July 9, 2011

Pineapple Upside down Caramel Swirl Cake- Or How I turned a box of muffin mix into something awesome

Before I begin this post about cake, I give you:
Matthew: The Cat Whisperer!

The cats actually sort of dislike me in an ambivalent "we'll ignore you until we're hungry" sort of way, but Love Matthew with a capital L. 

However, onto Cake!

I have never been a huge fan of muffins. I prefer the lighter more sugary Cupcake cousin, however Muffins are sort of just.... there, things asking me to eat them. I also happened to have a box of plain muffin mix that I wasn't really using for anything that my sister had given me (She always picks me up GFV baking mixes which I think is pretty nice of her!)

So I thought to myself  "This box of muffins doesn't need to be muffins! It could be CAKE!"

And not just any type of cake, but one of my FAVORITE types of cake! 

(As a warning, this won't be healthy at all...)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake!
1 box plain muffin mix, or white cake mix
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 5 tbsp room temperature water, let to sit a few minutes
1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp almond milk

Marascino cherries
Preheat oven to 350
First, cut up your pineapple, either in round slices (traditional) or chunks (like I did), and set aside. 
Next you need to make the sauce. In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt the margarine, and add in the sugar, stirring to combine. 
When it starts to get liquidy, add in the vanilla, and the almond milk. Stir while it heats, waiting until the sugar dissolves and bubbles up. Pour about 1/3-1/2 of this mixture into the bottom of a non-stick cake pan. Set the rest aside for now. 
Top this sauce with the pineapple and cherries.
Next, in a bowl beat the sugar and margarine until creamed. 
Add in the vanilla, flax mixture, and milk, continuing to beat. (Electric mixers are preferred!)
Add the muffin/cake mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine well. 
(As an optional step, you can also chop up some pineapple into small chunks and mix them into the batter. I do, but it's not necessary for delicious!)
Pour into the cake pan. 
Take the remainder of the sauce, and pour it over the batter, using a chopstick or knife to swirl it around in the batter, marbelizing the sugar sauce in the batter. 
Bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until a fork/toothpick/knife inserted into the center of the bottom of the cake comes out without wet cake batter stuck to it.
Allow to cool a few minutes (but not too long! The bottom of the pan still needs to be hot!)
Run a knife around the edges of the cake. 
Place a plate over the cake pan, and carefully flip the cake over, gently letting the cake fall out onto the plate while lifting the pan off of it. 
Serve and enjoy! 

If you want to make more sugar syrup to glaze over the top and sides, though it might put you in a sugar coma, it's pretty delish!

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