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Pineapple Coconut Cake + step by step VIDEO

Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 12 servings

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This Pineapple Coconut Cake is light, fresh and fruity, and covered in cream cheese whipped cream! It’s the perfect Easter dessert or anytime treat! With step by step VIDEO.

pineapple coconut cake whole with cream cheese frosting and one slice cut out

Easter has got to be one of the best times of the year.

The sun is (hopefully) shining, Spring is in the air and it smells fresh.

Or like mud.

But either way, after coming out of a winter like we have just had (super, totally miserable and more so than usual for chilly Manitoba), I am ready for all the things that remind me of the warmth on the horizon.

Two of those things?

Pineapple and coconut.

Together they have such a fresh, tropical vibe that seems to be so welcome on the Easter dessert table. And in cake form with a slather of cream cheese frosting?

Ain’t nobody complaining.

slice of pineapple coconut cake on white plate on grey marble background

Except all of the coconut haters, and then do we even care? If they don’t want their slice I’ll gladly eat it!

How to make Pineapple Coconut Cake:

  1. Start with the cake. This is a homemade pineapple cake made with crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, coconut milk and coconut extract for big tropical flavor.
  2. Bake your cakes and make sure they are completely cool before filling and frosting (they can even be frozen solid!).
  3. Make your filling: the filling here is a simple crushed pineapple and instant vanilla pudding mixture. We made the cake from scratch and I don’t feel bad about using a pudding mix to speed things up here!
  4. Make your frosting: this is a coconut cream cheese frosting. It’s quite sweet and it stands up to being piped and on the sides of a tall cake. If you want something lighter, I recommend the cream cheese whipped cream from my Funfetti Cake recipe.

How to make Cream Cheese Frosting:

This cream cheese frosting is my frosting of choice these days (when it’s not whipped cream or Swiss meringue buttercream!). It’s simple to make, and has a bit of tang that I find cuts through a bit of sweetness.

It is still quite sweet, so feel free to add the sugar gradually so you can adjust to your tastes (keep in mind though that the sugar is what makes it firm, so if you reduce too much it won’t be as thick and sturdy).

The important things to remember are:

  • room temperature cream cheese and butter (this prevents lumps)
  • add the sugar gradually, and don’t forget the salt. A bit of salt helps to balance out that super sweet taste
slice of pineapple coconut cake on white plate close up with cream cheese frosting

How to make this Pineapple Coconut Cake ahead:

This Pineapple Coconut Cake is easy to make ahead!

I find that cake is easier to slice if it has been chilled for 8-24 hours, so I actually prefer to make it the day before or in the morning if we’re having it after dinner.

The cake layers themselves can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months (see below for details).

The assembled cake and pineapple filling can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days before assembling.

The cream cheese whipped cream is best made the day of or day before serving as whipped cream doesn’t hold long term.

The assembled Pineapple Coconut Cake can be stored up to 24 hours before serving.

How to freeze this Pineapple Coconut Cake:

  • Remove each layer from the pan and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place in a ziploc freezer bag.
  • Freeze on a flat surface where it will retain its shape.
  • Keep frozen up to 3 months before frosting and serving.
  • To thaw, let sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours before frosting and assembling.

More Easter dessert recipes:

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Pineapple Coconut Cake

This Pineapple Coconut Cake is light, fresh and fruity, and covered in cream cheese whipped cream! It’s the perfect Easter dessert or anytime treat! With step by step VIDEO. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings
Calories 739kcal

Ingredients

Pineapple Coconut Cake

  • 1/2 cup oil (110g)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (135g)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300g)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (295g) fluffed and levelled
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 3/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Pineapple Filling

  • 1 1/4 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix (102g)

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup cream cheese room temperature (250g/8oz)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (480g)
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

Pineapple Coconut Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour 3 8″ round cake pans.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sour cream and sugar.
  • Add eggs, vanilla, coconut extract and coconut milk and whisk until combined. 
  • Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until completely combined.
  • Stir in flour until just incorporated. Slowly stir in pineapple and coconut.
  • Divide between prepared pans and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  • Let cakes cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Assemble or wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

Pineapple Filling

  • Stir together crushed pineapple with juice, milk and pudding mix until smooth.
  • Set aside until thickened.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the butter and beat on high until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla, coconut extract and salt and beat until combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar in 3 or 4 batches, beating well after each addition and tasting near the end to ensure the frosting reaches your desired level of sweetness. Add a touch more salt or coconut extract if desired.

Assembly

  • Plate on cake layer on a cake plate and spread with half of the pineapple filling, being sure to leave a border around the edge.
  • Place another cake layer on top and spread with remaining pineapple filling.
  • Top with last cake layer and frost as desired, decorating with remaining frosting and toasted coconut as desired.
  • You can serve immediately, but I recommend refrigerating 4-6 hours as it will be easier to slice.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 739kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 89g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 10.1mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Keywords easter dessert, pineapple cake

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Issy says

    Hi! I’m ecstatic to be making this recipe for my son’s birthday.
    I can’t seem to get sour cream or coconut milk, can I replace the sour cream with greek yogurt? The coconut milk maybe some coconut cream and cow’s milk intead? I’m so sad I can’t get those two ingredients and I was extremely excited to malke this cake. I just don’t want to mess up the recipe. Wonderful recipe and presentation by the way!

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Thank you Issy! I think swapping sour cream with greek yogurt will work fine! For the coconut milk, to keep things simple I would probably swap for milk plus a bit of coconut extract if you have that!

  2. Tracy says

    If I don’t use cream cheese icing, because I can’t get cream cheese right now, what kind of frosting could I substitute?

  3. Michelle says

    Hi!

    I LOVE that you use instant pudding. It tastes just as good & why would you want to create extra work for yourself, after making such a beautiful & delicious & homemade cake? I think it’s a great call, even if not everyone agrees.

    I am making this cake next week & am very excited! My question: I am hoping to make this cake on Friday evening for a party on Saturday evening… Do you think that it can stay fully assembled for 24 hours & still be good? Not sure if there would be need to worry that the filling could make the cake soggy after such a long time?

    Really appreciate your thoughts on this! Thank you 🙂

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Michelle! I think it would be fine sitting for 24 hours! I like my cake moist so it’s not usually something I worry about much, but I don’t think it would be a problem

  4. Heather says

    Just a question, the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting doesn’t list salt as an ingredient, but step 2 advises to beat in the vanilla, coconut extract, and salt. Should there be salt, and if so, how much?

  5. Karen says

    Why would you work to make the cake and frosting from scratch, and then use a boxed pudding mix for the filling? Homemade vanilla pudding from scratch is easy and tastes so great! It’s just eggs, cornstarch, sugar, milk and real vanilla extract! I have made it with Vanilla Almond milk since my son developed a dairy allergy! It takes all of 15 minutes!

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