upside down pineapple polenta cakes …

last thursday night i needed a quick and easy recipe (isn’t that always the case!) to make some sweets for my mum’s quilting class which she was teaching the next morning. knowing that she wouldn’t have the time i volunteered to make something for her.

using the same book that i used for the last recipe (gluten free choc rough nut slices) i saw a recipe for upside down pineapple polenta cakes. or rather i saw the photo. perfect!

what the recipe says > “polenta is the key ingredient in these little cakes, giving it a grainy texture that contrasts beautifully with the moist pineapple topping.”

a word of warning – read the recipe fully before you begin! silly me made the mistake of not doing that.

little did i know that part of the recipe called for 3-4 hours refrigeration time (or even overnight refrigeration if you had the time to do that) before going to the next part of the recipe. i won’t tell you what time i started the recipe and what time i finished. it’s not like i could have done the second part of the recipe the next morning because i had to go to work. let that be a lesson to me! i guess i got seduced by the photo in the book.


150g low-fat gluten free vanilla yoghurt
80g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
3 eggs
1 cup polenta *
65g fine rice flour
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional) ** (i didn’t have any)
1 cup tinned crushed pineapple, drained

* polenta – coarsely ground yellow corn meal and is a staple of northern italy.

** xanthan gum – functions similarly to gelatin in recipes with regards to stabilizing suspensions, but it is completely vegan and great for cooking and baking for persons with food allergies and restrictions, especially for those who are omitting dairy, eggs and soy from their diet.

1) combine the yoghurt, butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until well combined.

2) add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
3) stir in the polenta, mixing well to ensure it is well combined. cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

4) preheat the oven to 180c and grease a 12-hole standard muffin tin.
5) whisk the flour, coconut, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and xanthan gum (if using) in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
6) add half the dry ingredients to the polenta mixture and beat with electric beaters on low speed until well combined. add the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
7) place 1 tablespoon of pineapple in each muffin hole, then spoon in the batter until two thirds full.

8) bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm to touch. (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean).

9) cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.

10) serve pineapple side up.

i have to say that this was a hit with everyone. the cakes were light, very moist with an unusual texture (thanks to the polenta) and had the right amount of sweetness. wonderful delicious mini treats.

“pineapple juice doesn’t come in a can – it comes in a hard, spiky shell called a pineapple.” ~ jarod kintz


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