Summary: Many of us have fond summer memories of sitting outside in the warm sun, digging into generous helpings of pineapple upside-down cake. Of course, the traditional recipe utilizes eggs and milk, but these ingredients aren't necessary for our delicious version. Our recipe uses fresh pineapple instead of canned. Colorful pomegranate seeds replace the usual Maraschino cherries.

Many of us have fond summer memories of sitting outside in the warm sun, digging into generous helpings of pineapple upside-down cake. Of course, the traditional recipe utilizes eggs and milk, but these ingredients aren’t necessary for our delicious version. Our recipe uses fresh pineapple instead of canned. Colorful pomegranate seeds replace the usual Maraschino cherries. We recently baked this dessert for a Memorial Day barbeque, and were delighted by the stellar results. Try it for yourself, and we think you’ll agree.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped into small chunks
1/4 cup coconut oil
scant cup plant-based milk (coconut or almond works best)
juice of 1/2 lemon
8 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/4 cups almond meal
1 1/4 cups all purpose, gluten-free flour
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder (make sure it’s aluminum-free)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pomegranate seeds for topping (optional)
Vegan whipping cream (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Grease a square baking pan with vegan butter, coconut oil, or other oil of your choosing. Line the bottom of the pan with the pineapple chunks, making sure they are evenly distributed and not too lumpy. Melt the coconut oil, keeping a watchful eye so it won’t burn. Pour oil in a large bowl and add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and almond meal. Stir thoroughly, then add flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well until the mixture is moist but not runny. Add additional flour if mixture is too moist, or milk if it’s too stiff. It should have a slightly fluffy texture.

Ladle the batter into the baking pan, making sure it is evenly spread across the pineapple chunks. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. You can employ the toothpick or fork-in-the-middle method to see whether it’s done. Remove your cake from the oven and set on your counter to cool. Once it’s cooled, you can flip the cake over onto a large plate. If you like, decorate your creation with a pomegranate seed garnish (or fresh, de-pitted cherries, if you prefer). Serve as is, or get fancy with some vegan whipped cream.

Serves 4-6 happy people with ease. This cake keeps well in your refrigerator, securely covered, for several days. We sincerely doubt that it will be around that long. It works well as a dessert, but certain individuals have been known to enjoy it as a breakfast food. We won’t reveal their names. Enjoy your cake, and welcome to summer. At last!

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Summary: If you find you're in a pinch for a quick dessert, or have a large dinner on which to focus, this delicious recipe will make it look like you spent hours on it. Part of the reason it is so simple is because the base, the vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake, is pre-made by Amy's Organics and available at Whole Foods and the frozen section of most grocery stores. It is delicious, and doesn't even need to be baked!

If you find you’re in a pinch for a quick dessert, or have a large dinner on which to focus, this delicious recipe will make it look like you spent hours on it. Part of the reason it is so simple is because the base, the vegan and gluten-free chocolate cake, is pre-made by Amy’s Organics, and available at Whole Foods and the frozen section of most grocery stores. It is delicious, and doesn’t even need to be baked!

Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Sweet Cashew Cream and Poached Cherries

*At least 2 hours prior to preparation, take the Amy’s Organic Chocolate Cake out of the freezer to thaw, and soak the cashews.*

Vegan and Gluten-Free Cashew Cream

1 cup raw cashes, soaked at least 2 hours
1/4 cup filtered water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend at high-speed until thick and creamy. If needed, keep adding water in small amounts to get the cream to the desired consistency. Set aside.

Poached Cherries

1 cup distilled water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups of cherries, pitted
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Heat all of the ingredients, except the cherries and lemon juice, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil. Let it boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let it over-boil. Add the cherries and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes and remove from heat.

When ready to serve: slice the chocolate cake into serving sizes. Place each piece of cake on a plate, and spoon the cashew cream and poached cherries (preferably still warm), over each slice. Serve.

To top the entire dish even more, add some chocolate shavings as garnish. Simply use a vegetable peeler to shave some of your favorite chocolate into small shavings.

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