Post Valentine Meal

I have heard someplace that things are often better the second time around.  Well I hope that is the case here.  I had my post ready to go.  All I needed to do was hit POST.  I hit something else, not sure what, and the whole thing went away.  How maddening!!!!!

Here it is only a few days past the 7 1/2 inch snow that covered us and it is a beautiful day with temps in the 60’s and a bright blue sky.  The snow is gone but evidence of the storm still remains.  There are some downed trees along the road side and a small one on the property line between our house and the neighbor.  I think hubby and neighbor are waiting to see who is going to give it a proper send off.

Valentines Day has passed and memories being filed away for the future.  Some good and probably some not so good.  For a real Foodie such as I the day of lover’s is a wonderful time to show off my culinary skills.  In the last 12 to 15 years it became a day of special culinary delight for hubby.  Several weeks ahead I would secretly begin to plan for the day.

Earlier than usual I would rise and prepare a special breakfast for the two of us.  That would then be followed up with a delightful romantic dinner for 2. Frequently I would leave work a few hours early and rush off to the grocery to purchase the items needed to complete the feast.  Funny thing is the only entrees that I can remember are snow crab legs and an occasional steak.  But the desserts.  Oh the wonderful chocolate cakes, brownies, cheesecakes and dipped strawberries.  When I started following a gluten free diet their were flourless chocolate cakes, decadent flourless brownies and of course cheesecake stuffed strawberries.  

This year the menu consisted of Gluten Free Fried Chicken, one of hubby’s favorite foods.  Served with of all things white rice and steamed broccoli with garlic chips.  Now that I have that documented we shall move on to dessert–a Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  Once again I went to my favorite website King Arthur Flour and of course they did not let me down.  I found a recipe for Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake.  The cake mix makes an 8 to 9 inch cake and 8 delicious cupcakes to enjoy later on.

Gluten Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake
adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Spice Blend (Recipe to follow)
  • 20-ounce can pineapple rings in juice, drained, juice reserved
  • pecans halves


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1 box King Arthur Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix 
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice (If needed add water to reserved juice to make the needed liquid.)

Preheat oven to  350°F.  Place the butter in a 9 to 9 1/2 inch cast iron pan.  Place in the oven while it is preheating.  Once the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven.  Mix the brown sugar and Baking Spice Blend together and sprinkle over the melted butter.  Arrange the sliced pineapple over brown sugar/butter mixture.  If the slices are slightly up the sides of the pan there should be room for 7 slices and 1 in the center.  There should be 2 slices left.

Using a stand mixer and large mixing bowl cream together the coconut oil and butter.  Using lowest speed, add in eggs once at a time mix until thoroughly blended, scrapping bowl as needed.  Mix in 1/3 of the pineapple juice alternately with 1/3 of the cake mix.  Mix until smooth, scraping bowl as needed after each addition.

Pour a little over half the cake batter over the pineapple slices.  Divide the remaining cake mix between a muffin tin that has been lined with 8 cupcake liners that have been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Place cake and cupcakes in the preheated oven.  The cupcakes should be cooked through in 20 to 25 minutes.  The cake should be cooked through at 40 to 45 minutes.  Using an instant read thermometer is a helpful tool with gluten free baking.   The internal temperature should register between 210°F and 212°F. 

When done, remove cake from the oven and run a spatula or dull knife around the edge, allow to rest for 3 minutes.  Turn the cake over onto a serving plate. Wait another 30 seconds, lift the pan off. If anything sticks to the pan, just scrape it out and arrange on the cake.  The cake makes 8 generous servings which can be served warm or at room temperature.

 Baking Spice Blend
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon dried orange zest

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients with a wire whisk until thoroughly blended.
Pour mixture into a 1/2 cup container with tight-fitting lid, label and date.

The cake is amazing and one that I will be making many times over.  The recipe for the Baking Spice Blend is one that I found years and years ago.  I use it to add a special something to baked goods.  It also makes a very nice gift for teachers or friends. 
Until next time enjoy each minute of the day and show kindness to others.

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