Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Art Show!

This weekend I was really honored to be invited to participate in a benefit art exhibit. In total, there were about 20 artists exhibiting. The show was a fundraiser for a big local arts development that will have live-in studios, galleries, and educational space.

In order to raise more money, we brought in treats for our guests. I actually made two batches of cookies that were eaten up before I could even take a picture! But on Sunday I made a delicious vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cake. WHOA. It was so good. (recipe below)

Shiny, sugary, yummy!

Here's my piece... served up on some fine Dixie paper plate ware.

For the past 4 years or so, I've been working away at a series of portraits. They are all contemporary political figures, painted from their actual childhood photographs. You can see most of the completed paintings on my website. We were having fun goofing off and offering my slice of cake to the little ones. Maybe King Abdullah will stop playing with his balloons and grab that cake!
Little Dalai Lama was looking sad, we were hoping some pineapple upside-down cake would cheer him up!

I got this recipe off an old website that doesn't seem to be up anymore ( It's a great, easy, and delicious cake. It is decided not healthy, but that is why it's a good cake to make when you have lots of people to help you eat it:

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
14 oz can of sliced pineapple
4 Tbsp melted Earth Balance
2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c soy marg. or light oil
1/3 c applesauce
1 c unrefined sugar
egg replacer equal to 2 eggs (I used EnerG)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c unbleached flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7-8 maraschino cherries (optional)

to prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Drain the pineapple slices, saving the juice. In a 9"-10" cake pan*, mix together the melted margarine, brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp of the pineapple juice. Take the rest of the pineapple juice, and add enough water that you have 1 c of liquid. Set it aside.

Neatly arrange the pineapple slices in the cake pan... you probably won't use them all. Just do one layer. If you want, now's your chance to add the maraschino cherries. Gently cram one into each hole in the middle of the pineapple slices.

Cream the 1/3 c margarine/oil, 1/3 c applesauce, and sugar until well-blended. Add the vanilla and egg-replacer and beat well. Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the margarine/sugar mix a bit at a time, alternating with adding the pineapple juice, and beating well after each juice/flour addition.

Spoon the batter over the pineapple. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes & then carefully invert to a serving plate.

* note, I often find the inverting process to be messy and unsuccessful. Part of the cake usually sticks to the cake pan. So I carefully scrape it off and put it back on the cake. I started to wonder if it might be better to line the cake pan with a piece of parchment paper?

ps. thanks for all the super nice birthday wishes everyone!! :)


  1. Incredible paintings! And how kind of you to offer cake to the children. ;)

    By the way, I tend to have the same problem with upside down cakes. Definitely go with the parchment, or be prepared to reassemble the top part every single time. I've done it way too many times to risk it again!

  2. Ooh, that cake looks phenomenal! I love your series, such an amazing idea & beautiful work.

  3. What a fabulous art exhibit!! How lovely that you got to participate!!

    Oh my goodness, Pineapple Upside Down Cake?!?!?! That' is my family's FAVORITE dessert!!! Could flax or soy yogurt be used instead of the Ener-G egg replacer??

  4. Hi VeggieGirl,
    Yes, I think you could use whatever egg substitute you're used to using instead of EnerG. I kind of like the light fluffiness of this cake, and the flax eggs might make it a bit more "whole grain-y" if you know what I mean. I've never used soy yogurt in place of eggs, but if you've had luck with that in the past, I'd probably try that first.

    :) Amey

  5. Just making sure you saw that Oprah is doing a 21-Day Vegan Cleanse!

    Chef Tal Ronnen put together a bunch of recipes using vegan products, like Earth Balance.

    You can check out her whole program & the recipes here:

  6. Beautiful paintings...and beautiful cake! ;-) I may have told you before, but I really like the concept behind that series - excellent work!

  7. Johnna Knows Good Food2:19 PM

    Pineapple upside down is soo tasty..I'm gonna try this one!

  8. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I am in love with that pineapple upside-down cake. I am making that this weekend.

  9. oh My goodness, Amey. Your paintings! Really tremendous. I'm heading over to your website to look at them more. Wow. I'm so impressed!

  10. I don't know which is more amazing, the paintings or the pineapple upside down cake. Can I have both?

  11. Wgat beautiful paintings, it's such a great idea. Also, pineapple upside-down cake.. YAY! It's one of my childhood favourites.

  12. Oh my gosh, WOW! Sure, the cake looks good... but I am kinda preoccupied by being amazed at how talented you are!

  13. Your paintings are incredible. I remember being awed when I saw them on your website for the first time - not just by your talent but by your subject matter choice.

    Since I missed it, Happy Belated Birthday! Glad to hear you had a wonderful day. A big bowl of cherries sounds like a perfect way to celebrate.

  14. oh, this is what i want for my birthday cake in August!

  15. Your cake looks wonderful and the show sounds like fun.

    I wish I would have told you last week - Happy Birthday, Amey!

  16. Your paintings are amazing! And the cake looks very nice. Seems like a really cool event to participate in.


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