Last night we celebrated Bubba’s birthday at home. We had a safe meal of roasted pork and her favorite vegan mashed potatoes (Tofutti Sour Cream, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks margarine, boiled mashed potatoes, and too much salt). We also had a homemade pineapple cake. This is of some significance because Bubba only recently outgrew her pineapple allergy. Yay!
She had asked for a pineapple birthday cake for her party a few weeks ago but I confessed to her I was quite sure any attempt on my part would result in something delicious, but not cute at all. I am NOT a baker. We agreed to have ‘fishy cupcakes’ for her pool party (generously made by her Mimi and pictured below) and that I would make a pineapple cake for her actual birthday dinner instead. Soooooo. Pineapple cake? Bubba does not like canned pineapple and anything resembling a pineapple upside down cake would probably not fly. After much Googling and pinning I was able to find a recipe I could tweak (putting it mildly) to make dairy and egg-free. Without further ado, here is how I made Bubba her egg-free, dairy-free pineapple cake.
1 box Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix
1c pineapple juice
3t baking soda
3T white vinegar
1/4c coconut oil
I used Food Allergy Mama’s recipe for Creamy Vanilla Frosting but substituted pineapple juice for soy milk and added 1/2c crushed fresh pineapple.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pan(s). Well. Vegan cakes are not the easiest suckers to get out of pans. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Mix cake mix, juice, and melted oil in a large bowl. Add vinegar mixture. For a classic layer cake, pour batter equally into two 9-inch greased cake pans. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Follow cake mix directions for alternate pan sizes. Cool cake(s) completely before frosting. I put a thin layer of frosting and crushed fresh pineapple between the layers.
For all my worrying, fretting, and self-criticism I can honestly say the cake was eh. It was very sweet and certainly tasted like pineapple. My normally sweet-deprived kids initially loved it because of the pure sugar content. But then Bubba wasn’t into it at all. Big. Mama. Allergy Sigh. Bubba doesn’t really care yet. Maybe she never will. She’s a pretty easy-going kid about this stuff so far. But sometimes I really care. I want easy. And store-bought. And fluffy. How on earth do you make a cake that is not heavily laden with vegetable oil grease? There are ways, I know. I just need to put the time in to experiment and follow vegan cooking recipes. And perhaps not do it when it matters so much to me.
One final note in case my list of baking mistakes can help anyone. The cake recipe was not enough for two 9-inch cake pans. Maybe it is with eggs, but you don’t get as much lift in vegan baking. I tried baking soda/white vinegar as my egg substitute this time. I had never tried that. I think I prefer ground flax/hot water or Ener-G egg replacer better. Here’s a good resource for egg replacement options. I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks for the margarine in the frosting and it wasn’t warm enough so I ended up with lumps of cold margarine in my frosting. Yum.