Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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When it comes to summer parties, there’s nothing quite like a coconut pineapple cake. I mean, even just saying the name already makes me think of sandy beaches and lazy summer days!

Pineapple Coconut Cake

There are sooo many ways to whip up this cake. But I’ve got a recipe that’s always been a bakery hit, with homemade pineapple curd and a generous sprinkle of shredded coconut on top.

Why We All Adore Coconut And Pineapple Cake Recipe

Pineapple Coconut Cake recipe
  • You know what’s the flavor duo made in paradise? Pineapple and coconut, of course! Pineapple packs a sweet, tangy punch deepened by the coconut’s creamy, tropical nutty vibe. Every bite feels like taking a quick trip to the beach, and I’m not even joking! 
  • The cake layers are seriously moist, all thanks to the magical touch of coconut milk, pineapple juice, and sometimes a splash of buttermilk. They dance so well with all the tropical flavors and just melt on the tongue! And let’s not forget about pineapple chunks, the juicy, little bursts of sweetness spread throughout the entire cake.
  • This guy is a real team player. It pairs up like a champ with grilled chicken, pork, or fish or steals the show all on its own with cream cheese or berry buttercream frostings (strawberry, raspberry, etc.) Yum! 

How To Make Pineapple With Coconut Cake

Cake

Step 1.

Let’s kick off our baking adventure!

First thing first, preheat your oven to 350°F (or 177°C). Now, grab three 12-inch pans and give them a nice grease coat. I’d had a crowd in front of my bakery door to serve, so I usually used the 12-inch ones. If you only have some kids and adults around to feed, then go for the 8-inch pans.

Anyway, line them with some parchment rounds, and don’t forget to grease those as well. Trust me, taking those cakes out of the pans will be a thousand times easier! 

Pineapple Coconut Cake batter

Step 2.

Move onto the batter: mix cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set that aside for a moment. 

Step 3.

Now, it’s time to bring in the mixer! Doesn’t matter if it’s a stand or handheld one; just beat the unsalted butter with sugar at medium-high until creamy and smooth (took me 2 minutes or so). Don’t forget to scrape the bowl’s sides with your rubber spatula.

Once that’s all good, toss the egg whites in and mix until nicely blended. Then add sour cream, coconut extract, and vanilla extract, and whisk it all up again. 

Things might look a bit funky here, but don’t sweat it! Your mixture seems curdled due to the solid butter and all the differences in ingredient textures, but that’s normal. Just keep on mixing! 

Step 4.

Got everything sorted? Great! Now, switch your mixer to low and slowly add your dry ingredients, along with the pineapple juice and coconut milk. Mix at a lower speed until nicely combined. 

Next, gently fold in the pineapple chunks and shredded coconut flakes by hand. We want to make sure everything’s mixed in evenly; no more butter lumps! 

And there you have it: your cake batter is all set! Sure, it’s a bit on the thicker side, but that’s perfectly fine. 

Step 5.

It’s time to pour that heavenly goodness into your cake pans, nice and even! Pop them into the oven and let them bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Get ready for your kitchen to smell absolutely divine as those cakes warm up to perfection.

To make sure they’re cooked through, stick a small toothpick in the middle — if the toothpick comes out mostly clean, they’re ready! Once they’re done, let them cool down in the baking pans on wire racks.

Pineapple Coconut Cake batter complete

Pineapple Curd

Step 6.

In the meantime, let’s whip up some delicious pineapple curd.

Set up your double boiler by filling its bottom pot with a couple of inches of water. When the water is finally boiling, reduce the heat to low to keep it gently simmering. 

In the top pot, whisk together the egg, yolks, cornstarch, granulated sugar, salt, and pineapple. Keep whisking as it cooks to avoid nasty lumps! We want it to thicken up, kind of like hollandaise sauce (this usually takes me around 10 mins). If it’s still not thickening, just keep whisking and turn the heat up a little!

Pineapple Curd

Step 7.

Now that it’s nice and thick, take it off the heat and whisk in some butter; the heat from the curd will melt it perfectly! Pour that curd into your bowl or jar, then cover it with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface so skin won’t form on top.

Let it cool down completely (it will thicken even more!) before removing the wrap. Boom! 1 ½ cups of homemade pineapple curd, ready to go. 

Frosting and Garnish

Step 8.

Cream Cheese Frosting step 1 2

Grab a big bowl and either your stand or handheld mixer. Toss in the butter and cream cheese, and mix at medium speed ’til nice and creamy; it usually takes me 2 minutes to get there. 

Step 9.

Here comes the fun part! Add some confectioner’s sugar, a splash of pineapple juice or coconut milk, vanilla, and a little salt. Keep the mixer on low while you add them, then crank it up to high and beat for another 2 minutes.

Want it a bit thicker? No problem! Just toss about ½ cup of extra confectioner’s sugar into the mixture.

Step 10. 

If the cakes seem a little rounded on top, grab a knife and give a quick trim to make them nice and flat. But hey, don’t throw those trimmings away; they can make for a tasty snack! I even crumble them over some ice cream for later munching. 

Step 11.

Pineapple Coconut Cake decorating 2

Place one cake layer onto your plate or stand, then grab that trusty icing spatula. Spread on a thin frosting layer (¾ cup), then dollop on ½ cup of curd. Keep going with the second layer, and, finally, gently plop the third on it! 

My quick tip: This cake can be slippery with all the buttery and frosting goodness, so a crumb coat is my lifesaver. I spread a super thin frosting layer all over, cool the cake in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes, then bring it back out and slather on the rest of the frosting. 

Step 12.

Pineapple Coconut Cake decorating

For the final touches, top it with some pineapple chunks and press the coconut into the cake’s sides. And just like that, you’ve got yourself a show-stopping cake! 

Before you start slicing, let’s give this frosted cake a quick chill in the fridge for another 20 minutes so the cake can keep its shape. Sure, it’s super fluffy already, but just a bit more cooling can make a world of difference!

Pineapple Coconut Cake final

Notes

1. Up for some cupcake fun? Fill the cupcake liners about ⅔ full, pop them in the oven at 350°F (or 77°C) for around 19 to 21 minutes, and you’ll get yourself a batch of pure yum. This recipe should yield about 3 dozen cupcakes!

Oh, and here’s my secret cake tip. After the cupcakes cool completely, I carve out a bit from the center and fill it with tasty pineapple curd for extra flavor bursts. 

2. How about pina colada cakes? I haven’t tried this recipe for that yet, but frankly, I see no reason you can’t jazz it up for a pina colada version! Just swap out pineapple juice or coconut (plus vanilla) for 3 ¾ teaspoons of rum, any kind you like. Let me know how it turns out!

3. A friendly heads-up if you want to garnish this moist cake with some pineapple chunks: that’s totally cool, and we do it all the time, but make sure you add those chunks RIGHT before serving. 

Why? Well, they might get a bit soggy if sitting on the cake for too long, soaking up all the moisture! 

FAQs

Fresh vs. Canned Pineapple Chunks: Which Is Better?

Both are amazing, but fresh pineapple is slightly more tart. Make sure to chop it finely before adding it to your fluffy cake! 

Do I Need To Drain The Canned Pineapple?

Yup. Excess juice can make the cake very soggy, so drain the pineapple for at least 15 minutes in a colander or fine-mesh sieve. I even pat it dry with paper towels for good measure. 

Have a great time with your delicious cake!

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Pineapple Coconut Cake

Pineapple Coconut Cake

Ah, pineapple coconut cake — a slice of tropical paradise! Who doesn't love a perfect blend of sweet and tart, all wrapped in a moist, melty texture? Charming and pleasant, it's bound to be a hit at any get-together.
2.91 from 22 votes
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Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Servings: 18
Calories: 597kcal

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 ¾ cups (427.5 g) spooned and leveled cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ⅛ cups (18 tbsp; 255 g) softened, unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups (450 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 egg whites (room temperature)
  • ¾ cup (180 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 ⅛ cups (270 ml) canned coconut milk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh or canned pineapple juice
  • 1 ½ cups (120 g) sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 ½ cups (337.5 g) pineapple chunks (fresh or canned/drained) + extra for optional garnish

Pineapple Curd

  • 1 egg and a half
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup (97.5 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup (120 ml) canned pineapple juice
  • About ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup softened (unsalted butter, cut into quarters)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 ounces (339 g) full-fat, softened brick cream cheese
  • ¾ cup (12 tbsp; 169.5 g) softened, unsalted butter
  • 4 ½ cups (540 g) confectioners’ sugar + extra ⅜ cup (45 g) if needed
  • 3 tablespoons pineapple juice or coconut milk
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • About ¼ teaspoon salt
  • optional garnish canned or fresh pineapple chunks + 1 ½ cups (120 g) shredded coconut

Instructions

Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease three 12-inch pans, lining them with parchment rounds.
  • Mix cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  • Use your mixer to beat sugar and unsalted butter until creamy at medium speed, then add egg whites, sour cream, coconut extract, and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.
  • Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients (Step 2), pineapple juice, and coconut milk, then fold in pineapple chunks and shredded coconut by hand.
  • Pour batter into pans and bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks.

Pineapple Curd:

  • Prepare a double boiler and whisk together egg, yolks, cornstarch, granulated sugar, salt, and pineapple in the top pot.
  • Cook until thickened, then remove from heat and whisk in butter. Cool the curd in a bowl or jar with the plastic wrap covering the surface.
  • Frosting:
  • Mix butter and cream cheese until creamy at medium speed.
  • Mix in confectioner’s sugar, pineapple juice or coconut milk, vanilla, and salt, beating at low speed (the first 30 secs) and at high (another 2 mins) until creamy. Adjust consistency with extra confectioner’s sugar if needed.

Assembly:

  • Trim cake layers if necessary. Place one layer on a plate and spread with thin frosting and pineapple curd.
  • Repeat with the second and third layers of cake. Apply a crumb coat if desired.
  • Refrigerate the cake for 20 mins before serving. Top with pineapple chunks and press shredded coconut onto the sides. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For cupcakes: Bake at 350°F for 19 to 21 minutes, filling liners about ⅔ full. After cooling, fill the center with some pineapple curd for extra flavor.
  • To make a pina colada cake, substitute pineapple juice/ coconut and vanilla with 3 ¾ teaspoons of rum.
  • If garnishing with pineapple chunks, add them just before serving to keep them from softening.

Nutrition

Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.7g | Protein: 11.1g | Fat: 31.8g | Saturated Fat: 19.4g | Cholesterol: 246mg | Sodium: 434mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 33.9g | Calcium: 516mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @cakegirls or tag #cakegirls!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

1 thought on “Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe”

  1. I’m giving you 5 stars for the simple fact that you have me all the time. I always forget to add the cooling time. With the total time you give of 5 hours caused me to remember the list preparation gathering will the ingredients, finding pans and mixing bowls measuring devices with all the help I get this could take me 10 hours including on going to the store. Know I know my cakes are way more valuable than I thought and why I need to break up steps in days . No more ,” what’s wrong with me, why am I still doing cake at midnight ” 😂 thank you i have started my . I’ll try remember sooner or later to tell you how well we all like your cake 💖

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