This pineapple coconut cake is so moist and tender you’ll want to bake this recipe over and over. It’s filled with rich homemade pineapple filling between the layers and then you can top it off with the frosting of your choice.
It’s perfect for a birthday, or any event, but you may not even want to share though…it’s so good.
Hey there! Before you scroll, there’s lot’s of important stuff in the post!…including the FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!
This cake is a very tender cake. It’s best kept chilled until served. You don’t want to use this cake for carved cake projects and it is so tender that it probably wouldn’t hold up to fondant.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS IN THE PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE:
- You’ll want to use cake flour. It just produces a softer textured cake.
- You’ll use coconut milk in this recipe (not coconut water). I used Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk) Make sure to shake up the can before opening it.
- You’ll obviously use coconut and pineapple and I used sweetened shredded coconut and crushed pineapple – juice and all.
- You can also add in vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) and coconut extract if you have it available.
- And you’ll need even more pineapple for the pineapple filling. (The recipe card below will show exact amounts.)
I torted my cake layers, so I could add in more pineapple filling, instead of just one layer of filling between two layers.
So, I ended up having four thinner layers of cake and three layers of filling.
I think it worked out really well because you get a good helping of the cake and the pineapple filling in each bite.
MIXING METHOD FOR THE PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE:
For this cake, you’ll be using the average creaming method. That means you’ll cream the butter and sugar together and whip it up well to incorporate as much air as you can, then you’ll add in the eggs one at a time.
Next you’ll alternately add in the dry and liquid ingredients. This mixing method will make a really fluffy cake. The main thing is just to make sure you don’t over-mix. Only mix until everything is combined.
TIPS & FAQs FOR MAKING THE PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE:
- Use unsalted butter and make sure it’s room temperature (not melted though). Just set it out to come to room temp on its own.
- What if I don’t have cake flour? Well you’ll get the best results with cake flour, but if you can’t get it, you can substitute with all purpose flour with these changes: For every cup of cake flour called for in the recipe, use one cup of all purpose flour instead and remove two tablespoons of it, then replace that with two tablespoons of cornstarch.
- I don’t have vanilla bean paste, can I substitute? Yes, you can use regular vanilla extract instead in the same amount.
- Do I have to use coconut extract? No, you don’t have to, but it does add a little more coconut flavor.
- In both the cake recipe and filling recipe, you’ll use the pineapple undrained. You’ll be using the juice and all.
- Grease and flour your pans or add pan release and flour them very well as these are tender cake layers and they’ll want to stick.
- These layers will be a little more brown on the top then you’re used to seeing with a vanilla style cake. It’s okay. They will also not bake up super high with a dome. They’ll bake pretty level with the pans.
You’ll want to cover this cake in a creamy frosting and I’ve got a couple options for you below. (I used the Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting)
Options for Frosting:
The final touch will be the toasted coconut on top. (I show how to do this in the video and in the recipe itself.) You don’t have to toast the coconut if you don’t want to though. You can just add regular shredded coconut to your cake if you want.
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ITEMS AND TOOLS USED TO MAKE THE PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE:
- Large Glass Batter Bowl
- Vanilla Bean Paste
- Coconut Extract
- Stand Mixer
- Flex Edge Beater Attachment
- 8″ Round Cake Pans
- Cake Leveler
- Small Icing Spatula
- Large Icing Spatula
Ok, let’s get to the recipe!
***I write recipes using volume (cups) measurements because here in the U.S., this is what people are used to seeing and using. For weight in metric measurements, click the ‘metric’ button under the ingredients in the recipe card. The weights are converted by a program, not me, and it’s a best guess. Please note that because I develop recipes using ‘cups’ I can’t guarantee that weighing the ingredients will produce the exact same results.
Pineapple Coconut Cake with Pineapple Filling
For the Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter (slightly cooler than room temp)
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups cake flour (not all-purpose flour)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 13 oz can coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk) (I used Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract optional
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 8 oz can of crushed pineapple, undrained (add the juice and all)
- 1 ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut (plus 1 cup more for toasting and sprinkling on the cake)
For the filling:
- 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained (add the juice and all)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 3 T cornstarch
- 2 T butter
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour two 8″ round pans very well.
- In a bowl, mix the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the coconut milk. It sometimes helps to shake the can a bit before opening it. If it’s still not mixed together, then just mix it well with a whisk once you get it into your bowl.
- Add in the emulsions (or extracts), oil and pineapple. Whisk until mixed well. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the room temperature butter on low until smooth and creamy.
- Add the sugar and beat on low until mixed, then beat on medium to medium high until light and fluffy. (Several minutes.)
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low after each just until combined. Scrape down the bowl and mix again just for another 5 to 10 seconds.
- Add the dry and liquid ingredients alternately to the butter/sugar mixture. (Start with a third of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add in half of the liquid ingredients and mix just until combined. Add another third of the flour mixture, mix until just combined. Add in the last half of the liquid ingredients, mix, then the last of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.)
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium for only about 10 seconds. Do not over mix, just make sure everything is incorporated and then stop mixing.
- Fold in 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes.
- The edges and top will be medium brown in color and a toothpick inserted into the middle will come out with a few crumbs, but no liquid batter.
- These cake layers will bake pretty level and flat. They will not have a dome on them.
- Set the baked cake layers onto a rack and cool for about 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pans and leave to cool completely on the racks before frosting them.
For the pineapple filling:
- Add the crushed pineapple, sugar, and cornstarch to a sauce pan.
- Cook over medium heat and let the mixture come to a boil. Let it boil for about three minutes while stirring almost continuously.
- Add in the butter and remove from heat. Stir until the butter is melted into the pineapple filling.
- Place the filling in a bowl, cover it and chill until cold.
For the Frosting:
- This cake is wonderful topped with fluffy marshmallow frosting, the whipped cream cheese frosting or regular cream cheese buttercream.
- For the cake pictured, I used fluffy marshmallow frosting.
- You can find those recipes at the links here: Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting, Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting, Cream Cheese Buttercream
To toast the coconut:
- Break up one cup of shredded coconut into a frying pan. Turn the heat up to medium. Stir the coconut continuously, flipping it over as you stir. Watch it closely and do not leave because it will burn quickly.
- Once it’s browned, add the toasted coconut to another bowl.
- Sprinkle onto the top of the cake after frosting is added.
- For this cake, I torted my cake layers, so I could work in even more of the pineapple filling. (By torting, I just mean slicing the cake layers in half, so instead of two cake layers, there are four thinner layers.)
- You don’t have to tort your cake layers though. This cake is very delicate, so just be aware that if you do torte them, you’ll need to chill them to help them stay together.
- Place a cake layer onto a plate or cake stand and spread a thin amount of buttercream, then some of the pineapple filling over it. Place the other cake layer on top of the previous. If you torted your cake layers, just continue on like this ending with the top layer of cake.
- Cover cake with frosting. Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with toasted coconut. (You can just sprinkle with untoasted coconut as well.)
How to Share
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can I omit the crushed pineapple and just add the pineapple juice in its place instead?
Tonyah, I’m not sure if that would work for the filling…it may not turn out, but I think it would work for the cake. Just make sure to add the juice because you’ll need that for the moisture.
Hui Wai Yee
If I haven’t got the kitchen aids’ table mixer may I use the handheld electrical mixer instead
Yes it will work just fine using a hand mixer.
Delicious cake! I just didn’t add the shredded coconut and I baked in a 9-inch pan so I just had two layers. One question- I cannot print this recipe no matter what device I use. When I hit the “Print Recipe” links, the whole webpage just opens in another tab. And I cannot highlight and copy the recipe (it says “Alert: you are not allowed to copy content”). Help please!
Hi Angela, so glad you loved the cake! That’s weird that it won’t let you print the recipe. I looked at it and it’s working for me, but you have to hit the print recipe link at the very top of the post, or the ‘print recipe’ button inside the recipe card. It will open a new window with the recipe and from there you can click the print button.
It’s not possible to highlight and print from the website though as I have to set things up that way because of website scrappers…companies who copy entire blog posts and post them on their site.
Let me know if the print buttons won’t work for you. You might try a different browser though…mine is working for me in google. If that doesn’t work, just send me an email through my contact link and I’ll email you a pdf of it. Here’s the contact link: https://iscreamforbuttercream.com/contact-me/
I’m making cake tomorrow. I could only find 13.66 ounces instead of 13 ounces. Do you use the whole can.
Yes, use the whole can including the fat that is on the top of the can when you open it.
I am going to make this amazing cake for my birthday tomorrow. Can I use evaporated coconut mik??
Hi Hilda, I’m so sorry, but I don’t know if that would work or not…I just haven’t tested it out. It might be worth experimenting with though!
Can I use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?
It might work ok. Coconut cream is a little thicker, so the cake might end up a little denser, but it might work just fine.