Every health conscious, whole foods loving individual needs a go-to cake that can be whipped up in a short amount of time, is moist and dense and chocolatey and won’t send you into a spiral of guilt and shame for using less then nutritious ingredients. Basically, a cake you can stuff your face and the faces of your family with, in pure joy and delight, knowing all too well, this is also one heck of a nourishing cake. This my friends, is the pineapple chocolate cake.
Now I know, you may be frowning a little at the thought of combining pineapple and chocolate but I’m asking for a little bit of your trust here.
I promise you, this cake is worth your time and effort.
And it’s a good thing it won’t take too much of your time or effort to make, because you may end up baking it quite often. Like I do.
Like I said, it’s one of those go-to cakes.
The great thing about this cake, other then the good-for-you ingredients, is the fact that it is very versatile. My husband is not a fan of very chocolatey cakes so I serve the cake as is, plain, with a few chocolate chips on top like in this picture. But this cake dresses up so nicely with a thick layer of cloudy mocha frosting (my personal favourite) or with some coconut yogurt on the side (my mom’s favourite way of eating the cake). As for my son, well he’ll eat this cake no matter how it’s presented.
On to the goods… the magic of pineapples
I used crushed pineapples in this recipe to give it that moistness without having to use so much oil.
You’ll often see apple sauce or mashed bananas added to cakes or muffins as a way to reduce the overall quantity of oil. Although those are tasty substitutions, which I use in many of my baked goods, I find these fruit purees tend to make the cakes and muffins a tad more dense and chewy. Most times, I don’t mind the change in texture and will gladly take that over a cake or muffin loaded with oil. But I wanted something different for this chocolate cake.
In searching for the right ingredient substitution, I remembered my mom’s carrot cake recipe in which she uses crushed pineapples to cut the oil content of the cake by half. It made for a moist and delicious cake that is still an all-time family favourite to this day.
I figured I’d experiment with crushed pineapple for this cake and see how it turns out.
I kid you not, that’s what happened, magic! The cake turned out moist yet still dense, without taking anything away from the chocolatey flavour. You actually can’t really tell there’s pineapple in there.
And here’s why I’m even more excited about pineapple being a star ingredient in this cake: pineapple is such a healthy fruit and has been eaten for centuries for it’s health benefits.
According to the folks at Organic Facts, the health and medicinal benefits of pineapple include boosting the immune system, improves respiratory and oral health, speeds up wound healing, regulates blood pressure, aids in digestion, strengthen bones, reduces inflammation and helps in treating arthritis, cures coughs and colds, prevents cancer and aids in weight loss. Pineapples are a storehouse of several health benefits due to its wealth of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate, and bromelain, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber.
That’s some pretty powerful benefits for such a pretty and spiky tropical fruit.
Like I mentioned previously, you can’t taste the pineapple in this cake at all. The brand of crushed pineapple I used is the house brand form my local grocery store called Selection. The pineapple pieces are tiny tiny and can’t be detected. If you feel your crushed pineapples pieces are too big, give it a pulse or two in the food processor or with a hand blender. That way the pieces will disappear with the rest of the ingredients.
Baking chocolate powder: cacao powder or dutch processed
Another star ingredient in this recipe, is the cocoa powder. I chose to use cocoa powder mainly because I find it has a more intense flavour and gives the cake a nice chocolatey flavour. There is however, much debate regarding the health benefits of cacao powder used for cooking. Is cocoa powder better or is Dutch process better.
Here’s some basics:
Beautifully summarized by Sally over at Sally’s Baking Addiction, cacao powder comes from cocoa beans. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked into nibs. The nibs are then pressed to remove 75% of their cocoa butter. This leaves us with chocolate liquor. The pasty liquor is dried and then ground into unsweetened cocoa powder.
Dutch process chocolate (named after the Dutch bakers that developed the process) is made from the same cacao beans but they’ve have been washed with a potassium solution to neutralize their acidity to a pH of 7. This means that Dutch process cocoa powder is only slightly acidic because of that Dutching process. Dutch processed chocolate is also called alkalinized chocolate powder.
After reading quite a few articles on the subject I’ve come to the basic conclusion that regular cacao powder retains more of it’s antioxidant benefits then it’s Dutch processes counterpart.
But I’ll be honest with you. I use both for different recipes. Dutch processed chocolate gives desserts a nice dark colour and a milder flavour. There’s room for both in my kitchen.
An now, onto the recipe.
Dont’ forget to leave me a comment to let me know if you’ve dressed it up or served it as is.
- 1 Cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ Cup white spelt flour
- ⅔ Cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ Cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 Cup almond milk
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ Cup crushed pineapple
- ¼ Cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
- Chocolat chips for srinkling on tops
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease an 8" springform pan.
- Combine the almond milk and the apple cider vinegar together and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Thinly chop the baking chocolate.
- In the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients and baking chocolate together in a bowl and whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, combine the pineapples, melted coconut oil, vanilla and almond milk and vinegar mixture when ready. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon.
- Pour the batter in the pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes (mine was done after 28 minutes).
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy.