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Ultra-Moist Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake


Upside-Down Cake

From "The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods, " this incredibly moist and flavorful cake is made with cornmeal, which adds a distinct texture.

Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.


**variation Substitute 2 cups  fresh berries for the pineapple in the topping, and substitute apple or orange juice for the pineapple juice in the batter to make a berry upside-down cake.

CHEF’S TIP: You can find almond flour (which is finer than packaged almond meal) at specialty stores, but it can be expensive and difficult to locate. Make your own almond flour by grinding raw or blanched almonds in a food processor. Pulse several times until the almonds are finely ground. (Don’t over-grind because you can wind up with almond butter!) Pour the ground almonds through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Use your fingers to coax the almonds through the sieve, leaving behind any larger pieces. Put the larger pieces back in the food processor, and repeat the process until all the almonds are finely ground. Store any leftover flour in the refrigerator or freezer.


The Topping

  • 1 ⁄4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 ⁄4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 9 slices fresh or canned pineapple, plus 1⁄2 cup pineapple juice, reserved for cake batter

For Cake

  • 1 ⁄3 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ⁄4 cup plain yogurt, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup ground almond flour (made from about 3⁄4 cup almonds, see chef’s tip)
  • 3 ⁄4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt


The Topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23-cm) baking pan

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and the brown sugar until all the sugar has dissolved. Pour into the greased pan and then arrange the pineapple slices on top of that. Set aside.


For Cake

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and reserved pineapple juice. Whisk until well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, almond flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until well incorporated. Pour over the pineapple slices, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the middle is set.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 1 hour before inverting onto a platter.