Thursday, August 4, 2011

Low-Fat Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I know what you’re thinking.  Foodie, are you serious?  This is the third dessert recipe in a row.  This isn’t healthy.  You need to mix it up a little.  Try something green.

I appreciate your concern.  Really, I do.  But let me remind you of the following:

1.)  The Caramel Custard Pie wasn’t planned.  It was a spontaneous response to an accident, and accidents happen.  That’s just a fact of life.  (Okay okay, the accident happened while I was making caramel sauce.  Still, I wasn’t planning to make a pie.)

2.)  The Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake wasn’t made for the Foodie family.  It was made for my extended family.  Also, shared with neighbors.  I had only one piece.  That hardly even counts.

3.)  Look at the title of this post.  Low-Fat Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.  Low-fat + fruit = practically health food.

And now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you the magical story behind this recipe.

On Saturday afternoon, The Hubs and I were making our usual Costco trip.  As we wandered through the bakery, I happened to notice a pineapple upside-down cake and think Ooh, that looks yummy.  I haven’t had one of those in a long time.  But the cake was, of course, suitable for serving a group of 20, so I didn’t buy it.

Then, on Sunday, I saw a recipe for Low-Fat Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in the food section of the San Antonio newspaper.  (I looked for it online, but I couldn’t find a link.  I’d be happy to provide one, if someone can point me in the right direction.)  It’s like God was telling me to make this cake.

And so I did. Though, in true Foodie fashion I did make a few modifications:  I substituted turbinado sugar for  brown sugar, added a teaspoon of coconut extract (just because I like the taste of pineapple and coconut together), and I beat the eggs white a little before I added them to the cake batter, just to give the cake a lighter crumb.

This cake bakes up golden brown and delicious.  The turbinado sugar makes the topping slightly crunchy, so if you want something softer and more gooey, stick with brown sugar.  Beating the egg whites isn’t absolutely necessary, and three egg whites will approximate the 1/2 cup of egg white substitute.  (I use the liquid stuff when I’m making a recipe that involves several egg whites because I hate wasting the yolks, but I also hate having them sit in the refrigerator, demanding to be used.)

I went with pineapple chunks, not rings, because they allow the cake to cut more neatly into smaller pieces.  If you prefer the traditional look of rings, though, you can certainly use them instead.



Low-Fat Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


2 T. butter
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup liquid egg white substitute
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray, then place the butter in the pan. Set it in the oven until the butter has melted. (Keep an eye on it so the butter doesn't burn.) When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven and tilt it around to distribute the butter evenly. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over it, then distribute the pineapple chunks evenly. Set the pan aside on a cooling rack.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir together the flour and baking soda. Set the dry ingredients aside.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat the eggs whites until they're foamy. Stir in the sugar, butter, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add half of the buttermilk to this mixture, then half of the dry ingredients, stirring well after each addition. Repeat with the rest of the buttermilk and the rest of the dry ingredients.

Carefully pour the batter over the fruit. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly, making sure all the pineapple is covered, but don't stir. You want the pineapple to stay on the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center is set. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for five minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving plate. If any of the pineapple sticks to the pan, just pick it up and put it back where it belongs.

Inspired by a recipe that appeared in the San Antonio Express-News on July 31, 2011

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2 Responses to “Low-Fat Pineapple Upside-Down Cake”

  1. 1

    Liane — May 26, 2012 @ 5:48 pm


    Would love to try this recipe but I think there are a couple of items that need clarification.

    * when do you add the softened butter
    * how much sugar is added to the whisked egg whites

    Thanks kindly,


    • familyfoodie replied: — May 26th, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

      Thanks for catching those errors! I’ve updated the recipe.

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