Coconut Pineapple Cake

This Pineapple Coconut Cake recipe is a real show stopper. Made with moist coconut cake, pineapple curd filling, and luscious coconut buttercream frosting, this cake will be the talk of your summer parties.

I never really liked coconut cake as a kid. Or coconut for that matter. But, as an adult, I adore all things coconut. Funny how our tastes change over the years.

Today’s coconut cake has a pineapple curd filling and it’s like a taste of the tropics.

The best thing is the coconut flavor doesn’t taste artificial. I hate biting into a coconut baked good and it tastes like a tanning booth. You know what I’m talking about.

While there is a touch of coconut extract in both the cake and the frosting, it’s not so much that it overpowers the cake. Most of the coconut flavor comes from the coconut cream.

Why this pineapple coconut cake recipe works
The cake is light and spongy! It’s so soft and isn’t overloaded with shredded coconut.
Coconut cream is used for a silky texture and luscious flavor. It’s in both the cake and the frosting.
The recipe makes a 3 layer 8-inch cake. I have not tested the bake time for 2 9-inch layers. You’ll have to be the judge of that if you wish to make it that way.
The frosting is my very popular coconut buttercream and I’ve used coconut cream along with coconut extract for flavor.

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 cup lemon-lime soft drink*
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pineapple Filling Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 (6-ounce) package frozen flaked coconut, thawed
Garnish: fresh mint sprig

Grease bottom and sides of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper.
Drain pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup juice. Remove 1/4 cup reserved juice for Cream Cheese Frosting, and reserve crushed pineapple for Pineapple Filling.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine 1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice and soft drink. Add flour to butter mixture alternately with juice mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in extracts. Pour into prepared cake pans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans immediately; cool on wire racks.

Spread 3/4 cup Pineapple Filling between cake layers and remaining filling on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake; pipe border around top, if desired. Sprinkle with coconut. Garnish, if desired.

*For lemon-lime soft drink, we used 7-Up. Its specific level of carbonation makes the layers rise beautifully.