This Pineapple Coconut Cake is a crowd pleaser. A perfectly sweetened tropical cake will have you dreaming of the Islands!
I’m all about dessert, and having this simple 1 layer cake in your recipe box is a must, great for whipping up just before dinner and enjoying after the dishes are finished!
I love coconut and I love pineapple. So, anytime I have the chance to fuse these flavors, I’m on board! And this cake is a perfect combination with both flavors equally shining through and not at all too sweet as some pineapple desserts can be.
And I considered many different toppings to this cake, but in the end, a silky cream cheese frosting won. I added just a hint of pineapple to it as well, bringing it up a notch and invigorating the taste buds. Like I said, I’m a fan of pineapple.
And my taste for tropical flavors has led me to create many desserts and even some main dishes that are influenced by this warm weathered fruit. One of my favorite dinners is Pork and Pineapple with Quinoa. It’s packed with nutrition and flavor and if you’re a fan of salty/sweet foods, then this is for you.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my Coconut Chicken with Pineapple Guacamole – it’s a family favorite and so simple to put together. And if you want more tropically influenced foods, I have an entire post dedicated to pineapple recipes. And while you scroll through it, to whet your appetite you can sip on my Pineapple Margarita!
Full of fun flavors this luau cake is the perfect dessert all summer long!
Take a look at my other Luau (coconut & pineapple creations)
- Luau Cupcakes
- Luau Ice Cream
- Luau Pasta Salad
- Luau Fried Rice
- Grilled Cake: No baking, this fun grilled cake is full of flavor, using fresh pineapple buy an angel food cake and toast it on the grill along with the pineapple then top it with the simple creamy dreamy topping and add some toasted coconut, it’s a fun camping dessert too!
Now let’s talk about this absolutely yummy cake. It’s light and unlike a lot of cakes that have coconut in them. The coconut flakes don’t sink to the bottom of the cake while baking. This is because I dust them with cornstarch to help dry the flakes out a bit so they can be evenly distributed throughout the cake ( you can use powdered sugar if you don’t have cornstarch), ensuring each bit has just the right amount of coconut in it.
To begin preheat your oven to 350.
Prepare an 8″ round cake pan with a baking spray or as an alternative with shortening and flour. Add a cake leveling strip around your cake pan to ensure a smooth flat cake.
In a medium-sized bowl whip sugar and eggs until fluffy. You may use a hand mixer or if you have it, a stand mixer.
In another bowl, mix together your flour and baking powder. Add it to your egg mixture, then pour in the milk and pineapple juice, mixing well to incorporate everything.
Add in your melted butter, oil, and vanilla along with coconut extract.
Finally, stir the coconut with cornstarch or powdered sugar in a separate bowl and then stir into the cake.
Pour batter into the cake pan.
Bake your cake at 350° for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
While your cake cools off, we’ll make the frosting.
Begin by beating the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
add in the heavy cream and pineapple juice slowly so as not to splatter, and then add the powdered sugar mix on low to combine.
Once combined, whip on high until fluffy.
Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and serve.
You can store your cake in the fridge for easy access whenever your sweet tooth calls for it!
What’s a cake leveling strip?
These are magical and well worth the investment especially if you make multi-tiered cakes. They ensure your cake comes out even, with a level top surface, eliminating the dome so often seen. Click HERE to see an example.
Can I make the frosting ahead of time?
Yes, in fact, I do this often, especially if I’m working a tight schedule. I do like it to sit out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes for easier spreading
Should my butter and cream cheese for the frosting be at room temperature or cold?
Room temperature is best, the cream cheese and butter will blend silky smooth. Cold cream cheese is very hard to whip, it becomes separated and clumpy, which once mixed with butter makes it even harder to blend. So there are a few tips, let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Unwrap and cut the cream cheese and butter into small pieces to speed up the timing for it to come to room temperature, or place it on a plate and microwave at 30% power for 30 seconds. Depending on your microwave that should be just enough to take the cold edge off. You do NOT want it warm, melted, or heated at all.
Add a couple of drops of Pineapple Flavor, I’ve used this one and the flavor is nice.
I love a durable cake pan 8″ round cake pan
other items I use
check out my other 8″ single layer cake recipes
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon oil, I use avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch or powdered sugar (to allow the coconut to be separated and dry a bit to not sink while baking cake)
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- 1-2 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Prepare an 8" round cake pan with a baking spray or shortening and flour. Add cake leveling strip to bake a smooth flat cake.
- Ina. medium bowl whip sugar and eggs until fluffy.
- Add in flour, baking powder then pour in the milk and pineapple juice and mix well.
- Add in the butter, oil, and vanilla along with coconut extract.
- Stir the coconut with cornstarch or powdered sugar and then stir into the cake.
- Pour batter into the cake pan.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake onto a cooling rack.
- Make the frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
- Add in the heavy cream and pineapple juice and then add the powdered sugar, mix on low to combine, then whip on high until fluffy.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and serve.
- Store cake in the fridge, but allow it to come to room temperature for the best flavor.