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Pineapple Coconut Cake

Fruity, soft cake layers filled with crushed pineapple, frosted with a vanilla coconut milk frosting, and covered with toasted coconut and dried pineapple decor. This Pineapple Coconut Cake is a beautiful, delicious dessert!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Pineapple Coconut Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounce can crushed pineapple not drained
  • 1 3/4 cups mashed ripe banana

Filling

  • 20 ounce can crushed pineapple not drained
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Frosting

  • 2 cups full fat canned coconut milk
  • 2 3.4 ounce boxes instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 8 ounce package Cool Whip thawed

Decoration

  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple rings

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of three, 8" round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour sides of pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Once well mixed, add the remaining ingredients. Whisk until ingredients are evenly combined.
  • Pour batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake for 24-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake layers comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Let cool completely before removing from pans.

Filling

  • Heat small pot on stove top over medium heat. Add crushed pineapple, sugar, and cornstarch.
  • Whisk continuously until mixture has thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before using to fill cake layers.

Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, use electric mixer fit with whisk attachment to beat coconut milk and pudding mixes until smooth and thickened.
  • Fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

Decoration: Coconut

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread coconut in even layer on mat.
  • Stirring coconut every 3-4 minutes, bake until coconut turns a golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch closely as this will happen quickly. Let cool before using to decorate cake.

Decoration: Pineapple*

  • Cut 7-9 pineapple rings horizontally in half, or if possible, in thirds (cut more than you think you will need as they will not all turn out).
  • Lay cut rings on paper towels and allow to sit for about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line a baking sheet with either silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Place your pineapple slices on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, then flip the slices and bake for another 30 minutes, or until edges are a deep, golden brown.
  • While the slices are still warm, place your hand over each one with your fingers spread, and slowly squeeze the ring towards its center until your fingers meet, so that it bunches up like a flower. Place each individual pineapple flower in a muffin tin. Let cool completely before using as decoration.

Assembly

  • Level cakes with a cake leveler or serrated knife. Spread pineapple filling evenly over two of the layered cake layers.
  • Stack the two layers on top of each other. Place the final cake layer, leveled side down, on the top of the cake.
  • Use frosting to cover sides and top of cake. If needed, refrigerate or freeze the cake and frosting for a few minutes between each frosting layer application.
  • Press coconut evenly over cake. Press flowers in desired locations.

Notes

*I used canned pineapple for this cake. It looks good, but fresh pineapple makes a beautiful flower! If you have fresh pineapple you can bake as described in the directions, but you will not need to squeeze the pineapple. You can simply place it in a muffin tin to cool.