Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pineapple Cake with Coconut Frosting

Pineapple Cake with Coconut Frosting - traditional and gluten-free versions included - get the recipe at
Pineapple Cake with Coconut Frosting is a rich white cake full of pineapple flavor and just a hint of coconut, layered with creamy coconut cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with toasted coconut.

I'm partnering with Alberston's and Safeway again to create a new recipe for the "Cans Get You Cooking" project. I'm playing with pineapple (my all-time favorite canned fruit!) and a splash of coconut milk for a hint of classic Pina Colada flavor in this Pineapple Cake with Coconut Frosting. You already know how much I love a well-stocked pantry and these are two foods that you will always find in my kitchen.

Because this cake is so moist, it keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and I especially love the way the cake tastes when it is cold. I played with several ideas for a pina colada style cake over the past year and I am so happy with this final cake. My boys gave the cake two thumbs up and my youngest asked if I could please make more coconut desserts. It appears that I have a solid coconut fan on my side now!

Pineapple Cake with Coconut Frosting - get the recipe at

In a nod of understanding to all of the people who can't get past the texture of coconut, this is a smooth frosting flavored with creamy coconut milk. Please note the can in the photograph, because a carton of coconut milk from the refrigerated section at the grocery store will not work the same way! The higher fat content in canned coconut milk makes the frosting nice and creamy. You are welcome to add shredded coconut to the frosting, but I skipped it this time to create a coconut flavored frosting that the coconut-texture-avoidant members of my family would still love.

COOK'S NOTE: Be careful to avoid overbeating the cream cheese for the frosting. Stop beating it as soon as it is smooth. If it is beaten for too long, it will become runny and all the sugar in the world won't thicken it again. I really like the hint of rum in the frosting, but it is delicious both with and without it. This cake can also be made in a 9x13 pan. Allow the cake to cool before icing it in the pan or turn the cooled cake out onto a platter and frost completely.

To toast the coconut, preheat the oven to broil. Spread the coconut across a baking pan and place it in the oven. Do not walk away. Watch the coconut as it begins to brown, it will only take about a minute to toast and it will burn lightning fast if you aren't paying attention.

Pineapple Cake with Coconut Frosting {traditional and gluten-free recipes}
Yield: 10-12 servings
(printable recipe)

1 14-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

* Gluten-Free Substitutions:
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

Frosting Ingredients:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

1 cup sweetened coconut, for topping (toasted, if desired)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (2) 8-inch or 9-inch round pans. Place the pineapple chunks in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, without any chunks. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar until smooth. Stir in the coconut milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, stir to combine. Add 1 cup of the pureed pineapple and stir once more.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake 35-38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, before inverting the cakes over a wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely.

Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add half the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add the remaining sugar and beat again. Add the coconut milk and the vanilla, beat to combine and then taste the frosting. Adjust the sugar as desired, and add a tiny splash of rum, if you would like.

Place one layer of the cake on a plate, top with 1/3 of the frosting, smoothing it gently across the cake, almost to the edge. Gently place the second cake over the frosting layer. (I like to place the first cake upright and then flip the second cake over, so that the tops are facing in and the bottom is on top providing a nice flat layer.) Scoop the remaining frosting onto the top cake and gently spread it across the cake. Sprinkle with coconut, if desired, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Pineapple Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting - traditional and gluten-free versions included - get the recipe at

Disclosure: I've partnered with Albertsons & Safeway to share this recipe with you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Barefeet In The Kitchen possible. As always, all thoughts are my own.


  1. WOW! This cake looks so incredibly moist and delicious! Is there a better combo than coconut and pineapple? YUM! Pinning to try this because my family would go crazy over it! And so would I... :)

  2. Can't wait to make this next Tuesday night for our church's women's fellowship. I know they'll love it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Mary! I just wanted to share that your cake was another hit at work. I made cupcakes and it was eaten so fast. It was even nominated to be a contender in our annual Christmas dessert contest. The Cinnamon Toast Bars was another recipe that everyone loves. Thanks again!

  4. Mary, this might be the most incredible pineapple coconut cake I've ever seen! It looks so moist and fluffy, and I'm loving that cream cheese icing! I really can't wait to give this a try, looks so, SO good!

  5. When is the remainder of the pineapple puree added? I couldn't find where it is. Instructions say to add a cup of puree, no where is adding the remainder indicated.?

    1. Any remaining puree will not be added in. Depending on the brand of pineapple, you should have just about 1 cup of puree from the entire can of drained pineapple tidbits. However, I tested this using a couple different brands of pineapple and one of them resulted in about 1 1/4 cup puree. So, I listed it in the recipe as 1 cup puree to avoid any accidents with too much puree in the batter. I hope that helps!

  6. Hi Mary! In my area, there are plenty of fresh pineapple and non canned. Can I use fresh one?

  7. Oh boy we made this yesterday. turned out great and tasted delicious. Thanks for this.