Pineapple upside down cake reminds me of my childhood and the countless afternoons I spent watching my mother play bridge or mah jongg with her friends and the Wednesday evening potlucks at our local church. She always brought one of three dishes to those potlucks: spaghetti pie, seven layer dip or pineapple upside down cake. I miss it too, those comforting foods of middle America, but I’m no fan of margarine, cake mixes and sweet cherries laced with vivid red food coloring.
So, upon waking with a wicked hankering for pineapple upside down cake this morning, I took to my kitchen and whipped up this alternative which pairs pineapple with honey and one of my favorite flours for sweet treats: coconut.
Why coconut flour?
We minimize grain consumption in our home, and coconut flour makes a beautiful alternative to grain-based flours. Moreover, coconut flour is particularly well-suited to sweet treats and baked goods as it has a fluffy texture and is reminiscent of yellow cake when sweetened. Coconut flour is also rich in protein, fiber and fat and, unlike grain-based flours, it doesn’t require soaking (wondering about why you should soak grains? Click here). In this recipe, its soft cake-like texture and faint coconut flavor complements the pineapple well. It’s a natural choice.
Coconut flour is dense and absorbent and it requires lots of liquid, usually in the form of eggs to produce a palatable result. As a result, cakes and baked goods made with coconut flour are typically more dense in vitamins and healthy fats than those made from grain-based flours. You can learn more about baking with coconut flour here.
Where to find coconut flour
Coconut flour and oils are increasingly available in good quality and well-stocked health food stores, but it tends to be expensive for a small amount. I typically purchase my coconut flour in bulk online (see sources) to save money.
- 1½ cups coconut flour
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup honey, (divided)
- 1 dozen eggs, (beaten)
- 2 tsp organic vanilla extract
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 12 rings pineapple , (about ½-inch thick)
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk coconut flour, almond flour and unrefined sea salt together. Beat in coconut milk, ¾ cup honey, eggs and vanilla and continue to beat them together until no clumps remain.
- Melt coconut oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over moderately high heat. Whisk in remaining ¼ cup honey. When the honey and coconut oil foam and bubble, gently arrange pineapple into the skillet. Place dried cherries in the center of each pineapple ring and around the pineapple rings. Turn off the heat, pour in the cake batter and bake for forty-five minutes to one hour in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about five to ten minutes before inverting on a platter and serving.