We are back with another blog focused on giving some of our favorite foods a make-over! Today we are tackling “pineapple cake.” You may wonder why; it is a bit of an odd choice for a make-over recipe. However, it was a fan request! We thank you, Susan from Florida, for sending in the note: “I am a huge cake fan; I often bake cakes according to season. During the winter I make spice cake; in the fall, I make pumpkin; summertime calls for citrus, and in the spring, I make pineapple cake. Since spring is upon us, can you help me with a cake recipe that is better for me and my family?”
We are with you on this one, Susan: As fellow cake-lovers we too must find better ways to bake cakes without all the added sugar and empty calories. The beauty of a spring cake is that you can vary it with lots of fruits such as bananas, pineapples, peaches and berries, for example. The addition of fruit to your cake batter helps hold moisture without the need for extra butter and oil. Of course, fruit also adds sweetness to the cake, allowing you to decrease the amount of sugar in the recipe.
Moreover, this is a good opportunity to also add protein, vitamins and minerals to your recipe. Most cakes have minimal amounts of nutrients, which makes them a poor candidate for a snack or breakfast food. To save cakes from falling entirely in the treats’ category, add some protein, and watch them graduate them into mini-meal status. But how do you do that without compromising taste? Once Again Nut Butter is the solution, of course! Not only does it add nutrients, including fiber but it also adds amazing flavor.
Since this is a spring cake, the obvious choice to enhance it was Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter (Have you seen the label? The flowers are just perfect for spring). Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter tastes like a handful of roasted sunflower seeds! You can choose the lightly sweetened variety (which is what we used for this cake), or the salt and sugar- free variety, if you like.. Once Again has both to offer. As a matter of fact, if you are a sunflower seed butter fan, make sure that you check stores for the squeeze packs of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter, which are now available. They are so practical to toss into your purse for a snack, and they are perfect lunch box item for kids of all ages.
But now, let’s zoom in on another ingredient used in cakes that we can certainly find a healthier choice for: the oil. Most cake recipes will ask for vegetable or canola oil. But what if you could instead bake with coconut oil and reap the benefits of its abundant medium chain triglycerides, including lauric acid? Among its many benefits are MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) that help increase blood HDL levels– that’s the good kind of cholesterol. Actually, coconut oil is a fitting match for cake. Its properties are adequate for baking, and it doesn’t add a coconut flavor to the cake as one would expect. Although we wouldn’t be opposed to that outcome, if it did!
Lastly, let’s talk sugar. Cake without sugar is pretty much bread. Therefore, we know there needs to be some added sugar,but to make this recipe diabetic-friendly there is an option for using a stevia “sugar” baking mix. The key is that we are increasing the nutrients in the cake while lowering its “empty-calories,” attractive qualities that enable you to enjoy it more than every once in a while. Enjoy the cake and keep sending us comments with more ideas for recipe make-overs!
Springtime Pineapple Cake
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of sugar (or ¾ cup stevia sugar baking mix)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 mashed bananas
1 can (14 ounces ) of crushed pineapple (do not drain)
¼ cup of coconut oil
½ cup of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter
1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of chopped toasted pecans
Add sugar, eggs and bananas to mixer and beat using a low setting. Add coconut oil (at room temperature), sunflower seed butter, and vanilla, next and in that order. In separate bowl, mix flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Now combine the dry mixture by adding it slowly to the mixing bowl and beat at a low setting. Make sure to beat until the mixture is well blended. Using a spoon, mix in crushed pineapple and pecans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt cake pan with non-stick spray and pour mixture into it. Bake for approximately one hour and ten minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least one hour before serving. Serve with pineapple ice cream or spread some extra Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter on top of the cake or on each slice!