More fruit than flour, this uber-moist, stick-to-your-fork cake is filled with warm spices, pineapple and banana, and topped with a delicious - and still vegan - passion fruit cream cheese icing. A Southern USA classic, by way of Jamaica.
Preheat the oven to 160C fan/ 180C/350F. Spread pecans onto a lined baking pan. Toast for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Lightly oil/oil spray and flour a bundt tin, (2 lb) loaf tin or (8 inch) square tin.
Place the oats in a blender and blitz until flour-like or slightly more "nubbly".
Dry whisk the flour, oat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, black pepper and salt together in a large, wide bowl.
Now, depending on what kind of pineapple you bought, you can either partially drain tinned crushed pineapple and mash it with the bananas, or place frozen or fresh pineapple in a blender to pulse with the bananas. It's best if there is a little texture so don't make it as smooth as you see in the image above in the slideshow.
Whisk together the blended fruit, oil, syrup, vanilla and vinegar until smooth. Pour the wet into the dry and fold with a spoon or spatula just until the flour disappears. Do not beat.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes then upend onto a wire cake rack to cool for about 45 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, add the cream cheese, butter and sugar to a small food processor bowl and blend until smooth. Or, use a small bowl and beat the cream cheese and butter with a wooden spoon, gradually stirring in the sugar. Stir in two-thirds of the passion fruit pulp and all the lemon juice. As this is a lower sugar icing I use coconut flour to plump it out. Start with 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and mix well. It won't be as smooth as without this addition. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then see if it is the right consistency to spread - this will be a personal taste thing. You might not want to add the coconut flour and keep the icing drippy. Or, you could just add double the amount of sugar to fill out the icing!
Chop the cooled pecans and decorate the cake with dehydrated pineapple, extra passion fruit pulp and the pecan bits. You can also add unsprayed edible flowers to make it all a bit less brown.
The cake keeps very well for up to five days if refrigerated. It tastes best at room temperature so take it out of the fridge about half an hour before you want a slice.
Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare cake and frosting a day in advance. Keep cake at room temperature, covered tightly. Refrigerate prepared frosting in an airtight container, then bring to room temperature when ready to use, beating well as the passion fruit will separate out a bit. Un-iced cake may be frozen up to 2 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. The icing isn't freezable.
Traditionally, in the US, canned crushed pineapple is used, with about half of the juice drained and not used in the cake (but drunk). I like using fresh or frozen, and not draining the fruit.
Pecans are the traditional nuts used and I urge you to splash out on them. And you must, must, must toast them. They taste incredible toasted. You may enhance the cake by adding 125 grams (1 cup) of t0asted and finely chopped pecans. No need to make any adjustments with the rest of the recipe.
Tweaks: add toasted, flaked coconut - about 1 cup; if you don't have allspice, use the same amount of freshly grated nutmeg; replace the plain flour with gluten-free mix or spelt flour.