Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe

Posted by Cornel Schalkwyk on


Think about swaying palm trees, a sun-kissed beach and a Pina Colada in your hand.  This pineapple coconut cake is a taste of summer that will melt in your mouth! 

The sponge is light and moist and goes very well with a Pina Colada flavoured buttercream.  Decorate your cake in shades of yellow and green to compliment the summery pineapple theme, and for an extra splash of luxury, add some Ferrero Raffaello coconut balls on top.

Slice of cake

So, if you are looking for something a little bit different to celebrate the change in seasons, this is the cake for you. 

Top tips:

  • Drain the left-over crushed pineapple and use between the cake layers when decorating, which really adds to the pineapple taste.
  • If you prefer the taste of toasted coconut, you could toast your desiccated coconut in the oven first, before adding to the recipe.
  • For the buttercream, I suggest a plain vanilla buttercream, flavoured with a good quality Pina Colada food flavouring.
  • The key to an even rise is to go low and slow. If your cake forms a dome on the top, your oven is too hot.  Try setting the oven to a lower temperature and bake for a few minutes longer.

Crushed pineapple and coconut


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 – 35 minutes (for 3 layers)

Servings: 8” cake with 2 – 3 layers (12 – 16 servings)

Author: Cornel Schalkwyk


  • Stand mixer
  • Kitchen scale
  • Cake tester
  • Cooling rack


  • 150g room temperature butter
  • 230g / 250ml granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 435g / 750ml plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90g / 250ml desiccated coconut
  • 278g / 250ml crushed pineapple with juice

Watch the video here for a demonstration on how to make this cake.

Pineapple cake



  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C fan assisted (284°F), or 150°C (302°F) for a conventional oven. Line / grease two or three 8” cake tins and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy in texture and light in colour.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly.
  4. Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix on medium speed for another 20 – 30 second until the batter is smooth and pale. There should be no clumps of butter left in your batter at this stage. 
  5. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and add the vanilla extract, pineapple and coconut. Mix on medium speed for another 10 - 15 seconds until incorporated.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cake tins and smooth out a little.
  7. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes (if using three 8” tins), or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. If using only two cake tins, the baking time will be longer around 40 – 45 minutes.
  8. Let the cakes cool for five minutes in the tins before taking them out on a cooling rack.
  9. Once completely cooled, you can stack & decorate your cake. I recommend a vanilla buttercream with added Pina Colada food flavouring.

Slice of cake


  • You can use any type of butter for this recipe, whether it’s a dairy-free alternative or not.
  • The recipe produces a standard height cake (4 – 5” tall) when using 8” cake tins. For a tall cake, use 1.5 - 2 times the recipe and adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • The sponge is quite crumbly due to the coconut, so I would not recommend this cake recipe for a cake design that requires carving.
  • You can wrap your unfrosted cakes in cling film and freeze in freezer bags for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bring back to room temperature before frosting and consuming.


Have you used this recipe?  Tag me and hashtag your creations on social media:

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