Piña Colada Cake

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I feel like I fell off the face of the earth last week. Last week was such a blur… I spent all day Tuesday making French Macarons and all day Friday making a Unicorn Cake. More on both of those experiences later… but first, let’s back up and look at the Piña Colada Cake I made a couple weeks ago. Boy was it yummy!

So why did I make it and how did it come to be? Good question! So I mentioned with the strawberry dulce de leche cake that I made, my friend Dan hit me up about making his wife a birthday cake for her birthday. Wow… is that a repeat. haha! Anyway… when I asked him what she liked, he told me chocolate and coconut. So I went on the hunt for something with either or both. I then proceeded to send him about 10 different cake recipes.

  1. German Chocolate… it has chocolate and coconut.
  2. Piña Colada Cake… This one… It has coconut and I love Piña Colada stuff, but not the drink. I don’t understand…
  3. Cannoli Layer Cake… It just looked good… what can I say. It sounded good too…
  4. Bananas Foster Layer Cake… again… it just looked and sounded good. I’m not sure I’ve ever had Bananas Foster…
  5. Chocolate Coconut Cake… Hello… Chocolate and coconut together that isn’t a German Chocolate.
  6. Strawberry Dulce de Leche… That’s the one I wound up making.
  7. Caramel Mocha Chocolate Cake… This sounds a lot like what I was looking for when I went for the Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cake
  8. Nanaimo Bar Cake… I did some research and supposedly this is a Canadian treat. All my Canadian friends, is this true? Is it good?
  9. Black Velvet Cake… sounded good and interesting.
  10. Spumoni Cake… Have you ever had Spumoni ice cream? It’s yummo! It’s pistachio, chocolate, and strawberry together. Yum!
  11. Brown and White Illusion Cake… This was more for the look… I could have put whatever cake I wanted under that icing… but Wow!

The Cake

So that was 11 if you were keeping count. 10, 11, whatever. Obviously, I mentioned that Dan went with the Strawberry Dulce de Leche cake… but I still in my head wanted to make this cake. We were going to dive club meeting that night. I decided that I’d make this cake to take to dive club also. I mean, we had the Strawberry Dulce de Leche, but I wanted this one too. But, I also knew that Deb would like it!

Let’s just say, YUM! I’m so glad I decided to make this cake. That night we had a debate going on about which cake was better… the Strawberry Dulce de Leche or the Piña Colada cake. No decision was made over which was better… the decision made was they are both excellent and you should run to the store right now and make both of them. Then you could have your own cake tasting party and see if you can decide.

All these cakes these last weeks have made my love for baking cakes come back… well until last week, but that’s another story for another day because last weeks cake tried to kill me… yeah, I’ll leave you hanging with that and make a deal to come back and tell you that story! But as you can see, it didn’t kill me, I’m still alive and typing. p.s. usually my line is alive and kicking, and then I joke that whoever I just told that too is lucky I’m not kicking them. Anyway peace out!


Piña Colada Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Life Love and Sugar
Serves: 12-14 slices
  • Pineapple Filling:
  • 2/3 cup (138g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 16 oz crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Coconut Cake Layers:
  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp coconut extract
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water, room temperature
  • Coconut Frosting and Decor:
  • 1 1/4 cup (280g) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut extract
  • 6-7 tbsp (90-105ml) water or milk
  • 2 cups (153g) sweetened coconut flakes
  • Cherries
  • Sliced pineapple
  1. To make the Pineapple filling: combine the sugar with the cornstarch in a large pan.
  2. Add the pineapple with the juices and the water and turn the stove on to medium-high heat. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Takes about 10 minutes.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 1/2 minutes, then remove from the heat; add the vanilla and then set aside to cool
  4. For the cake layers: grease 3 8-inch cake pans. Make sure to line with parchment paper and lightly grease that as well. It will be your lifesaver! Take my word for it! Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  5. In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Do not be stingy on the creaming time.
  6. Add the sour cream and coconut extract. Mix until well combined.
  7. Add egg whites in two batches making sure to mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between beatings as well to make sure it gets mixed together well.
  8. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl or small measuring cup combine the milk and water.
  9. Add half of the dry ingredients. Mix. Then add all the milk mixture. Mix. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so all ingredients get incorporated.
  10. Divide the batter evenly into the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake at 350˚F for 21-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It’s okay if all three pans won’t fit in the oven, place 2 in and then the third. Don’t crowd the oven or the cakes won’t bake properly. Learn from my mistakes!
  11. Remove the cake tins from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack to completely cool.
  12. For the Buttercream: In an electric mixer or large bowl with hand mixer, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
  13. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar, making sure to fully mix the powdered sugar into the butter mixture.
  14. Add the coconut extract and about 5-6 tablespoons of milk until the mixture is smooth.
  15. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until fully smooth. If additional milk is needed for spreadable consistency, add a tablespoon full at a time. Do not get too runny, but make sure it is spreadable.
  16. Assembly of the cake: Toast the coconut on a sheet pan in a 400˚F preheated oven for about 5-8 minutes. Keep an eye on it because it will burn fast. Set aside to cool.
  17. Spread a little buttercream on your cake board or cake stand to hold the cake in place. Then place the first layer in the middle of your cake board or cake stand. Remove domes with a serrated knife or cake leveler.
  18. With icing in a piping bag, pipe a dam around the edge of the first layer of cake. This will help hold the filling in the middle. Then spread about 1 cup of the pineapple mixture that has been cooling in the middle of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture into an even layer.
  19. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the previous process. You may wind up with a little pineapple filling left over, that’s okay. eat it… I won’t judge nor will I tell :).
  20. Place top layer on the cake. Ice the outside of the cake with the icing, making sure to spread smoothly and evenly.
  21. Next, press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake. You’ll need to press so that it will stick to the icing.
  22. Use a large star tip to pipe the remaining buttercream icing into swirls on the top.
  23. Place Pineapple rings cut in half around the top of the cake and a maraschino cherry into each of the buttercream swirls for decoration!


2 thoughts on “Piña Colada Cake

  1. Yum… this makes me want to go home and bake a cake tonight! I made PB cookies last night, maybe on to cake tonight?!?

    I have never had a Nanaimo Bar Cake, but I LOVE Nanaimo Bars! They are delicious!! I had no idea they were Canadian though lol. My mom always makes them at Christmas time 🙂

  2. Made this!! Tweaked it a little and added more alcohol for a more pin colada effect. Soaked the pineapple on top in pineapple rum and added coconut vodka to the frosting. Came out amazing! Thank you!

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