Life is busy. Because life is busy, we began to have produce and groceries delivered weekly to our home through Green B.E.A.N. Delivery. But because life is busy, it can be a challenge for us to eat all the produce each week before a new delivery arrives. I admit, I can be lazy. And sometimes it’s just so much easier to get carry-out. And so worth it! (I’m looking at you Punch Burger.) This week I had some lovely blueberries and a pineapple from the previous delivery that needed to make-way for the newest produce arrivals.
Now, my husband will tell you that I have very specific cravings. I tell you this, because I considered using the blueberries in a smoothie or making a fruit salad (I also have some mango and kiwi; wouldn’t that be good?) But I couldn’t get my mind off cake. And the cake I was craving was a rich yellow butter cake. Like a cousin to an ooey, gooey butter cake.
Before I go on, there is something else about me that you should know. I am gluten-sensitive. Which basically means that I feel a lot better when I avoid wheat and wheat products. I also do better when I skip the refined sugars. If I don’t, I can get sick and/or have allergy rashes. To be honest, it’s the rashes that scare me the most, because they usually occur ON MY FACE. Blech!
The problem with my cake craving is that I had only baked one other gluten-free cake. These Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes from Elana’s Pantry. Ooey gooey butter cake it is not. A quick internet search turned up this Vanilla Blueberry Butter Cake from The Joy of Caking. I decided to stop worrying so much and just try to follow Eileen’s recipe with substitutions for the flour and sugar. Because the liquid stevia that I had on hand was vanilla-flavored, I also decided to skip adding more vanilla to the recipe.
But then what about that pineapple? The more I thought about it, I realized that the buttery yellow cake I craved would also be good as a pineapple upside down cake. But pineapple AND blueberry? Sure, why not? So I used palm sugar — my go-to replacement for brown sugar — and coconut spread to reproduce that yummy golden glaze you have with an upside-down cake. I already had so much butter in the cake, and I like to use coconut oil whenever I can, so again I figured….why not?
As I measured and mixed, my mind wandered to other groceries that were teetering on the edge between going in my belly and going in the garbage. One of these was the container of goat cheese crumbles from last week’s Super Bowl fun food celebration. Why couldn’t I add goat cheese to my cake batter. As I said a couple of times before, why not? I adore blueberries with goat cheese in the Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie at 3 Sisters Cafe.
I have to admit that I was a little scared. Even though I know that gluten-free cakes don’t rise the same as conventional cakes, I feared that my cake would spill over the edges of the pan. It was pretty full after the layers of pineapple, palm sugar, cake batter, and blueberries stacked up. I decided to put a baking sheet in the oven to catch any potential spills. I also feared that the coconut spread wouldn’t work well with the butter, or that the stevia would have a noticeable aftertaste. I knew that the cake might not have a good ‘crumb’, but that would be okay if I wanted to achieve that ooey gooey texture. But would I be able to test when the cake was ‘done’ without over baking it?
My fears were unfounded. It’s good that I put that pan in the oven, because there was a little overflow from the palm sugar/coconut spread mixture. Additionally, the stevia aftertaste wasn’t an issue. All-in-all I am pretty proud of this first attempt to convert a recipe using gluten-free and refined sugar-free ingredients. And I highly recommend eating the cake warm. That way, who cares about the crumb? (My number-one taste tester, my husband, agrees.)
Blueberry Goat Cheese Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
4 tablespoons coconut spread
3/4 cup palm sugar
5 fresh pineapple ring slices, each approximately 1/4-inch thick
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla stevia
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces goat cheese crumbles
1 cup fresh blueberries
Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and pre-heat to 350 degrees F.
Place the coconut spread in small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 30-45 seconds. Once melted, Use some of the coconut spread to grease the bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Next, evenly space the five pineapple ring slices in the greased pan so that there is one ring in each corner and one in the center. Add the palm sugar to the bowl with the remaining melted coconut spread and combine. Pour this mixture over the pineapple rings in the pan; spread the mixture evenly over the pineapple if needed.
Place the softened butter into bowl of an electric mixer, and whip the butter using the whisk attachment for 30-45 seconds or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, sour cream, milk, and stevia, and then combine until well blended.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine until well blended. Next, add the goat cheese crumbles and mix until the goat cheese is just incorporated into the batter.
Pour half of the batter over the pineapple in the pan, and then add the blueberries in a single layer over the top. Pour the remaining batter over the berries.
Place the cake pan on the pre-heated baking sheet in the oven. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Place a serving plate over the cooled cake and invert so that the pan is on top. Remove the pan, carefully lifting from one side first and wiggling slightly until the cake comes loose from the pan. Allow to cool for at least 10-15 more minutes and slice.
Makes 9 servings.