The texture of this tropical pineapple coconut cake is amazing. The crushed pineapple makes it super moist, while the coconut combines with the cake batter to form a soft spongy crumb. And best of all, you don’t need to be too precise with the measurements. This is an easy no-fail recipe that delivers perfect results time after time.
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Easy no-fail pineapple coconut cake
This pineapple coconut cake is one of my favourite cake recipes of all time, and I’m delighted to be able to share it with you. It’s packed with tropical flavours of pineapple and coconut and is so moist that it doesn’t need any frosting. It’s the perfect cake to impress your friends at the office, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be out of place as a dessert at a formal dinner party. I’ve made this pineapple cake umpteen times and it really is a no-fail recipe.
The pineapple flavour of this cake really shines through. This is due to adding crushed pineapples to both the cake batter and the delicious sugary pineapple glaze. This cake contains an entire can of pineapple, and there is just enough coconut in the mixture to provide a coconut taste, without being too sweet.
I love the flavour of coconut and I often use it for making cakes and desserts. If you also enjoy coconut, you may enjoy these other recipes too.
- Coconut meringe jam tarts
- Coconut macaroons with chocolate topping
- Crunchies with oats and coconut
- Easy coconut pie
How to make a pineapple coconut cake
You can get the complete recipe and detailed ingredients for this pineapple coconut cake on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
To make a pineapple coconut cake you will need all the normal cake ingredients like flour, eggs and butter, but instead of milk, you use a can of pineapple chunks. Get pineapple which has been canned in its own juice. Don’t use pineapple in a heavy syrup, this will be too sweet.
The pineapple chunks will be blended in a food processor until crushed. Some of the pineapple will be added to the cake and the rest will be mixed with icing sugar (or powdered sugar / confectioner’s sugar) to form a glaze and which will be poured over the baked cake while it is still warm.
Make the pineapple and coconut batter
Start off by creaming the butter and sugar as you would for a normal cake. I like to use my electric hand-mixer for this as it saves a lot of effort. If you don’t have a hand-mixer, you can just use a wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease!
Separate the eggs and put the whites aside. Beat in the egg yolks (image 1).
Drain 3/4 of the pineapple juice from the tin and set it aside. Place the pineapple chunks, along with the rest of the pineapple juice, into a blender and blend until the chunks are finely chopped. Scoop out one cup of the crushed pineapple (image 2) and mix it into the creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture. Pour the remainder of the crushed pineapple into the reserved juice.
The reason we remove most of the juice from the pineapple chunks before blending is that there would be too much liquid in the pineapple and the cake batter would be too wet.
Add the coconut to the batter and then sift in the flour and baking powder (image 3). I have used plain flour (or cake flour) for this recipe, but you could substitute plain flour with self-raising flour.
Mix until well combined. At this stage, the mixture will be slightly thicker than a normal cake batter.
Add the beaten egg whites
Now beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed, fold the egg whites into the cake batter 1/3 at a time. Do not beat, just cut the egg whites through the batter with a knife until they are combined (image 2). The egg whites will thin the batter down slightly.
Grease a 9″ (23cm) round spring-form cake tin lightly with butter and then line the bottom with a round of baking parchment (image 3). The baking parchment will enable you to remove the cake from the tin easily. Pour the batter into the cake tin (image 4).
Place the cake tin into a pre-heated oven (180C / 375F) for about 35 minutes until the top of the cake is nicely browned and feels firm to the touch, and a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly.
Make the pineapple glaze
Mix the reserved crushed pineapple and juice with icing sugar (powdered sugar / confectioner’s sugar) in a microwave-safe bowl. The mixture will be runny. Place the pineapple mixture into the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high power. The pineapple mixture will have thickened slightly, but will still be quite runny. Pour the hot pineapple mixture over the cake (still in the baking pan) and allow it to cool. Make sure the pineapple mixture covers the entire cake.
Remove from the pan and place on a serving plate.
This pineapple coconut cake will remain moist and fresh for up to 4 days if stored in a covered container in the kitchen.
How to serve pineapple coconut cake
You can serve this pineapple coconut cake as is, or you can sprinkle the top of the cake with additional icing sugar (powdered sugar / confectioner’s suger) before serving.
This cake is also delicious served as a dessert and either topped with a scoop of ice cream or covered with creamy custard.
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can make it later. Just click the image below.
Recipe – Easy pineapple coconut cake
Easy pineapple coconut cake
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Microwave safe bowl
- 435 g canned pineapple chunks in own juice (15 ounces)
- 125 g butter (½ cup)
- 190 g sugar (1 cup)
- 2 large eggs separated
- 50 g sweetened desiccated coconut (½ cup)
- 280 g plain / all purpose / cake flour (2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 60 g icing sugar / powdered sugar / confectioner's sugar (
Prepare the pineapple
- Drain ¾ pineapple juice from the can and reserve
- Place pineapple and remaining juice in a blender or food processor and blitz until pulpy or crushed.
- Remove one cup of crushed pineapple (this will be used for the cake) and place the remaining crushed pineapple into the reserved juice (this will be used for the cake topping).
Mix the cake batter
- Grease a 9" round springform cake pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/375°F
- Beat the sugar and butter together in a mixing bowl until light and creamy
- Add the egg yolks and beat in until thoroughly mixed
- Mix in the cup of crushed pineapple
- Add the coconut, then sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well until combined.
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks are formed.
- Cut the beated egg white through the cake batter ⅓ at a time until just incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin
- Place the cake tin in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the top of the cake is browned and firm to the touch, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out cleanly.
- Remove from the oven.
Make the glaze
- Place the reserved pineapple juice and the remaining crushed pineapple into a microwave-safe bowl and add the icing sugar.
- Mix well to remove any lumps of sugar
- Microwave on high power for 3 minutes (I have a 900 watt microwave – adjust the timing slightly to accommodate different wattage)
- Pour over the cake while still hot and still in the cake pan.
- Allow the cake to cool and then remove from the cake pan.
- Dust with icing sugar if preferred.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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Is the coconut sweetened?
Yes – this is sweetened desiccated coconut. I’ve updated the recipe card to reflect it.
will making it without coconut affect the recipe at all
I think it will affect both the texture and the cooking time and you’d also need to add more flour to compensate – I’ve never tried making it without coconut. I’d suggest you search on Google for a pineapple cake recipe that is made without coconut.
Lovely lightly textured cake! Will definitely be making this again!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Delicious cake. I used crushed pineapple and should have cooked an extra 5 minutes, but will definitely make again.
Thank you – glad you enjoyed it!
I made it with crushed pineapple and tried to gauge the juice aspect accordingly. The cake was a little dry – maybe that’s why. But otherwise the texture was good. Thank you.
I must admit I’ve never made this cake with crushed pineapple. I’ll have to try it myself. I’ve got a feeling that adding a little milk may help with the dryness in this case.
I had to leave the cake longer than stated in the recipe ……… this may just be my oven , but worth mentioning , cake was delicious
Oh dear – sorry to hear that. 35 minutes should be ample time for the cake to cook. Did you use a 9″ pan – if you used a smaller pan the batter would have been deeper and would have taken longer to cook. But as you say, it may just have been your oven – not all ovens thermostats are created equal!. I’m please it turned out well in the end and delighted that you thought it was delicious. Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Hi there, can I use crushed pineapple instead of chunks.. Thank you.
I have never made this cake with crushed pineapple because it would be difficult to separate the juice from the pineapple. I explain this in the post.
(The reason we remove most of the juice from the pineapple chunks before blending is that there would be too much liquid in the pineapple and the cake batter would be too wet.)
However, that said, there is no reason why you can’t try to drain some of the liquid from the crushed pineapple by letting the crushed pineapple drain through a sieve into a bowl. Different brands of crushed pineapple will contain more liquid than others so you may find that the crushed pineapple is at the right consistency anyway. It would be a matter of experimenting. You don’t want the cake batter to be too wet or the cooking instructions won’t work properly. You may find you need to cook the cake longer in this case.
If you do make it with crushed pineapple I’d be interested in hearing how it turns out.
Hope this helps.
“never made this cake with crushed pineapple because it would be difficult to separate the juice from the pineapple”
Yeah, not really. 🙂
I use crushed pineapple for a different recipe and just use a piece of (clean!) muslin to drain/squeeze the juice out… a tighter weave of cheesecloth would work as well. One could also just put the pineapple in a strainer and press out the juice into a bowl.
Yes, you could squeeze the juice through muslin but I don’t think you would get enough liquid. There’s a lot more liquid in a can of whole pineapple chunks than in crushed pineapple. I’ll have to test it – if it works I’ll update the recipe.
I was hoping to mail this to a friend for her birthday. Would the cake hold up for a few days without going mouldy/falling apart, provided I packed it carefully and sent it whole?
Thanks for the advice!
I must admit I’ve never sent a cake through the mail before, so I really can’t offer much advice. The cake will stay fresh for up to 4 days at room temperature in the kitchen, but this is a relatively stable environment. You would need to consider things like humidity and temperature in your particular country, and how long it would take in the mail. And you also don’t know whether parcels are left to stand in the sun before being shipped.
If you do attempt this, I would advise you to wrap the cake in a sheet of baking parchment (for protection), and then a layer of kitchen paper towel (to absorb any condensation), before you pack it into your container. I would also be inclined to put scrunched up paper towels inside the cake box to stop the cake from moving around too much.
I’m afraid I can’t offer more advice than this, but I’d love to know if it does arrive successfully.
A little upset that the temperature is backwards. I am new to this and put in the cake and set my oven to 180. Shouldn’t it be 375f instead of 375c? I just grabbed it out and waiting for the 9ven to get hotter. It was after 15 minutes too so I hope I didn’t screw it up. Time will tell
Oh dear – I am so sorry – this recipe has been up for ages and this is the first time that someone has pointed this out. The temperature was correct in the post but unfortunately, I had a slip of the finger in the recipe card. You are quite correct and I have updated the recipe card to reflect this. I hope I didn’t cause you a disaster.
Made this and it was absolutely wonderful!
That’s what I like to hear! Thanks Sandra, I’m so pleased you enjoyed it.
Lovely recipe…. easy and delicious! Will definitely make again.
Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
I have got everything ready to make this cake, but baking powder is listed in the method but not in the ingredients. HOW much baking powder do I need to use?Urgent!
Hi Pam – Oh dear – this was an oversight on my part.
You need 1 teaspoon baking powder per cup of plain flour – so for this recipe you will need 2 teaspoons of baking powder. You could also use 2 cups of self-raising flour instead and omit the baking powder. I will update the recipe to note this. Thank you so much for pointing this out.