Monday, November 15, 2010

Orange Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Cake - A Healthy Vegan Dessert For Thanksgiving And It's Low In Calories!

Sprinkle brown sugar over buttery spread.

Spread cranberries and pecans evenly over buttery spread.

Spread cake batter over cranberries and pecans and bake.

Bake 45 minutes, until golden brown.

After cooling 15 minutes, turn over onto a serving platter.

Something Besides Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving Dessert
Don't get me wrong. I love pumpkin pie as much as the next guy but it's nice to have something else to serve. Something that doesn't involve a pie crust. Something colorful. Something that's less than 200 calories a slice!
I looked at a lot of recipes for inspiration. Most of them were pretty unhealthy. One cranberry upside down cake called for 2 sticks of butter and an entire cup of brown sugar just for the topping! So in my sleep last night, I came up with this recipe. Seriously, that's where I do my best work. Once in college I solved an engineering problem to two decimals places in my sleep which I had unsuccessfully been working on for 2 hours before bed time!
This recipe melds the flavors of orange, cranberries and pecans; ingredients you often find in cranberry relish. It's low in oil (only a quarter cup) and has 2/3's cup of sugar total for the topping and the cake. This 9 inch cake will serve 12, especially after a big Thanksgiving dinner.


Orange Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Cake
[makes 12 servings]
For the topping
2 tablespoons earth balance or other vegan buttery spread
1/3 cup organic vegan brown sugar
6 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
For the batter
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
6 packets stevia
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 F.
To make the topping:
Spread 2 full tablespoons of buttery spread (make sure it's usable for baking) on the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan. Put some up the sides as well but most of it should go on the bottom.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom.
Spread cranberries and pecans evenly over the brown sugar and butter.
To make the batter:
Make a flax egg by mixing the ground flax seed and water. Set aside, mixing it occasionally until it gets gooey.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, stevia, salt, sugar, and baking powder until combined.
In a smaller bowl, mix orange juice, applesauce, olive oil, vanilla and the flax egg. Beat well.
Pour the orange juice mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Spread the mixture carefully over the topping and place in the preheated oven.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
Loosen cake from the sides of the pan using a butter knife or narrow spatula.
Place a plate upside down over the cake and invert the cake pan onto the plate. Wait a few minutes and remove the pan.
Serve warm.

Per serving: 198.5 calories, 9.9 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2.6 g protein, 25.5 g carbohydrates, and 3.1 g dietary fiber.



Debra said...

Joanne, this dessert looks awesome for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Cranberries and pecans together is a winning combination! Love your story about taking your recipe creation to your dreams. I have done the same before and it is really amazing how much you can accomplish while sleeping:)

Jenna Street said...

Wonderful flavor! I added fresh oranges to the fruit topping. However, it did take longer to cook thoroughly. It might have been the addition of fresh fruit that did this, though. Thanks for sharing!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

The fresh oranges sound like a great addition!