Pineapple-Berry: Eggless Upside Down Pineapple & Strawberry Cake

Pineapples

When I moved to the US three years back, I was most excited about two things:
a) Fruit flavored yogurt
b) Strawberries available all around the year

I first had a pineapple upside down cake almost a decade ago, while visiting a friend. I still remember liking it, but wishing it had a little kick to it. So, when I found a box of frozen strawberry sauce while cleaning my freezer the other day, I was immediately inspired to combine the sweetness of tinned pineapples with the slightly sour kick of strawberries in this Pineapple Berry Upside Down Cake.

This cake was a big hit over dinner today. My cousin couldn’t believe it was made without eggs, and while she had initially planned to go for a small bite, she ended up saving a lot of the cake for the next day as well. 

Yummy_pineapple_cake

This is a moist and flavorful cake that works equally well as a tea-time cake as it does as a fruity dessert, served by itself or with a dollop of icecream. 

Ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
1 strawberry sauce (recipe below) 
1 tin pineapple rings
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lemon essence
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry_sauce

Disclaimer: I made this sauce a couple of months back and did not save the exact measurement of ingredients. Hence I will use approximations in this recipe. I recommend that you trust your tastebuds on this one – the sauce should be sweet, but sour.

2 – 3 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

Strawberry Sauce

In a heavy bottom pan, mix all ingredients and heat on low – medium settings until the mix thickens. If required, blend using a hand mixer. Cool. Adjust sweetness or sourness based on your taste preferences. For the pineapple berry cake, keep it slightly lemony.

Pineapple Berry Upside Down Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line an 6″ pan with parchment paper.
  3. Arrange pineapple rings on the bottom of the pan. Cut some of the rings in half and arrange along the sides of the pan.
  4. Spoon in strawberry sauce in the center of each of the pineapple rings on the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a big bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda
  6. In another bowl, mix the sugar with 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup of the strawberry sauce, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice from the tin, apple cider vinegar and the vanilla and lemon extracts. 
  7. Fold in the liquid mix into the flour mix gently in thirds. Do not overmix as this will cause the cake to crack.
  8. Pour your mix into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. If a knife then inserted doesn’t come out clean, lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes.
  9. Cool in the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes afterwards. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the baking pan. Then invert pan onto a cake rack and peel off the parchment paper. If the strawberry sauce has stuck to the parchment paper, spoon it out and replace in the center of the pineapple rings.

Pineapple_upside_down_cake

This cake is a pleasant mix of pineapple and strawberries. If you’d like a stronger pineapple flavor, chop in a few pineapple pieces and add to your mix. If you don’t have lemon extract, replace with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp raspberry or strawberry extract, or 1 tsp vanilla extract.

 

Vegan Orange Cupcakes with Orange Creamcheese frosting

Orange_cupcakes

Growing up, I used to love running home from the playground to freshly squeezed orange juice, lovingly served by my Mom. Even today, take me to Jamba Juice and my first instinct will be to reach out for that medium sized fresh orange juice glass!

I love the flavor of oranges. It’s instantly refreshing and yet exotic when paired with ingredients like coffee or chocolate. I’ve spent a fair amount of time making orange flavored coffee for friends and even orange chocolate cakes.

This past week though, I decided to make a batch of cupcakes that are through and through, orange flavored. No whiff of chocolate, no after effects from caffeine. What I pleasantly discovered, was that this was a batch of absolutely no-fuss cupcakes! Super easy to make, and citrus on the tongue.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 cupcakes

1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vailla extract
1 tsp orange extract
2.5 tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil

For the frosting:

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick (8 tbsp butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (more if you like your creamcheese sweet)
1 tbsp grated orange rind

Directions:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt.
3. Add in the extracts, oil, orange juice and mix until no lumps remain, no more than 1 minute. Do not whisk.
4. Pour into cup cake liners, 2/3rds of the way and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a knife through the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Turn off the oven and let the cupcakes cool in there for 5 – 10 minutes.
6. Take the tray out and let the cupcakes cool in the tray for 10 minutes. Then transfer on to a cake rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before frosting.

Dsc00348

 

The Frosting

1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.
2. Add sugar on low speed, beat until incorporated.
3. Add in the grated orange rind, increase the beater speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.
4. Pipe onto your cupcakes. Garnish with twisted orange rind or orange slices.