Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

I love being a part of both 37 Cooks and Good Cook Blogger/Kitchen Experts – and I love that they have combined forces for this event.

This was no ordinary challenge, though – this was the Good Cook Potluck Pantry Challenge. The key word in that name is PANTRY, meaning we had to cook or bake with whatever we had in our pantry (including fridge) and not buy anything at the store. Thankfully my pantry is pretty well stocked and happened to have a fresh pineapple on hand! We had to use two of the Good Cook items – one from the core items received and the second item was whichever pan we choose.

I knew right away that I wanted to make pineapple upside down cakes – this was my favorite cake growing up because it did not have frosting on it! I kid you not…to this day I still do not really like frosting unless it’s my own frosting, which I do not sweeten much. My sweet tooth is not that strong I guess. This goes perfectly with a little dollop of lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream. Even though I chose to do a sweet recipe, this pan can be used for so much more than desserts – you can bake cornbread, risotto (yes risotto squares!), meatloaf, etc. The possibilities are pretty endless – you just need to be creative.

I used the following items to create my Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Silicone Spatula, Chopping Mats, and Dessert Bar Pan. I loved using the pineapple corer/slicer – super easy to use, say good-bye to canned pineapple rings!

The recipe is below, however, here are a few substitutions that can be made:
If you are not gluten-free, feel free to use a “regular” cake mix
The recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free – the picture does show whipped cream, but you can omit that.
Don’t like pineapple? Use a different fruit…raspberries, cherries, etc.
I used Earth Balance sticks – feel free to use whatever butter or butter alternative you want…I haven’t tried anything besides this and butter so I can not guarantee any results

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes
by Jenny

1 package of gluten-free white cake mix (follow package instructions*)
2-3 Tablespoons Earth Balance baking sticks (this is in addition to whatever your box mix calls for)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners) 
1 small-medium pineapple, cored and sliced, and cut into 1/2 chunks – reserve any juice
12 natural maraschino cherries without stems, drained

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prepare cake mix according to package instructions (use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often if using a stand mixer.)

Evenly divide up the 2-3 Tablespoons of earth balance into the 12 wells of the dessert pan. Place pan in preheated oven to melt the butter – once melted, remove from oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the wells of the pan.

Top the brown sugar and melted butter with one 1/2 chunk of pineapple and 1 natural maraschino cherry (halved or whole is fine.)
Pour prepared cake batter evenly into wells of pan – leave about 1/4-inch room to let the cake rise in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Remove from oven and using a heatproof serving plate or cutting board upside down onto pan, turn plate and pan over. 

Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake; remove pan. 

Cool 30 minutes. 

Can be served either warm or cool with either ice cream (dairy free alternatives available), or whipped cream (or coconut cream.)
Store covered in refrigerator.

Good Cook provided us with these products free of charge – all opinions are 100% my own.