If you're anything like me, there will be times when you are just bursting with creative energy. Times when you are simply raring to put all your patissier skills to the test. When time, money, and complicated recipes with lots of French words are no obstacles to your urge to create a confectionary masterpiece of sugar and stardust. Laminated dough? Yes, ma'am. Tempered chocolate? Sure! Creme brulee? Pate a choux? Anything requiring a candy thermometer? Bring it on!
And then there are times when you just want to get some dessert on the table and into your mouth, and not necessarily in that order. Something sweet and comforting, and as low-key as your favorite sweatshirt. This recipe is for one of those times. You may have seen similar desserts called "dump cakes" ~ a name I never warmed up too ~ but this one differs in that it doesn't start with a cake mix. But don't let that discourage you. Trust me, it's just as simple to put together, and the end result is so, so worth it.
This is a recipe you can go to when there's almost nothing else in your pantry ~ if you hide a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple somewhere in your cupboard, you'll be all set. It's just fine on its own, but I like it with a bit of fresh whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can certainly eat it warm ~ it has its charms that way ~ but it gets even better after a night in the fridge.
If you want to glam things up a little, try the Pina Colada version. Just replace the walnuts with pecans or macadamias, replace half or all the vanilla with coconut extract, and add 1 cup of toasted sweetened flaked coconut. Aloha!
Pineapple Stir Cake
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a glass 13- x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick pan spray.
- Combine flour, sugars, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add pineapple and its juice, oil, beaten eggs, and vanilla; stir with a wooden spoon. (Do not overmix. For best results, stir with a spoon or spatula; do not beat with an electric mixer.) Fold in walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. If the top is browning too quickly, lay a sheet of foil loosely over the surface. But do let this cake take on a nicely browned top ~ it'll be darker than your typical yellow dessert cake.
Makes about 16 servings.
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