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Dairy-Free Island Upside-Down Cake

This dairy-free cake is so moist and has such a wonderful soft, springy texture that you won’t be able to tell the difference from versions made with cow’s milk. In this recipe, the blend of bananas, pineapple, coconut, and pecans is scrumptious, and the fragrance is divine. Serve it at your next summer picnic or cookout to delight the crowd.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Cooling time: 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

1/4 cup nondairy, trans-fat-free margarine

1/2 cup sugar

One 20-ounce can unsweetened pineapple rings, drained (reserve the juice)

1 ripe banana, mashed

1 egg (or equivalent amount of cholesterol-free egg replacer)

1 cup plain or vanilla soymilk (or your choice of nondairy milk) mixed with 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar or fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an 8-x-8-inch stovetop-safe glass baking pan (or in a small saucepan), melt the margarine over low heat. Add the sugar, stir, and continue to cook for a few minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved into the margarine.

  2. Add about 5 tablespoons of the reserved pineapple juice to the margarine and sugar mixture. Stir until completely blended, remove the pan from heat, and set it aside. (If using a saucepan in Step 1, pour mixture into the bottom of an 8-x-8-inch baking pan.)

  3. Arrange 6 pineapple rings on the bottom of the baking pan in two lines of three rings each.

  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the banana, egg, soymilk, brown sugar, coconut, pecans, oil, and vanilla. Mix until well blended and smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well blended and smooth.

  5. Pour the batter over the pineapple rings in the baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is set in the middle and lightly browned.

  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. When the pan is cool enough to handle, invert the cake onto a serving plate. Cut into 8 squares and serve warm.

Per serving: Calories 377 (from Fat 134); Fat 15g (Saturated Fat 4g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 380mg; Carbohydrate 59g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 4g.

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