Just because winter’s here (hello, first and second snow!), it doesn’t mean I can’t dream of reclining on a stretch of hot white sand looking towards the sparkling blue ocean, sipping a delicious pina colada, right? And it just so happened that at my local grocery store, whole pineapples were on sale for $2 each. So I proceeded to the Asian food aisle to pick up a can of premium coconut milk – none of that reduced-fat watery goop.
This summer to celebrate my birthday, I made a layered pina colada cake. It was fantastic. But that was an intense and had a very thorough process involving over two days of prep, and anyway it wasn’t a layer cake that I was craving – I needed something grab-and-go for breakfast at work. So I decided to concoct a breakfast pina colada loaf, to get me going with full cheer in the morning. What came out of the oven was a moist, fragrant loaf, with a beautiful golden crust and a nice balance of coconut and pineapple flavours. Waking up this week is going to be a breeze.
Bake at 350 F, approximately 1 hour
Preparation time, approximately 20 minutes
This is one of those easy recipes that requires very little equipment – I got away with using one large mixing bowl, two measuring cups (1 c and 2 c capacity), a measuring spoon, a regular spoon, and a fork. It was a nice change from the other more involved baking that I’ve done in the past.
- 1 cup diced and drained pineapples that have been tossed in a pinch of salt
- 2 cups flour
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1.5 tsp coconut extract
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
Before even taking out the flour from the cupboard, prepare the pineapple by dicing it finely and pressing out its juice in a strainer (the juice can be saved for other uses, like drinking). And tossing the pineapple with a pinch of salt. This will mellow it out a bit and not make your teeth feel weird when you eat it. Just leave it in the strainer to further air dry, until you need to use it.
Putting this together is quite straightforward – it’s a simple dry to wet method. You can do this in the most efficient and fast way as you see fit, but below I will elaborate on some extra steps I took that you might wish to follow.
First, stir the dry ingredients together in a small bowl or a 2 cup measuring cup and set aside. Then, in the order listed, whisk together wet ingredients from eggs to coconut extract. Then comes the first bonus fun part – emulsification!!
When a cake recipe uses oil instead of butter for its fat, I always always emulsify the oil into the wet ingredients, rather than just dumping it in willy nilly. Emulsifying the oil will create a uniform and thick mixture that will produce a nice and even loaf. Emulsifying is easier than one might think – you don’t even have to have fancy equipment! All you have to do, is pour the oil in in a very thin line while mixing it in with a fork (or whisk) vigorously. Ta-da! Then, add in the lemon zest and stir it up good.
After that, mix the dry ingredients into the wet, but reserve about 2 tablespoons of the dry. Don’t over-mix; lumpy is ok – just mix until the dry ingredients have just been incorporated. Then comes the second bonus fun part – mixing in the pineapple!! Hopefully your pineapple bits had a good time hanging out in the strainer – I imagined them laying there like in a hammock. Toss the pineapple with the 2 tablespoons of flour mixture, and then mix them into the batter.
Oil and flour a loaf pan, and pour in the batter. Bake at 350F for about an hour, it will be golden and cracked at the top. Always check with a toothpick – if it comes out clean then it’s done! Let the loaf sit in its pan for at least half an hour – it will deflate a little. Then, invert onto a wire rack and cool entirely. I couldn’t wait that long so I ate a slice… mmm…