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.
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!