Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted sliced almonds
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 16-ounce box angel food cake mix (see note)
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in 100% juice, undrained
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sprinkle almonds and oats evenly in the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine angel food cake mix, both cans of pineapple with juice, and almond extract, stirring with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Dollop about 3 cups of batter (this doesn’t have to be exact) on top of the nuts and oats, and stir just a bit so that the nuts and oats are caught up in the batter a little and won’t fall loosely off the bottom of the cake once baked. This creates a crust layer. Don’t overwork the batter at this point, though, or the crust layer will be too dense – just lightly fold in the nuts and oats a bit and spread the mixture evenly back out across the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the rest of the batter to the pan, on top of the crust layer, using a scraper to lightly spread the batter evenly.
  6. Sprinkle coconut on top of the batter and very lightly press the coconut in, just enough so that it will stick to the cake, but not so much that you’re deflating the batter.
  7. Bake for about 36-40 minutes, or until coconut and top of cake are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out only very slightly damp but not wet or gloppy. Don’t wait until the toothpick comes out totally dry, or your cake might be a bit dry around the edges.

Recipe Notes

Choosing a mix: We’re always careful about which prepackaged ingredients we use in our recipes, and we try to help you spot nutritional pitfalls along the way. Although there are several brands of organic angel food cake mix (Amazon carries a few), we haven’t seen any at our local markets, so we know you’re likely to end up using a more mainstream national brand, as well. If so, be sure to read the labels to find the ingredient list you like best. There are variations, even in something as simple as angel food cake mix. Be on the lookout for hydrogenated fats in particular. While Duncan Hines, for example, does have a small amount of partially hydrogenated oils in their boxed mix, other brands (including Pillsbury and Betty Crocker) do not.

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