Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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Sometimes life seems upside-down, but I’ll tell you what puts everything in perspective: a new baby!! I have the honor of baking the cake for my daughter’s baby shower this weekend and this is what she requested–cravings and all 😉

Like most people, when I need a recipe fast–even though I have a collection of cookbooks I go straight to the great Google in the sky. Unfortunately, this time, I didn’t find any vegan versions of this classic cake that made me want to go out on a limb and try an unproven recipe. Some of the photos I found were downright horrific!

Okay, so I put on my thinking cap: What’s so special about pineapple upside-down cake? Well, of course, it’s the syrupy sweet brown sugar and pineapple on top.

I went straight to Paula Deen for this part of my cake. She is the reigning expert on good old-fashioned southern cooking in my book. It’s so simple:

Sprinkle a good quantity of dark brown sugar ( about 3/4 cup) on the bottom of the cake pan.  Melt 1/4 cup of Earth Balance non-dairy margarine and drizzle over. Lay down pineapple rings and maraschino cherries to cover surface area.

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Ok, I got that part. Next, for the cake. What’s so special about the cake part? Well, as I recall the cake isn’t especially rich, it’s more like a lightly sweet sponge. I took my favorite vegan almond sponge cake recipe from Chloe Coscarelli and substituted pineapple juice for the water and voila!

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I set out to test my theory.

First of all, the scent of this cake in the oven was intoxicating. I LOVE almond flavor and in this recipe it really permeates the cake. As promised, the recipe yielded a lightly sweet but delicious sponge cake balanced by the ultra-brown sugary, buttery topping.

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The result: Absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to make it for our guests to celebrate the impending arrival of Baby Cora!

Almond Sponge

Source: Chloe Coscarelli
(Servings: 8)

1 ½ cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
¾ cup Water (substitute pineapple juice)
½ cup Canola oil
2 tbsp. Vinegar (white or ac)
1 tbsp. Almond extract

Lightly grease 9 inch round. Wet into dry, whisk just until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Note: with the topping, I found it took an extra 10-15 minutes to bake all the way through.

 

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Kat, Brandon and Baby Rayna

 

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