probably “sauteed” is more apt. But alliteration!!! So we’re going with it. Either way, they are delicious and nutritious (no added sugar!!) (besides the sugar added to the cherries) (doesn’t count) and I hear that if you eat enough cherries you turn into George Washington. Or something. breakfast!

Caramelized Cherry Waffles

Makes 4 waffles

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 2.5 Tbsp water)

1 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract (separated)

In a small bowl, prepare the flax egg by adding the water to the ground flaxseed, stirring until combined, and letting it sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine the first four dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, salt) in a bowl.

Chop the cherries and put them in a pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla, stirring until dissolved. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and let the cherries juice up for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

Add the almond milk and other tsp vanilla to the flax egg, stirring until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk them all together. Then take the warm cherries and dump them in, juice and everything, and stir until incorporated. The batter will turn a cool/bizarre light purple color which is sort of fun.

Let the batter sit while the waffle maker heats up. Once heated, spray it with non-stick spray, add ~1/2-3/4 cup batter, and cook as instructed by your waffle maker manual. Enjoy!

ooozinOh boy. Click that photo to make it full size- cherries oozing ALL OVER THE PLACE!! Omnomnom. Someone get this waffle a band-aid. And yes, shoving into your mouth is an acceptable form of band-aid.

Cranberry Pear Crumble

After a billion year long hiatus, being home on Thanksgiving break means it’s definitely time to get back on top of this blog thang. The past 3 months have included undocumented noms such as gluten-free ginger cookies, gluten-free vanilla cupcakes, PBR cupcakes, fall-flavored rice pudding, pumpkin applesauce, and more. One day they shall be engrained in HTML (high technology memory lane amirite) but for now, use your imagination.

Due to the fact that it is mid-fall and all I want to do is take a bath in mashed sweet potato, it’s a bit weird that this crumble is the first thing I’m posting. Especially because in the 48 hours I’ve been home so far, I’ve made pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pancakes, apple cider glazed sweet potatoes, sweet potato pizza, and pumpkin/craisin/choco chip cookies. I don’t have a problem, I swear. In my mind, pear + cranberries = total winter foods. I mean, I guess cranberry sauce is a thing on Thanksgiving, but still. They’re even red and green! Or…magenta and fern-colored. (Disclaimer- yes, the pear in the picture is red but that’s because I was too eager beaver and didn’t take a picture of the green ones). But despite all that, I made this for my mom and I the other night and here is what it looks like now.
…No shame.

This comes together really easily- you just toss the pears and cranberries together with some delicious things, add a ton of crumb topping, and stick it in the oven. The one thing is that the recipe called for a TON of crumb, so there was about a cup left over. I’m working on some way to use it up because everyone knows that’s the best part- butter, brown sugar, cinnamon…I melt. And it gets all crispy crunchy in the oven and smells like someone cut open an elm tree in October somewhere on a farm in Massachusetts. Also, this can easily be made vegan by using the topping from the Summer Berry Crumble I posted a while ago.

Cranberry Pear Crumble adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes 1 8×8-inch dish

For the filling

4 ripe but firm pears (I used d’anjou)

1 cup fresh cranberries

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

For the crumb topping

1 1/3 cup flour

1 1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup oats

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temp


Preheat the oven to 350°F and set aside an 8×8 baking dish. First, peel and cut the pears into large chunks and place in baking dish. Then, pour the cranberries on top. Top with sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, mix together, and set aside white you make the topping.

To make the topping, first whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and oats. Add the chunks of butter and mix in with your fingers or pastry cutter until it’s well incorporated and the butter bits are the size of coarse breadcrumbs. Add about 3/4 cup of the topping mixture to the filling and toss together. Place more crumb topping over it until you can see no fruit and it looks like a fluffy bed of brown sugar crumble.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and you just can’t take it any longer. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then eat up! Ice cream and/or whipped cream not necessary, but encouraged. Enjoy!

So good. If you need a break from all the pumpkin things around, (I do not, but I accept that some people may be more sane than I am) make this right away! The supermarkets are brimming with bags of fresh cranberries. Here’s a picture of the final product- a day later, though. Ate too quickly to take a picture the first time. This is a theme in my life.