Nov 6, 2012

Piña Colada Cake - a heavenly Tropical experience!

Piña Colada is a sweet Rum based Cocktail drink which is a mixture of Rum, Pineapple Juice and Cream of Coconut , usally served blended with Ice. Piña Colada (pronounced as Peenya Colada) is Spanish for piña-pineapple + colada-strained (from Wikipedia)

I have had this drink twice and its an absolute delight on your tastebuds. Its sweet, fruity, coconutty and has a slight hint of Rum and the cocktail is usually served with a slice/wedge of ripe Pineapple and/or Marachino cherrries, so you get to enjoy that as well.

So when my friend asked me to bake her a birthday cake (for another friend) , her specifics was that she wanted a layer cake with a different cake flavor , which wasn't chocolate or vanilla. And luckily enough I had a nice ripe pineapple at home, so I suggested a tropical themed cake and immedieately thought of a Piña Colada flavored cake !
For the cake filling, she wanted something creamy, so I decided to go with a creamy Coconut Vanilla Pudding and Pineapple Compote cooked with Rum. And the cake was frosted with creamy whipped cream and garnished with sweet coconut flakes and slices of pineapple and Marachino cherries. 'Tropical Heaven' my friends , that's what this cake is!!
Now whats Cream of coconut - its not coconut milk for sure. Cream of coconut is a smooth, thick liquid made from fresh coconuts. It is thick and very sweet. It gives a stronger coconut flavor and aroma and is commonly used for mixing drinks. I bought mine from the Drinks and mixes section in Target store. Its usually found where they keep all kinds of beverage drinks and instant cocktail/mocktail mixes etc. And its definitely worth using it to get the actual flavor of the drink in this cake.

As my friend's friend does not drink alcoholic drinks, I used Imitation Rum extract for the Rum flavor, but you go ahead and use the real thing if you prefer that.
The house smelled heavenly while baking and honestly I couldn't stop eating the crumbs...I just couldn't :-)
The cake is a simple White butter cake largely adapted from here, the fillings and frosting were my own .
Piña Colada Cake Recipe
You'll need
For Cake:
Eggs (White and Yolk separated) - 2 large
Cake Flour - 1 3/4 cups (175 grams)
Baking Powder - 2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Unsalted Butter at Room temperature - 1/2 cup (113 grams)
Granulated white sugar - 1 cup (200 grams)
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Coconut Extract - 1/2 tsp
Rum - 1 tblsp (I used Imitation Rum extract)
Cream of Coconut - 1/2 cup (120 ml)
Finely crushed or grinded pineapple with pulp - 1/4 cup (60ml)
For Coconut Vanilla Pudding:
Vanilla instant pudding mix - 1 pack ( you can make you own pudding too)
Coconut extract - 1tsp
For Pineapple Compote:
Ripe Pineapple cut into tiny cubes - 2 cups ( you can use crushed pineapple from a can too)
Pineapple juice - 2 tblsp
Rum - 1 tblsp (I used Imitation Rum extract)
Sugar - 2 tsp (adjust to the sweetness level you want)
For Frosting :
Heavy Whipping cream - 2 cups
Powdered (confectioners) sugar - 1/4 cup
Pure Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
For Garnishing:
Coconut flakes - 1 cup or more (I used sweetened coconut flakes)
Pineapple wedges - almost 3 round slices of fresh Pineapple quartered
Marachino Cherries - as desired (optional)

For Cake
1. Preheat Oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 8 inch round cake pans. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper and grease and flour parchment paper**.
2. Separate the eggs into separate bowls and keep them covered for about 30minutes to allow them to come to room temperature.
3. Whisk together all dry ingredients - cake flour, baking powder and salt
4. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until soft and then add 3/4 cup of sugar and beat on high until creamy. Add the egg yolks (one at a time while beating constantly), vanilla extract, coconut extract and Rum (or rum extract) and beat until well incorporated.
5. Slowly add the dry ingredients, Cream of Coconut and Pineapple pulp ,alternaltely ,starting and ending with flour and beat on slow until the batter is smooth.
6. In a separate clean bowl , start beating the egg whites slowly at first until soft peaks form and add the 1/4 cup sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.
7. With a rubber spatula gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites until combined. Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.
8. Gently pour the batter into each greased baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
(If using a single 8inch cake pan, bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean)
9. Once baked, allow to cool in pan for 15mins and then invert onto a wire rack and let it sit until it cools down completely before lifting the pan to release the cake.
10. Place the cool cakes in the freezer or fridge until assembling time.
**Placing the parchment paper cut-out in the baking pan is a MUST as the cake is very soft and moist, so it easier to get the cake out without sticking to the bottom even if the cake pan is greased.
For Coconut Vanilla pudding
Prepare the pudding as per packet instructions with 1 tsp Coconut extract, stir well and let it set .
For Pineapple Compote
In a saucepan, add the pineapple juice, sugar, Rum (or rum extract) and the pineapple chunks and cook on medium heat until the juice slowly starts to evaporate and pineapple gets soft.
[Optional- if you want a thicker compote, add little cornstarch while cooking]

For Frosting
1. Chill the bowl and whisk attachments in the fridge atleast 30minutes before preparing the whipped cream
2. Add the whipping cream into the bowl and start beating slowly.
3. Add the Powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat on high until soft peaks begin to form and the whipped cream comes to your desired consistency.
Assembling the cake
1. Level your cake and slice or torte the cake into deisred no. of layers (If you have baked two separate 8inch cakes, then just use those, and torte as desired)
2. Place a small dollop pf whipped cream on your cake board or cake stand and place the topmost cake layer on the cake board/stand.
3. Add desired amount of Coconut vanilla pudding and top that with the Pineapple compote. Place the next cake layer on top and repeat for the diferent layers (if any), ending with the bottom layer on top for a neat finish.
4. Frost the outside of the whole cake with whipped cream frosting.
5. Garnish with Coconut flakes around the sides and add some Pineapple slices and marachino cherries on top.

My friend said she and her friends really enjoyed the cake so much that they totally forgot to take a snap of the cake cutting and the cake was over in minutes! :-) Infact she said they couldn't even believe that it was a homemade cake...awww!! So did you like it?



  1. yum, this cake sounds so delicious.I love coconut.

  2. What a fabulous looking cake! If it were not for the alcohol, I'd sure want a slice -- YUM!

    1. Thank you! :-)
      I have not used alcohol in this cake, only imitation Rum (so it only imparts Rum like flavor, no alcohol)

  3. delicious cake.. sounds interesting..

  4. what a pretty looking cake and my love for pina colada makes me want to try this :) you have done it so well and I am sure the birthday girl loved it

  5. Wow!! So beautiful.. You have done a great job, Manju!! Really am admiring this cake a lot.. :)

  6. Love this cake and it sounds so yummy!!!....I am a big fan of pineapple,coconut and whipped cream....very drool worthy cake - really a tropical heaven, like you said :)) !!! Your friend is one lucky girl!!!

  7. Sounds yummy, an authentic variety in choice and taste makes it even more tempting to have...

    1. Thank you so much nice to see a comment from you my friend!

  8. Thank you Manju for baking this yummy cake for my friend’s birthday.. He loved the cake very much..

    All of my friends were surprised to see that good quality in a home made cake. They loved the taste and cake was gone in minutes.

    In short it was a creamy cake heaven. Kudos Manju!

  9. Lip smacking ...lovely clicks too

  10. It seems and sounds divine, so I bet the taste was heavenly too. Wish I could grab a piece from the snap :). I love coconut flavor in cakes and cookies.

  11. Woow this looks very attractive and sure it will taste heavenly.. Love the contrast topping..

    Dish in 30 minutes event with give away

  12. Love how you have pics on how you put this cake together. Im sure it was a hit.
    Reminds me of the many pina coladas I had in Fiji.!/2012/11/diwali-special-savoury-biscuitmathis.html

  13. Real yummy cake Manju... Delish.... Glad to follow u....

  14. Deliciously sinful looking cake! Will use real rum though - no children around, lol. Thanks, Manju.

  15. Omg, pretty tempting gorgeous cake, looks divine and highly irresistible.

  16. Cake looks fantastic !
    First time here, you have a beautiful space. Following you so that I can keep up with your updates :)

  17. This is divine.....just wow ! love ur space and thanks for lookn me up :)

  18. How fun and delicious! The cake is very decadent!

  19. Very very attractive, and what a lovely idea to have a pina colada flavour!


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