My mother is a genius in the kitchen. She may beg to differ but I don’t know any other vegans (gluten free or otherwise) who’s mom or dad makes sure that 75% of Thanksgiving dinner is vegan, and never, ever, makes you supply your own birthday cake, sandwich, casserole, etc. Growing up in a household with 5 kids, my mom was- and still is- the queen of budget home cooking, but when necessary, she gets ultra crafty- “semi-homemade” style. One semi-homemade staple in my moms pantry is Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix. She lives out in the ‘burbs where brown rice flour and tapioca starch are still hard to find, and when they are, they’re friggin expensive! So, being able to buy a mix is not only cost effective, it’s also convenient. We’ve developed the best tinkering of the base mix for a vegan version of their cakes (white, and chocolate), and she went ahead and surprised the family by turning it into a pineapple upside down cake for Fathers day.
Super Simple Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Makes 8 small wedges
Basic Cake Adaptation:
1 Box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
2/3 c almond milk- unsweetened
1/4 c apple sauce
3 tbs ground golden flaxseed whisked into 6 tablespoons warm water
1/4 c earth balance, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c earth balance, room temp/softened
2/3c brown sugar
1 8oz can sliced pineapple, drained (or 4, 1/3″ thick rings of fresh pineapple)
Pecans- you could use maraschino cherries for a more traditional cake.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Pour melted earth balance into the bottom of a 9″ round cake pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the entire bottom of the cake pan. Now, place the pineapple rings over the sugar. Fill the centers of the rings with a pecan, and sprinkle pecans into the spaces between the rings.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the last 1/4 c of earth balance, apple sauce, and vanilla. Mix in the almond milk, and then add in the cake mix, beating until smooth. Pour over the prepared cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once done, immediately run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen, and place a heatproof plate over the top of the cake pan before inverting. Let the pan sit on top of the cake for 5 minutes to let the brown sugar syrup drizzle over the top of the cake. Let cool before serving- this goes great with whipped coconut cream. Just chill a can of coconut milk, scrape out the thick cream, and whip it on high until thick peaks form.