Pineapple Mosaic Cake

Okay, it's upside-down cake, but look at this picture, doesn't it look like an artistic mosaic? I love the sweet-tart combination of caramelized pineapples against a rich-tender bed of cake. The extra brown sugar and rum bring out the delicious tropical fruit flavors. This recipe is easy to pull off for a fun dinner party on the weekend and the results are sure to wow. You can use a 9 inch round cake pan, if needed. I was able to find this square beauty at Marshalls for under $13. 

This lactose-free dessert is easily converted back for all of you butter lovers. Swap the coconut oil for butter, and use regular milk for those of you who don't have lactose issues!

Pineapple Mosaic Cake

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 medium pineapple - peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (~3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk (lactose-free or regular)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust rack to middle of the oven.

In a small bowl stir together the melted coconut oil, brown sugar and dark rum; spread the mixture evenly in a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square cake pan (non-stick finish). Pat the pineapple very dry between several sheets of paper towel, and arrange it evenly on top of the sugar mixture.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the room-temperature coconut oil with the white sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. The batter will be very thick.

Place the cake in the middle of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge, and invert the cake onto a plate. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped coconut milk

Baker's Notes: A few of my pineapple pieces stuck to my pan. Don't fret, gently pry them off the pan and artfully place them back in their rightful place. 

 

Choco Banana Snackcake

Oh man, if you have lots of bananas and like chocolate cake, do I have the perfect recipe for you. Dairy-free, super moist and delicious, this one is a winner. Plus it's packed with 5 bananas so it's almost a health food, right? I was looking for an easy and dairy-free dessert to share with my sister and brother-in-law. I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest (everyone's already following me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/evbecker/)? It's a quick and easy snackcake recipe that will offer endless variations. My next iteration will be a vanilla version with vegan caramel sauce drizzle, stay tuned for that one!

choco banana snackcake

Choco Banana Snackcake

Adapted from Serena Bakes Simply, Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 5 whole bananas, peeled and frozen, then thaw for 1 hour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup black coffee
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup walnut or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (To Sprinkle On Top)
Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Directions

Baker's note: I always have lots of bananas in my freezer. Before you begin making this cake, remove 5 frozen, peeled bananas from the freezer and allow to thaw for about 1 hour. In a pinch, you can take 5 ripe, peeled bananas, and microwave them for 2-3 minutes before beginning this recipe. You should have nearly the same results.

Preheat oven to 350 F and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan (I used glass pyrex to great success).

Place thawed bananas in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until fairly smooth. Stir in brown sugar, canola oil, egg, vanilla, vinegar and coffee.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I recommend Ghiradelli's 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips for this recipe) and chopped nuts if you are using them. Pour snackcake batter into the prepared pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing. 

I found that the banana flavor quickly disappeared. If possible, enjoy this cake the same day that you bake it.  

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Big Fat Yeast Rolls

You remember these rolls don't you? Big, fluffy, yeasty, and delicious? I made pitas for several weekends in a row, and was tired of being "chained" to the stove during the final cooking process. The dough was so delicious that I thought they could be easily adapted into an easier yeast roll. Even on my first try, they were a success. I hope you'll give them a try.

big fat yeast rolls

Big Fat Yeast Rolls

Ingredients

Makes 8 rolls

Adapted from Serious Eats (www.seriouseats.com)

  • 1 cup warm water (between 110 and 115 F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast (one packet)
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

Mix the water and yeast together and let sit for about five minutes  until the yeast is dissolved. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour (saving the last half cup for kneading), salt, and olive oil. Stir until a shaggy dough is formed.

Sprinkle a little of the extra flour onto your clean work surface and  turn out the dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes total, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour as needed to keep the  dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface; try to be sparing. It is better to use too little flour than too much. If you get tired, stop and let the dough rest for a few minutes before you finish kneading.

Clean the bowl you used to mix the dough and film it with a little olive oil. Set the dough in the bowl and turn it until it is coated with oil. Cover with a clean dishcloth or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it's doubled in size, 1 - 2 hours.

Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work  surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and gently roll into a ball. Place them in a lightly oiled 8 x 8 inch pan. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel, and let them rise for 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 425°, adjust the oven rack to the middle. Bake rolls for approximately 20 minutes. Tops should be golden brown. Cool in pan for 10 minutes them remove, serve warm. They also reheat easily in the oven.

Second Rise

Second Rise