The Secret to Zac Young’s Dairy-Free Pina Colada Dessert Is So Unexpected

If you like pina’re going to love this cake! 🍹

August 10, 2020

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I had my very first pina colada on a family vacation when I was a little girl. Of course, it was a virgin pina colada, but I still felt extra-special sipping on my frothy pineapple-and-coconut drink, complete with the little pink umbrella. Several vacations and dozens of pina coladas later, I still feel fancy lounging on a beach chair, tropical drink in hand.

If you like pina coladas 🎶 …Zac Young’s Pina Colada Upside-Down Cake class on the Food Network Kitchen app is for you! His sweet dessert takes you back to that special moment on the beach and brings all the “fun of a tropical cocktail” into a mini cake. When it comes to fruit, Zac prefers using store-bought canned pineapple slices instead of fresh ones. He says, “Canned pineapple is always the same amount of ripeness. If you buy fresh pineapple at the store, it’s never all the same.” Who knew canned fruit would ever beat out fresh? “Another thing I love about canned pineapple” Zac continues, “is that it’s like a two-for-one combo because you get the pineapple juice too. It’s like a free gift.” Pretty sweet!

Another surprising aspect of this yummy dessert? It’s both egg- and dairy-free. Yep, Zac not only cancels out eggs in this recipe but also butter. While baked goods usually rely on these ingredients for moisture and for their fluffy texture, Zac is able to achieve the same results with his secret weapon: pineapple (again!). He chops up the remaining canned fruit and adds it to the cake mix. “That’s going to add moisture and also give some acid to the batter that will give us that lift in the cake as it bakes,” he explains.

To finish off this delicious treat, Zac whips up a dairy-free coconut cream with a little lime zest and dollops it on each tiny cake. It’s like a sip of pina colada (and some tropical sunshine) in every bite. Yum!

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