Coconut Pineapple Layer Cake
I guess you could call this a pina colada cake or a pineapple coconut layer cake, yellow cake, pineapple filling and a coconut whipped cream frosting generously covered in flaked coconut. I use my Tender Yellow Cake recipe, adapted James McNair’s whipped cream frosting and made a simple pineapple filling using crushed pineapple. I have been making this cake for years and it’s requested all the time.
The Yellow cake is a very old recipe penned by my Mom after years of research and IMHO it’s the best yellow cake ever. Tender, fine crumb and very moist. It contains vegetable oil, not butter and the egg whites are separated and whipped making this cake light and it has a great rise. Click here for the recipe, I have published it several times.
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, unsweetened in it’s own juice (or use fresh pineapple if you prefer)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp lemon zest
pinch of salt
1 tbs butter
Place contents of the can of pineapple in a medium saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch,lemon zest and salt and whisk or mix to combine making sure there are no lumps.
Turn heat to medium high and cook stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, add the butter and stir until it’s melted. Spoon into heat proof bowl, cover with plastic wrap that sits directly on the mixture. Let come to room temperature and then refrigerate until completely cooled or over night.
Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting
adapted from James McNair’s whipped cream frosting
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
3 tsp corn starch
1/4 cup + 1 tbs powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream very cold
1 tsp vanilla
Place coconut milk, cornstarch and powdered sugar in small saucepan, whisk to remove any lumps. Turn heat to medium high and cook until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and spoon into a bowl, let come to room temperature stirring frequently to keep skin from forming or cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the mixture and let sit until cool.
Chill the whisk attachment or beaters of your mixer along with the bowl. Add the heavy cream, beat until it begins to hold shape, now add the coconut milk mixture and vanilla extract and continue beating until it becomes thick and is a spreading consistency. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
Frost the cake with the whipped cream frosting, I start from the center and work the frosting down the sides of the cake doing a crumb layer first then finishing if off nice and smooth.
I like to mix sweetened regular flaked coconut with unsweetened large flakes, it looks nice but it also is a bit less sweet. using all one kind is either too sweet or not sweet enough and a mix I find to be perfect.
Simply a beautiful looking cake. Wish I had a slice!
Thanks Georgie, me too, it’s really light and I have always been a sucker for pina colada’s.
All fo sudden this past year I’m a “cakey” kind of girl, especially with mile high frosting. Sigh!
Sounds so tropical! I’d love to try this recipe this summer 😀
It is, tropical it would also work with mango or papaya or mixed tropical fruit filling. Thanks so much.
Looks beautiful and tasty!
Thanks so much Brooke.
Now that looks tropical!!!
Thank you. yes it is pretty tropical, weather is warming getting into a tropical sort of mood!
Perfect cake for bringing on summer! I love your idea above for using mango too!!
I would love to do a mango curd and use as filling. Thanks Susan. The cake is so light, and not too sweet either.
I love coconut pineapple cake- super delicious recipe, Suzanne!
Thanks so much Jess!
Super spongy cake and an incredible layer of cream on top! I just love this one Suzanne, you know I love coconut and those flakes are luscious!
Thank you, it is a super moist spongy cake and loads of whipped cream icing. I love anything with coconut!
WOW – Suzanne – this is gorgeous and I do believe you when you say it’s the best yellow cake ever – it looks it.
Thank you, I literally tried hundreds of different recipes and then I told my Mom and she said well why didn’t I ask, duh!! It is the best yellow cake recipe I have ever had. Thanks so much.
Dang. That’s my kind of dessert! Yum! Nicely done, as always!
Thank you so much.
I love shredded coconut so much so I am wishing so hard for a big piece of this cake! Looks great lady!
Thank you, me too. I love coconut. Would love to give you a slice!
Coconut, pineapple and cake, that’s a pretty wonderful trio and it looks divine. I am now feeling extremely hungry but no cake in the house to satisfy my sweet tooth. 😉
Thank you, no cake here either, it just got picked up for a birthday celebration. It is a delicious combination!
A gorgeous cake Suzanne and thanks so very much for sharing your Mom’s special recipe for yellow cake – I look forward to giving this a go sometime very soon!
Thank you so much, I love my Mom’s recipe, I do hope you like it if you do make it!
I am SO glad to have found this recipe; I have been looking for something like this using the fresh canned pineapple and coconut! I can’t wait to try it even though we are in the fall season now. Yours just looks delicious! I wonder how it would be to use sliced bananas or sliced frozen strawberries! Don’t know but I am following your recipe to the letter! Will let you know how it turns out!
This is stunning! I absolutely love pineapple and coconut together so this cake is really calling my name. I definitely need to make this! Love it
Thanks so much Kate!
oooo la la–this is stunning 🙂 The cake looks like a great base for just about any type of filling and frosting. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Liz, yes it is a great base for any time of frosting or filling. I make endless types of cakes with the yellow cake recipe.
Oh My Gosh Suzanne! This is another incredible cake from you. I absolutely love coconut cake and I’m sure I’d love pineapple in it too. Looks like I’ll have to bake another cake. I really draw inspiration from you and your baking. We really loved the tiger cake. Sigh. You know summer is coming and I would really like to wear shorts! Well, not short shorts….just shorts, and if I keep baking these cakes it’s going to be a problem. 🙂
Ha, yes I was just thinking about that this morning. I think I need to concentrate on vegetables and fruit if I want to wear shorts. Thanks so much. This was for a special occasion, a birthday so it’s ok to indulge!
Suzanne, this is VERY similar to a cake I have been making since I was about 12 years old! It was a Bacardi recipe and used boxed cake mix, and jell-o pudding! Of course, I’ve not been using those ingredients for a very long time, but it is still one of my favorite cakes! Yours looks amazing, and it’s so perfectly made! I hope mine turns out as well when I put my recipe up! 😉
I have had that recipe I think or at least something very similar and I remember it being really good. Thanks so much Christina!
My husband and son are big fans of coconut! They would throe a party with this cake!
Ha, thanks Katerina, it’s a really good cake for a party!
How pretty! There’s something very striking about an all white cake. I bet it tastes utterly yum 🙂
I agree, I love an all white cake, thanks so much.
What a stunning cake!! I do love a cake that has pineapple in too! 🙂
Thanks Jo, yes me too. I love cakes with fruit!
Looks absolutely decadent!
Thanks Serena,it’s really light but yes also decadent.
Stunning cake, Suzanne! This would be a wonderful wedding cake, don’t you think? And the thought of the pineapple filling is making my mouth water. I can see why this is frequently requested!
Yes I agree, it would make a wonderful wedding cake. it’s so white!! Thanks so much.
Pineapple and coconut has to be one of my all-time favourite combinations. Especially if there’s rum too 😉 Your cake looks and sounds too good to be true and I love that you’ve used coconut milk. I wish we lived closer and I’d be begging for a slice…
Thank you and if you lived close I would voluntarily show up at your door with a slice along with a treat for Hugo!
Suzanne, you outdid yourself! The cake is totally magazine material!
Thank you so much!
This cake really is stunning. It looks so light and fluffy- like a coconut cloud!
Thanks Mary Frances, it is very light, I love your description!
What a divine creation! It all looks very scrumptious, Suzanne! Waw even! Another must try for sure!
Thank you so much, It’s a delicious cake!
I bet! x
Yum! I have a severe weakness for coconut pineapple cake! Yum!
Thank you I do too!
Gorgeous! Love that tropical flavour combination. Thanks tons for sharing the recipe!
Thank you so much Sheryl and thanks for stopping by!
So fluffy and light looking! Can I have a piece?
I would have gladly given you a piece, LOL, thanks so much Melissa!
This looks absolutely beautiful Suzanne….as do all of your cakes! That is a great recipe. I love all of the coconut on top, so pretty. I really love the coconut whipped frosting too…I use coconut milk a lot in vegan recipes and I use it also as an icing on my banana molasses cake. I love how light and airy it is, so I can only imagine how delicious this one is with the coconut flakes layered on top of it! Yum!
Coconut cream makes such a delicious frosting or anything really, thanks so much Brandi.
Suzanne– what a winner– looks like a great special occasion cake–birthday coming up?! I especially am glad to get the recipe for the pineapple filling. oh yumm. pretty post!
Thanks so much Rhonda, that pineapple filling is so simple and delicious. I want to work on a pineapple curd next!
Love pineapple and cream together. So with coconut (really like the mixture of the two flakes) and sponge this has to be an absolute treat!
Oh it’s a wonderful cake I love the pineapple and cream. Thanks Johnny!
I love the name piña colada cake! the cake and that name, bring my a lot miles far away from this spring that is still refusing to show up! I imagine that the flavour and the smell of this cake had to be AMAZING!
Thank you, the cake did smell really nice. The pineapple and coconut are so lovely together, and when you add the whipped cream frosting it does sort of remind of a pina colada.
MMm mmmm MMMMMM. coconut = amazing. Sandwich cake = check. Love it!
Thank you so much, it’s a really nice cake!
LOL, thank you.
This looks perfect for summer! I love anything with pineapple and coconut in it. Yum!
Thank you so much Patty, me too!
This looks amazing! I love the background colors your chose for your photos too- very nice all around!
Thank you so much!!
What a fresh cake! Great as a birthday cake (or any day cake, really) 😀
Thank you so much.
Beautiful!!! A perfect spring dessert:0)
Thanks so much Ruthanne!
Looks awesome! .. now to dream of making a version I can drop my face into !! xxx
Thanks Hoda, would love to see your spin on this!
I was looking at that picture with the pineapple jam filling for ages… absolutely drool-worthy Suzanne. I love the combination of pineapple and coconut, it’s a match made in heaven. I am definitely going to try this gorgeous cake. Yum! Happy Easter, by the way! xx
Thank you it’s a really lovely cake and if you make you please let me know what you think. Thanks so much. Totally agree about pineapple and coconut, yum!!
love the layers! great combo of flavours!
Thank you so much, it is a great flavor combo.
Holy moly. THis is totally the cake for me. I love it!
Thank you so much!
I’m SO behind on my blog reading, but so glad I’m here now to see this beauty of a cake. It looks like it’s ready to whisk it’s eaters off to a tropical island. And those yellow cake layers look pretty darn perfect. Great job, Suzanne!
Lori, so happy to see you. Seems like it’s been a long time. Thank you so much! Hope you are well.
I’ve been *mostly* well. Some stupid sinus infections have been trying to take me down a little bit, but I’m feeling better now. Very busy with lots of freelance work, and I can’t complain about that one bit. How is the hand?
Oh those horrible pesky sinus infections. Sorry to hear that but glad you are feeling better. Very slight improvement with the finger but still almost no ability to use it. I have adapted to not using the finger and am trying to adapt again to try and use it although limited. Glad to hear you have a lot of freelance work!
Oh, that’s not good to hear. I think I’ll be forever scared of rolling market carts now because of this! Is it possible you need physical therapy for it or something? I know, seems silly to go to physical therapy for a finger, but stranger things have happened.
Not silly at all, I went through a month of therapy, it helped a little but very costly and now doing myself. The doc said surgery to repair the volar plate tendon that is torn. We’ll see thank you so much for asking.
I know it’s been said about a hundred times alerady in the comments but I love the combination of pineapples and coconuts 🙂
Did you use vanilla sugar or extract in the frosting?
Thank you so much, yes I did use vanilla extract 1 tsp. I do love pineapple and coconut it’s delicious. Thanks again.
Ahhh… this cake ! I do remember you texted it to me last year when you baked it for one of your friend ! It still makes my mouth watering ! I will try one day !
It looks so delicious, I just want to grab a slice right now !
Yes, you remember that is the same cake!! Thank you and I am so happy to see you back!!
Yum – Suzanne, don’t you think it’s about time that technology caught up with us food bloggers and made a scratch and taste screen? I don’t know if I could stop tasting this delish cake – love the combo of pineapple with coconut!
Scratch and sniff, LOL, yes wouldn’t that be nice!! Thank you so much. Its one of my favorite cakes.
Oh my gosh, this looks divine! I’ve never been more sad to be allergic to pineapple!
You can make a mango filling, it’s wonderful and have done that before. Still tropical and so delicious. Thanks so much and so sorry you are allergic to pineapple :o(
Hi thankks for sharing this