This is one of those posts that I’m exploding all over to tell you about.
Often baked goods that look good don’t taste good, , or just arent’ healthy. Often the “healthy” baked goods look anything but happy and often dry.
This is happy pineapple flower breakfast cake made healthier with spelt flour, sucanat sweetener, yogurt and olive oil. There is a tiny bit of pineapple glaze between the cake and the pineapple flowers.
I saw these adorable pineapple flowers on Pinterest, with four pictures showing how it’s done. I pinned them, without checking to see where the picture led. Usually, I vet every photo I pin, because all too often the photo is lifted and doesn’t go back to the original source. I know it’s tempting to repin a pin, but if you think that it’s a recipe you will want, you should check to see if the pin will take you there.
Eventually I googled pineapple flowers, and I found the recipe and those pinned pictures at Annie’s Eats. Annie got them perfect, but as I read through the instructions and most of the comments, I took notice that there were quite a few failures along with successes with what looked like a fairly easy recipe. Now I not only wanted to make them, it became a challenge. I wondered why did some people fail?
Do you get like this about cooking? I get on a roll with an idea or a food and I beat it to death. I’m not quite Alton Brown of Good Eats, but I so “get him.” I’m a food geek. I have to get it right. I can’t share food with you and have you fail. I’ll make something three times before I post it so that you can get it right. I carefully record the recipe, which in pre-blogging days, I had no idea how I made most things. But, thanks to you out there, who google and find me, I am a better cook, and a much better baker and much more precise.
How to Make a Pineapple Flower
I bought my beautiful pineapple. I braced myself for a night of practice.
The best tip I read was to use a bread knife and instead of slicing, use a sawing motion. Once a slice is cut, it may be uneven. Lay in down flat and move the knife parallel with the board to get even slices, using the same sawing motion. That works.
I use this bread knife that I have had for years. It’s worth the investment to have a good bread knife.
The next step in making the pineapple flower is to remove the moisture. This was not mentioned in the recipe, and I thought of it because many comments complained of soggy pineapple that was not baking. It was probably steaming.
This step is important. I used a lot of paper towels to get the pineapple as dry as possible and at room temperature. Bake them on something that will aid in crisping them a bit. I baked them inside a stone muffin pan, but you could bake them flat.
Watch your timing. Some were done in under an hour. Most took about an hour, but I recommend checking at 50 minutes just to be sure.
Be okay with imperfection. Some get a little browned, and this has to do with not being able to slice them perfectly evenly. This was okay by me. They still taste delicious, almost like a dried fruit. Some got a little crispy on the ends and I liked that even more. I will not waste any food. I would not throw out perfectly good pineapple flowers because they are little browned, and neither should you.
I put a pineapple glaze on the cake while it was still hot. You can decide if you want to do this part, and how much you want to do. A very small amount of glaze works fine, just enough to keep the flowers on. You can also skip the glaze and the pineapple flowers and just have plain breakfast cake. It’s all good.
I ended up with a healthy, breakfast cake. I used spelt flour and all purpose flour, and a sweetener I’ve never used before, which is supposed to be healthier.
Sucanat is dried cane sugar, retaining all the vitamins and minerals that are processed out of white refined sugar. It’s brown, the color of molasses and the spelt flour is dark, so the cake will be a molasses color. I used the sucanat cup for cup, same as I do for spelt flour.
The result of the breakfast cake was much to my personal liking. This cake is moist, full of flavor, and not very sweet, just as a breakfast cake should be. I tested it out on my foodie neighbor who appreciated a big hunk after a tough Saturday morning workout. The best test of all is the five year old twins loved it and they are the pickiest dessert eaters. If they love it, it’s good!
The pineapple flowers are perfect for a whole cake, a cupcake, or a muffin, but don’t let that stop you. I think the pineapple flowers would would look sweet with some vanilla ice cream, atop banana bread, or even at dinner on a pork chop. However, the next time, I’m thinking Caribbean burger. I like to think outside the pineapple.
The pineapple flowers coincided with a pineapple craving that is rare for me. I am just coming out of an illness (walking pneumonia and pluerisy with a relapse) that took me down for six weeks, which has led to all kinds of odd food cravings, including pineapple. During this pineapple fest, I also made gorgeous, tropical pineapple coconut cupcakes which will be coming soon, pineapple smoothies and I’m still perfecting pineapple cobbler.
If you have any idea for fresh pineapple, do send them my way in the comments section, pretty please.
- 1¾ cups flour (I mixed 1 cup spelt flour with ¾ cup all purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 cup sucanat sugar (can use regular sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (can use canola oil)
- GLAZE INGREDIENTS
- 1 tablespoon pureed pineapple
- ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar, (more if it is too runny)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Peel pineapple and remove any brown spots.
- Slice very thin with a serrated bread knife. Lay each slice down and take knife parallel across pineapple slice to make even. Use paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Reduce oven to 275. Put pineapple into a stone muffin pan or lay flat on a stone or silpat baking sheet, preferably. You can use a regular baking sheet.
- Bake at 275 for one hour. Check the pineapple at 30 minutes, turn over. Check again at 50 minutes, to make sure pineapple is not burning. Browned edges are okay.
- Sift baking soda, baking powder, flour, salt together. Set aside.
- Add together, sugar, pineapple, vanilla, yogurt, eggs,
- Mix dry mixture into the sugar mixture. Add in olive oil, and mix.
- Pour into a 9 inch cake pan.
- Bake for 27-33 minutes at 350.
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR GLAZE
- Mix together until glaze forms. If it’s too runny, add more confectioner’s sugar. If it’s too thick, add more liquid. Pour over the cake while it’s still warm.
- Apply pineapple flowers to the cake.