This Southern Coconut Pineapple cake is beyond delicious. If you love coconut, pineapple, and a super moist cake, then this is your cake. There are a lot of secret steps that really make this coconut pineapple cake different than any other.
First the filling is incredible. Combining the whipped cream with crushed pineapples and toasted coconut really sets this cake apart. Another great step is adding the pineapple juice. Not only does it make the cake incredibly moist, but it also adds such a great flavor to cake.
2 Sticks ( 1 Cup) Unsalted Butter plus 1 to 2 Tablespoons for the cake pans, room temperature
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
5 Egg Whites, room temperature
1½ Teaspoons Pure Coconut Extract
1½ Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
¾ Cup Pineapple Juice, room temperature (1, 20 Ounce Can Crushed Pineapple Drained with Juice Reserved)
¾ Cup Buttermilk, room temperature
¾ Cup Sour Cream, room temperature
5 Teaspoons Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
3 Cups Cake Flour plus 2 to 3 Tablespoons for the cake pans
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
3½ Cups Powdered Sugar
2 to 3 Tablespoons Regular Milk
1 Teaspoon Pure Coconut Extract
2 Cups Sweetened Coconut, toasted
Whipped Pineapple Coconut Filling
¾ Cup Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (above)
1 Cup Cold Heavy Cream, whipped
Drained Crushed Pineapple
¾ Cup Toasted Sweetened Coconut (above)
For best results and ease of preparation, follow the steps to prepare the ingredients first:
1. Make sure all of the ingredients that are labeled as “room temperature” are ready prior to baking.
2. Butter and flour 3 cake pans. Set aside.
3. Drain a 20 ounce can of Crushed Pineapple, reserve ¾ cup of juice for the cake batter. Set aside.
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
4. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Blend in the milk and coconut extract. Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth. Set aside.
5. Toast 2 cups of Sweetened Coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat just until the coconut turns very light brown in color, about 4 to 6 minutes. Once done, place the coconut on a plate or large piece of parchment paper to cool.
6. In a medium size bowl, whip the cold heavy cream until slightly stiff peaks form. Do not add sugar.
Whipped Coconut Pineapple Filling
7. Add and fold in ¾ Cup of Frosting to the whipped cream. Next, fold in all of the drained crushed pineapple and ¾ cup of toasted coconut. Set aside.
Coconut Cake Layers
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
9. Dry Ingredients: Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
10. Wet Ingredients: Combine ¾ cup pineapple juice and ¾ cup buttermilk into a small pitcher or bowl.
11. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix the butter and sugar together until well blended and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.
12. Add the egg whites 2 at a time until fully incorporated. Next, blend in the vanilla and coconut extracts and sour cream. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl throughout the mixing process.
13. Add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
14. Divide the batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans.
15. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. (Note: Check the cake layers at the 25 minute mark. Sometimes they’re done in about 28 minutes.) Once done, allow the cake layers to stay in the pans for about 3 to 5 minutes then invert them onto cooling racks. Cool the layers completely.
16. Place the first layer, right side up on a cake round or cake plate, and top with half of the Whipped Coconut Pineapple Filling. Spread it evenly leaving about 1 inch clear from the edge.
17. Place the second layer upside down. Add and evenly spread the other half of the Whipped Filling. Top with the final layer of cake.
18. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin “crumb coat” layer of frosting over the entire cake. Go over the entire cake once more using all of the remaining frosting.
19. Finally, coat the sides and top of the cake with the remaining toasted coconut.
20. Cut and enjoy!!