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Sweet Potato Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This cake satisfies all of my parameters for a dessert: delicious, hidden vegetables, deceptively fancy looking, easy to make. Made like a traditional Pineapple Upside Down cake, this dessert features a batter made of almond meal and sweet potato puree for a dense, chewy cake. Because of the pineapple and sweet potato the added sweetener is minimal, which is an added bonus.

Things are slowly calming down around here after my race. The biggest concern is that since I'm resting, the dogs have also been resting, which isn't optimal for Buffalo, as he has some excess energy to burn. I'm going to get back into it today, so hopefully he can chill out a little. The other big news around here is that since I'm not currently in a training cycle, I'm attempting to ween myself off of caffeine. Everyone is still alive so far--I'll keep you posted.

We got home from Moab on Sunday night so I'm basically waiting for the weekend so I can restock the pantry and resume normal business, so eating around here has gotten interesting! I love getting home from travel at the last possible minute, but it certainly makes for a messy, haphazard week. This cake is a recipe I made a few weeks ago and never got around to posting. I'm not sure where I got the idea from--like so many of my recipes, it was probably being hungry mid-run and mumbling to myself "I wonder if..." Either way, my wondering worked out, because this cake is super easy to make, combines lots of healthy, whole food ingredients, and looks fancy!

Two ingredients that I need to plug for this post: I recently swung into our local Penzey's Spices (in Arvada) and picked up a few things, including their Mexican Vanilla Extract. I'm in love with it. I didn't realize vanilla extract taste could make a huge difference in such a small amount, but it can. I also have been working my way through a free sample of their Cinnamon that I got when I ordered some gifts over the Winter break, and I'll be purchasing a full size bottle as soon as I am out. Lesson learned--the quality of spices and extracts that you buy and use matters!

Serves 6-8

Easy, Medium Quick Prep

What You Need:

  • Four small sweet potatoes, cooked

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal

  • 1 cup oat flour (you could substitute Sorghum or whatever flour you'd like that is grain based)

  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (Honey, Agave, date sugar, etc.)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/3 teaspoon Vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon potato starch

  • Sliced Pineapple, enough to cover the surface area of your pan

  • Cherries (Optional, but they make it look pretty!)


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

  • Boil your sweet potatoes, either on the stove top or in a pressure cooker

  • Puree your sweet potatoes. I did this in a food processor and kept the skins on, but you could choose to peel them in advance and just mash them up.

  • Add all of your other ingredients to your sweet potato puree except for the pineapple and cherries. Mix well. (Again--I used the food processor, but you could easily mash it all up with a fork, stand up mixer, hand mixer, etc.)

  • Layer your pineapple and cherries in a design that you like in the bottom of a baking pan. I used a 10" baking pan. (If you are not using non-stick, you're going to want to use a little oil of your choice so it lifts off easily at the end)

  • Carefully spoon your batter on top of your fruit. This is a dense batter, so go slowly otherwise it's going to move all of your fruit around!

  • Once you have all of your batter in the pan, carefully smooth it out with a spatula

  • Put the cake in the oven for 30 minutes, checking occasionally.

  • Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, then carefully flip it upside down to release your cake! (I performed this action like I was trying to defuse a bomb--the cake is more sturdy than you'd think, so be careful, but not 'cut the blue wire' careful).

There you go! Let me know what you think of this one if you make it--it's an unusual concept but it totally works!

Products used in this recipe & where to find them (Not paid to endorse, just like 'em!):

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