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Pina Colada Cake

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Prep Time: 5 mins    Cook Time: 45 mins

5 from 3 votes

With only 4 ingredients plus whipped cream to serve, your favorite poolside cocktail just became your new favorite cake recipe! This pina colada cake is quick and easy to whip up and offers those unmistakable pineapple and coconut flavors in every delicious mouthful.

A slice of pina colada cake.
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You don’t have to know anything at all about baking to make this simple recipe and you won’t believe how tasty it is. Crushed pineapple and sweetened coconut flakes remind you of tropical vacations while the box of white cake mix is a clever shortcut.

Enjoy this exotic dessert warm from the oven or chilled, as you prefer. So whether you want to make a quick and easy recipe for the family or you’re looking for ideas for a potluck supper or another kind of gathering, this one is a surefire winner. It’s like a pineapple upside-down cake with the added exotic appeal of coconut.

Coconut poke cake or this coconut pudding are two more great options for whenever you are craving coconut-flavored sweets!

Main Ingredients

Biting into this exotic cake you might expect a lot of different ingredients in there, but there are only 4 ingredients as well as some whipped cream to serve. Sometimes you can make the best-tasting desserts with only a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in the kitchen. These are the key ingredients:

  • Crushed pineapple: For a sweet, fruity taste. For some reason, canned crushed pineapple always works well in pineapple cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. There is no need to mess around with real pineapples unless you especially want to! Canned pineapple comes in either juice or syrup, so pick whichever you prefer. I find the juice sweet enough.
  • White cake mix: The basis of the recipe. Depending on the brand, you might need to add slightly different ingredients to the batter, so check the packaging. You can substitute yellow cake mix if that’s what you have in the cupboard; it won’t make much difference.
  • Sweetened coconut flakes: To add a tropical flavor. When combined with pineapple, you get an authentic pina colada flavor. I used unsweetened coconut flakes and still found the dessert sweet enough for my palate, so it’s your choice.
  • Salted butter: For adding a rich flavor and keeping the cake moist. Unsalted butter would also be fine and you don’t have to add salt to the recipe. Margarine would also work if you are in a pinch, but it doesn’t taste as rich as real butter.

Instructions Overview

You are going to be pleasantly surprised just how easy this is to prepare. First, you need to preheat your oven and then spritz some nonstick spray over a 13x9-inch baking pan.

Now you can tip in the pineapples and juice. You don’t have to use all the juice (or syrup) from the can, just enough to cover the bottom of the dish.

Prepare the cake mix following the instructions on the package then spread the mixture on top of the pineapple in the dish. Next, just add the coconut flakes on top as well as chopped pieces of butter and cook it for 45 minutes. If you have better willpower than me, you can wait for it to cool down before serving!

Common Questions

What is pina colada cake made of?

Recipes differ, but I love this one because all you need are white cake mix, pineapple, coconut flakes, and butter. Anything pina colada flavored is going to have the exotic flavors of coconut and pineapple, so if you love these tropical tastes, you’re going to love this cake!

What does pina colada stand for?

Pina means pineapple in Spanish while colada means strained. The name comes from the way pineapple is strained before making pina colada cocktails but these days "pina colada" is used to mean anything flavored with coconut and pineapple.

What is the difference between a yellow cake mix and a white cake mix?

Whole eggs or egg yolks are in yellow cake mix along with whole wheat pastry flour. A white cake mix, on the other hand, uses regular flour and egg whites only. Yellow cake mix often yields moister results, but since this pina colada cake has pineapple in the batter, it will come out just as moist and perfect!

What flavor is white cake mix?

This simple cake is lightly flavored with vanilla. I love using white cake mix as an ingredient in baked goods. It saves time and it’s always worth keeping a box in the pantry so you can rustle up a cake whenever the mood takes you! You might also like these watermelon cupcakes if you want an easy recipe based on white cake mix.

What should I serve with pina colada cake?

It goes well with any beverage you like. It also makes a lovely dessert after dinner. Add some whipped cream (or whipped topping if you prefer) just before serving or omit the cream if you prefer.

How should I store it?

It will keep for up to 3 days in a container in the refrigerator. If your baking dish has a lid, that’s perfect, else you can cover it with plastic wrap or foil instead to help it stay moist.

Can I freeze it?

This pina colada cake will freeze for up to 3 months. Ensure it is completely cool before freezing and wrap it in at least two layers of plastic wrap, or one layer of plastic wrap with one layer of foil to prevent freezer burn. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.

Can I make it ahead?

You can make it a day or so ahead and keep it refrigerated. It will taste just as delicious the next day or so.

Is homemade pina colada cake better warm or chilled?

Although it can be served warm from the oven, I find it holds its shape better and is easier to cut cleanly when chilled first.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Canned pineapple is probably better than fresh because it’s perfectly soft and sweet and simply opening a can makes light work of preparing this ingredient!
  • Not all cake batter mix is created equal. Use a trusted brand; if possible, one you know that will work. Go for plain, vanilla flavor for a classic feel.
  • Grated coconut can taste stale after a few weeks on the supermarket shelf. Find the freshest alternative. Look at the expiration dates for clues.
  • Take your time. A perfectly layered cake requires attention. Go one step at a time, making sure the pineapple, the batter, the coconut, and the butter all spread evenly. The result will be a perfect layered cake!
  • Although delicious while warm, it will hold itself together better if served chilled from the fridge. Play it safe and ensure nice, clean cuts and perfect servings.
  • Pina colada is typically sweet, but if you don’t have a very sweet tooth, make sure you use pineapple in juice, not sugar syrup, and sub unsweetened coconut flakes for the sweetened kind.

Part of the appeal of this pina colada cake is its tropical flavors, but you will also be pleasantly surprised how quick and easy it is to make, and of course how amazing it tastes!

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.

Recipe

How to Make

Pina Colada Cake

This recipe captures the gorgeous flavors of coconut and pineapple and is so sweet and moist.
SCALE THIS RECIPE
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 4 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 20 ounces pineapple, crushed
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup salted butter, sliced
  • whipped cream, for serving
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Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking pan and spray with cooking spray.
  • Pour the pineapples and juices from the can into the pan, spread over the bottom. Spread the cake mix evenly on top of pineapple.
  • Add another layer of coconut flakes and put the slices of butter on top, spread evenly over coconut layer.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve topped with whipped cream.
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Notes

  • Canned pineapple is probably better than fresh because it’s perfectly soft and sweet and simply opening a can makes light work of preparing this ingredient!
  • Not all cake batter mix is created equal. Use a trusted brand; if possible, one you know that will work. Go for plain, vanilla flavor for a classic feel.
  • Grated coconut can taste stale after a few weeks on the supermarket shelf. Find the freshest alternative. Look at the expiration dates for clues.
  • Take your time. A perfectly layered cake requires attention. Go one step at a time, making sure the pineapple, the batter, the coconut, and the butter all spread evenly. The result will be a perfect layered cake!
  • Although delicious while warm, it will hold itself together better if served chilled from the fridge. Play it safe and ensure nice, clean cuts and perfect servings.
  • Pina colada is typically sweet, but if you don’t have a very sweet tooth, make sure you use pineapple in juice, not sugar syrup, and sub unsweetened coconut flakes for the sweetened kind.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 576kcal (29%), Carbohydrates: 30g (10%), Protein: 2g (4%), Fat: 52g (80%), Saturated Fat: 35g (219%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 122mg (41%), Sodium: 469mg (20%), Potassium: 245mg (7%), Fiber: 4g (17%), Sugar: 22g (24%), Vitamin A: 1500IU (30%), Vitamin C: 68mg (82%), Calcium: 35mg (4%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
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course:
Dessert
cuisine:
American

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