Pineapple Spoon Cake

Pineapple Spoon Cake {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Gum-Free}

UPDATE: It’s exactly a year since I shared this pineapple spoon cake recipe online and it has since taken on a life of its own — I never imagined a pineapple cake could be so well-liked! This cake has been a real crowd pleaser since — as a wholesome no fuss dessert, but also for me as wonderful breakfast {it’s just fruit and nuts, right? — sounds like a good brekky to me ;) — any excuse to have dessert for breakfast is good in my books :) }.

Wholesome Pineapple Spoon Cake

One thing that has happened since I shared the recipe though is that somewhere amidst transferring the blog and recipes between various formats I must have messed the ingredients list up by mistake because a few of you commented it didn’t come out as it should have. I received those comments recently while on vacation and have taken the opportunity to re-visit the recipe the moment I got back to make sure it’s working. I can now confidently say everything is as it should be, so go ahead and make this super easy treat confidently as well. I’d be hard pressed if it didn’t work out somehow — honest!

Wholesome Pineapple Spoon Cake

In the process I fine-tuned it some more this last time around as well, and it’s now even simpler to make and far more delicious — so at least something good has come out of this mistake {though I do apologize it came at the expense of a few of you for whom the recipe didn’t work out — I hope that the revised recipe will make up for it down the line}.

Pineapple Spoon Cake

I must say as well that a large part of the recipe’s popularity probably had something {ok, a lot…} to do with my girl Bella’s admiration of the cake. I first shared this original photo of the cake and it went a little viral:

Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Paleo Pineapple Spoon Cake

Well, as you can see from the the photo just a little ways up {a pic I took of my latest creation of this recipe just yesterday}, she’s still very much hoping to get a slice! She just pops out like this any time I pull this cake out. At least I know I can always count on her as a fan ;)

This cake has honestly become a favorite around here in the summer — it’s a perfect balance between fruitiness and nuttiness, it’s wholesome, it couldn’t be easier to make, and it makes an amazing dessert or breakfast. I’ve been enjoying it as all those things lately and I hope you will soon too!

Here is a bit of what I originally shared about this pineapple spoon cake, in case you’re interested {or skip straight down to the recipe}:

This gluten-free, vegan, and paleo pineapple spoon cake comes to you as an outcome of a heated discussion over the weekend. I didn’t actually intend on making it for the blog. I made it super casually, shared it with friends, and had no idea it would generate such a heated debate afterwards — so much so, that I felt I had to share the recipe with you and see what you think. My little munchkin has been staring at the spoon cake all day too — perhaps it’s because I often feed her pineapple and she thinks it’s a treat for her, but she seems eager to know your thoughts on the matter as well ;)

Here’s the story behind it: I saw a genius recipe for a crustless apple pie from Shirley @ Gluten-Free Easily the other day and thought that recipe has got to go into my “to try out” pile. Why genius? Well, it’s the simplest, laziest, least-amount-of-work-required, anybody-can-do-it kind of delicious fruit pie. And it’s a great way to use up extra fruit. This weekend I realized I had some pineapple I had completely forgotten about that needed to be eaten fast. I had company and decided to share it with them in the form of a baked treat. Now, I knew right away that using pineapple means it’s not going to come out like Shirley’s beautiful peach pie or apple pie because pineapple has so much water in it, but I decided I’d use her recipe for inspiration and modify it slightly and just had a feeling I’d come up with something delicious as a result nevertheless. I mean, caramelized pineapple combined with sweet and crusty almonds = deliciousness, right?

The main thing I originally modified was using maple syrup instead of coconut sugar, and with a few other minor tweaks the result was actually really incredible. It got eaten up in less than 10 minutes and people wanted more. I couldn’t believe it. Someone said that they hate pineapple desserts but they had three bowls of this spoon cake and wanted more. So what’s a girl to do? I made another one. The second time around I tried to use different ingredients. I cut some of the oil and used apple butter instead, and I also added in half a cup of coconut flour to see if it’d make the crust more crusty. It did and looked a whole lot more like a baked treat. And while the second spoon cake came out delicious as well, almost everyone said the first version was by far the best. Someone actually said “Next time, don’t mess with perfection!”

Here’s the thing. I am a perfectionist when it comes to presentation. I was not perfectly happy with the way the first spoon cake looked. When I pulled it out of the oven it actually had a lot of liquid in it, which subsided and got absorbed into the batter within a matter of minutes. I agreed with everyone’s feedback — it was absolutely scrumptious, but I hesitated to share the results here because of the look. Now it did look fine as a homemade fruit bake. But it wasn’t perfect. Audrey perfect. That is when everyone got on my case and a heated debate ensued. Most said that this is exactly the kind of dessert they would want to eat at a family gathering or amongst friends, and that it didn’t need to be fancy or look pretty. They said if they ordered this at a restaurant they would have been absolutely amazed and happy to have gotten that dessert. I’m still not convinced, but the pressure was on me to publish this and see what you guys think? Are you the kind of person who’s really affected by a perfect look or texture? Or would you forgo those things to experience a healthy, super amazing and flavorful treat? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. There are so many delicious desserts I make that don’t make it on here because they’re not perfectly perfect in my eyes looks-wise. I sometimes wonder if anyone else cares as much as I do. Perhaps I should share more of those nonetheless?

Anyways, here’s the recipe — you be the judge :)

Pineapple Spoon Cake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook/Chill Time: 
Ready In: 
Makes: 9-10" cake
 
Ingredients
Cake ingredients:
  • 4-5 cups fresh pineapple chunks, strained {-- enough to line the bottom of a pie plate. Mine were cut into 1" squares. Reserve any juice and set aside}
  • 2½ cups raw almonds
  • 2½ tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup olive oil {or another cooking oil like coconut, etc.}
  • 1 cup maple syrup {or another liquid sweetener of your choice}
  • 2 tbsp reserved pineapple juice {or water}
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅛ tsp raw ground vanilla {or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract}
  • dash of salt
Toppings ideas:
  • Chopped almonds, whole flax seeds, cacao nibs {I used all three}. Other nuts or seeds or a chocolate drizzle would work great here too.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9" or 10" pie pan and spread pineapple chunks evenly throughout pan. Set aside.
  2. Place the almonds, ground flax seeds, and tapioca flour in a food processor and process into a meal {the consistency of a very fine crumb -- just be careful not to overdo it or it will turn into almond butter...}.
  3. Add all remaining cake ingredients into the food processor and process to combine until a uniform batter forms {takes just a few seconds}. Scoop the batter over the pineapple chunks and use a spatula to even everything out. Sprinkle toppings evenly on top.
  4. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking in occasionally to ensure the top of the cake doesn't burn. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Notes
Serve warm in a bowl with a spoon in tow {it's also good chilled, but warm is my personal favorite}. Optional: serve with a side of sweet non-dairy yogurt, vanilla ice cream, or coconut whipped cream. It's also perfectly delectable on its own. Watch it go real fast ;)

Happy Baking!

Audrey

P.S. Don’t forget to give Shirley’s original recipe a try too!

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This Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Paleo Pineapple Spoon Cake recipe has been shared with Natural Living Monday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday, Natural Family Friday, Let’s Get Real Friday Party, #glutenfreefridays, and with Fat Tuesday.

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