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Pineapple Coconut  Cake Recipe

Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe

This coconut cake is a guaranteed showstopper at any holiday meal or special occasion. The beautiful flakes of coconut are reminiscent of snow. But one taste of the sunny pineapple will transport you to the tropics. —Monica Kennedy, Johnson City, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling YIELD:12 servings


  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided


  • 1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1 cup juice; set aside.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Beat in butter, extracts and 1/2 cup reserved juice. Add dry ingredients; beat until well blended.
  • 3. Beat egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
  • 4. Transfer to two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 18-22 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 5. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, pineapple and remaining confectioners' sugar until blended; stir in 2 cups coconut. Fold in whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • 6. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; drizzle with 2 tablespoons reserved juice. Spread with 2 cups mousse. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer and drizzle with remaining juice. Spread remaining mousse over top and sides of cake. Press remaining coconut onto top and sides. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 899 calories, 62g fat (42g saturated fat), 248mg cholesterol, 388mg sodium, 78g carbohydrate (56g sugars, 3g fiber), 10g protein.

Reviews for Pineapple Coconut Cake

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elizabethhayes User ID: 8173088 259100
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2017

"Although it is a lot of calories ,it is one of the best cakes ever , it is a big hit with everyone. People will ask you to make it every year. Bring it with you to make an impression on friends and family, they will love it."

Jennifer User ID: 9004919 258784
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2016

"HotStrawberry, will make this for the fourth time, for my son's birthday on New Year's Eve. You made at least one error, the pineapple that was drained for the juice for the cake was the pineapple used on the frosting. Sounds like you added it to the cake, since you didn't have it to add to the frosting. By the way I used light cream cheese, good quality Neufchatel, in the frosting mousse and it was delicious, and dId not use it all. That cuts quite a few calories, 550 per cake just for the cheese exchange, more for not using it all. Also 12 slices in this cale are huge and rich slices, we cut at least 16. Since I make it about once a year, and usually only make a few cakes in a year, we enjoy it when I do. Yes, the mousse is lovely used as a mousse mixed with crumbled coconut macaroons, or between cookies, in a graham pie crust, by itself with a little liqueur added. Or by the spoon. Or just make less. Truly a fabulous cake."

joyfulcooking User ID: 2406951 258688
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2016

"I cannot justify making this cake because it is altogether unhealthy. Almost 900 calories a slice is way too much for me."

Nickie User ID: 8974465 257193
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2016

"Made a sheet cake instead of 2 rounds. Made half the recipe for the mousse---could have done a quarter. Had a lot left over. The mousse was amazing!"

Nan User ID: 8973174 257117
Reviewed Nov. 22, 2016

"Everyone loved this cake! A winner!"

Chefdian User ID: 8283428 254915
Reviewed Oct. 2, 2016

"This is a fabulous cake! My family keep requesting and over and over. I made as directed And would not change a thing. I would love to share the photo my cake sure how to do that for this site."

Hollywo85 User ID: 8842753 247402
Reviewed Apr. 23, 2016

"Hotstrawberry!! What?! This cake is amazing, I've done it 3 times for family events and its best yet. Light sponge (like trifle fingers), yummy flavour like holidays and show stopper when all decorated. I've used passoa (passion fruit liquor) to soak the layers and that works brill too. Hint though refrigerate the cream cheese frosting really well and it holds up better"

HotStrawberry User ID: 8676417 240301
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2015

"I don't see how any of you had success with this recipe. There are several problems. The first part of the batter was a thick, gummy blob that wouldn't pour. It had the consistency of bread dough. Once I got the egg whites and sugar whipped up, folding it into the battr was not happening because the flour batter was just a lump in the middle of the bowl. I had to stir it with such force, it defeated the whole purpose of folding in egg whites. After all I had to do, I figured I'd cook it up, but forget using two pans, there wasn't enough batter. I poured it all into one. It was heavy, dense and pound cakey. My final issue, the mousse ingredients don't list pineapple, but the instructions indicate pineapple. How much? Do I just guess? Do I use the whole can? Terrible recipe."

Levans18 User ID: 8645201 238597
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2015

"I love this cake!!! Every holiday My family looks forward to the coconut, pineapple cake. This year for Thanksgiving I made three , one for the family and the other two for friends. The presentation of this cake dominates all other deserts.

It looks and taste phomeninal ."

LoanneLavender User ID: 8574504 235010
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2015

"We received a stand mixer for our engagement party. I found this recipe, tried it and loved it!!! I made another one for work, everyone raved about it, even a self proclaimed non-cake person. We gave this recipe to our baker to make for our wedding. She used the mousse between layers but a simple buttercream for the outer layer as it held better and had the look we wanted for our wedding. Delicious! Still the number one requested cake to bake. I am baking one right now for my husband's birthday. Unless you want a lot of icing/mousse... I cut mine in HALF from the recipe. Still plenty! If you like coconut to pineapple, go for it!"

sylvialbrown User ID: 8532958 232586
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2015

"This is the best cake ever. I made this cake for Christmas 2014, and again this year for labor day 2015 pre request. The prep time is very timely more than 45 mins., but well worth it. I changed the cake up a little bit this time. In the middle of one of my layers I put pineapple jam this took the cake to another level. ENJOY!"

Yelara User ID: 8425024 228417
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2015

"I made this for Easter this year, and will make it again today for a family members birthday per request. I too have to say that this cake is not an easy one to make and took me more than just one hour and five minutes to make. I made this cake for the first time at my mothers house, a former baker, she told me to poke each layer of the cake with a fork several times so the cake would absorb the pinapple juice better. It worked like a charm, my cake was moist and spongy. Also definitely double up on the pinapple for the juice that is poured on the cake and the chunks that go in the mouse. That's what I did, best tasting cake I have ever made!"

RoseReyes User ID: 8338341 224938
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"This cake is a favorite for my husbands birthday. It's his request for the past few years now. It's definitely not an easy recipe and caused me great anxiety the first time I made it. There is a lot of folding and you must have a delicate hand as I have now learned in my pastry baking (the hard way of course). I agree with other postings that the pineapple juice in the cake does not add flavor at all. Overall, a delicious, light cake."

mrsgreene514 User ID: 7378632 224304
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2015

"I made this cake yesterday for our Easter dinner and it was a huge hit. Just like the previous reviewer, this is quite labor intensive and I was very slow and deliberate reading the directions step-by-step. I made everything the night before and chilled the mousse, then cut and put all the layers together the next morning. I have never made a four layer cake before and it was a little intimidating, but there was hardly any left after the first piece was cut. I agree, do NOT cut down on the mousse! I was very generous in between the layers and on top and I still have some left, but I just bought a graham cracker crust and am going to fill that with the rest.........I have a another whole pie! The key to success with this recipe, I think, is to use all fresh ingredients and take your time with the measurements and remember to be precise with the dry ingredients. This cake will not rise high like other cakes because of the whipped egg whites, so do not overbake thinking it will."

natashav2003 User ID: 5848206 224244
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2015

"This is going to be a two part review for both parts of the recipe lol so bare with me ;) First off, if you want your cake to LOOK like the beautiful cake in the photo, do NOT half the mousse ingredients! Yes, it makes a lot, but that's the point, and that's what makes it so visually appealing! My only advice for the mousse is to double the pineapple, seriously, there is not near enough to get the real flavor of any pineapple what so ever, Double it at the very least and if you are a huge pineapple lover like, TRIPLE IT~ Lol. Now for the cake can live without it to be honest. Its labor intensive and I don't feel its worth all! The pineapple juice in the cake adds zero pineapple flavor and the imitation coconut adds a off putting fake flavor that doesn't do it any favors. I have never been able to find real coconut extract in the Midwest for the record so imitation is all I had. In my opinion, the flavor star here is the mousse. You can make any white cake that you prefer with half the hassle of separating eggs and folding etc. Bottom line, use whatever simple cake recipe you love. Do NOT half the mousse ingredients, and double if not triple the pineapple :)"

Love2bake1020 User ID: 8320402 224160
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2015

"I don't know what I did wrong but my cake didn't turn out at all. I bought all fresh ingredients followed the instructions and my cake didn't rise at all. I wanted to have this for Easter. Can anyone give me any suggestions, I used a brand new kitchen you think I beated the mix too much...would that cause my cake not to rise....just don't know what happened."

Lilymama76 User ID: 8311500 223721
Reviewed Mar. 28, 2015

"I have not yet tasted my cake…mousse is chilling, but let me say I think this may be the best cake I have ever made! I was uncertain as I was putting everything together but the taste of the mousse alone, omg! I see people commented on "too much mousse," not true at all. I believe this to be the type of cake. It's supposed to be light with lots of mousse. If you hate creme, don't make it. That simple. I know this will be amazing in the end. Refreshing to have a recipe that actually comes together perfectly. I might add that the cake batter was simple and came out perfect too."

Caljake User ID: 209591 219880
Reviewed Feb. 6, 2015

"I've been meaning to leave feedback! Made this for my teacher colleagues and it brought rave reviews! Beautifully "snowy" for a winter treat with summer time flavor! So worth the effort of making!!"

beemikes User ID: 8222527 218464
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2015

"Absolutely delicious. Gave some to our neighbors since it's just my husband and I. They loved it as well. I took others advice and cut the mousse in half. Glad I did, even had some left over with half. I am very generous with any frosting for cakes but still had some left over."

luv2bake67 User ID: 8195290 216674
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2015

"I have used this recipe many times , and it is always a hit. If you want to add more of a wow! factor make a rum glaze and use it for every layer. The cake will be gone!!!!"

Ceege User ID: 730520 216387
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2014

"Made this cake for a "ladies luncheon". I cut the mousse in half per other reviewers and had plenty. It was delicious and my guests loved it. Of course I kept it secret that there are 899 calories per slice. OH MY!!!!!!!!!!"

slynneconley User ID: 8056595 216136
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2014

"Many reviewers have stated they had too much mousse. I was aware of their statement, so I made sure to use plenty between each layer, and then on the top and sides. Also, leaving the finished cake overnight in the frig brings out the pineapple flavor. Beautiful and Scrumptious cake!"

perapalas User ID: 8182104 215854
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2014

"The cake was delicious even when unbaked. In fact the batter was heavenly. But somehow it did not rise. It might have been my mistake for using a larger baking pan, but still I hoped it would rise a bit. The mousse somehow was not firm enough and I was really afraid that the texture would not be nice. Eventually it worked ok but still I think I prefer a firmer texture. I agree with the previous comments. I used half of the ingredients for the mousse and still I have a lot of leftover mousse. So even 1/4th of the ingredients would be sufficient for the mousse. On a final note, I think I will try next time using pineapples whole in the cake in addition to adding them in the mousse, since I want the pineapple taste more. But the cake was still a hit. And I got a lot of compliments. I already gave the recipe to five people so far. So thank you."

Davi65 User ID: 7875446 186755
Reviewed Aug. 23, 2014

"Super delicious! Very moist, very flavorful. Planning to serve this cake at upcoming dinner parties"

Brackin User ID: 7918206 120787
Reviewed Aug. 4, 2014

"I am making this cake today. I think my mousse is not firm enough coming out of the refrigerator. What should be texture be like? Can anyone help?"

junebug74 User ID: 7871621 135956
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2014

"Wonderful cake! So good, entire cake eaten at church potluck dinner. However, ended up with enough mousse to have covered three cakes. As written by others perhaps the mousse recipe should be divided into half."

Krystle23 User ID: 7259490 125539
Reviewed May. 6, 2014

"Delicious!! This cake is amazing. However, it was ridiculous how much leftover mousse there was, I wasn't stingy with it on the cake, and I still probably only used 1/3 of it. I recommend cutting the mousse recipe in half..though my family and I used it as a fruit dip. The cake was also a bit heavy, I would add more pineapple juice to the cake batter, as well as use more pineapple in the recipe, as I prefer to taste it a little more."

sdee User ID: 354032 196333
Reviewed Mar. 25, 2014

"Very nice. Everyone enjoyed this cake"

SirGeorge User ID: 7696387 137261
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2014

"This cake is delicious per family I made it for. Excellent for diabetics because not really sweet. Now I have to make one for myself. I made a few modifications such as added more pineapple, etc."

ledwards1403 User ID: 7696442 193428
Reviewed Mar. 1, 2014

"I saw this and immediately thought of the Pepperidge farm cake I love so much. That cake however doesn't have pineapple. I would really like to give this a try. Would I need to make any other adjustments in ommitting the pineapple? 4 stars, haven't tried yet but I have high hopes"

mollynrags User ID: 6679248 125538
Reviewed Jan. 20, 2014

"MeToo816 Hilarious! Making this cake today :)"

mrc75 User ID: 2095623 212922
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2013

"Excellent cake , moist, light, pretty, but took some time to make, but well worth it. I also had extra mousse left over. Has anyone tried to freeze the cake or mousse??"

MissPablo User ID: 7267450 198159
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2013 Edited Sep. 16, 2013

"I made this cake for a co-worker's birthday. It was a hit. However, I made an adjustment. When I made the mousse, I wasn?t real sure about the flavor or the texture so I made a pineapple frosting to put between the layers on top. It was heavenly. However, I doubled the recipe to make a 10 inch cake and cupcakes. I only had enough batter to make ten cupcakes and the layers were normal height. (I didn't think a ten inch pan would make that much of a difference). I doubled the recipe for the mousse and I had a mountain of it. I frosted the cupcakes, (I split the layers as instructed to get four layers) and piled high with mousse and had just as much left over. With the remainder of the mousse, I mixed with some chocolate wafers and it was a hit as well. I?m not sure if the quantities for mousse are correct. I think that 2 cups of heavy cream and one pack of cream cheese will be sufficient for a nine inch cake."

Apr1less User ID: 7283695 125537
Reviewed May. 30, 2013

"Delicious! My husband asked me for a pineapple coconut cake and I stumbled upon this recipe. I made a few modifications of my own (toasted the coconut and added toasted almonds). My husband wants this for his bday cake next year!"

Metoo816 User ID: 7281782 151380
Reviewed May. 28, 2013

"Warning: Follow directions exactly especially the part about pressing the coconut down into mousse! I made it for my husbands 40th bday and when he blew the candles out the coconut flakes on top went flying everywhere. My daughter looked like a snowman! Hilarious!! The can was delicious! My husband said it tasted like vacation. Very easy to make."

AKTee User ID: 7230268 195671
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2013

"This cake was a HIT with all who tried it. My 5 y/o niece teased my 36 y/o cousin by eating the last piece and making all types of crazy sounds and doing some weird dances."

Donalie Guin User ID: 5930308 125536
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2013

"If you're looking for a dessert that's not too sweet and feels light, this fits the bill. I made it as written. The next time I'll add a bit more pineapple for my taste. I can picture the mousse with extra pineapple and added chopped nuts being served alone. I highly recommend this recipe."

bluetigereyes2 User ID: 1073120 212921
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2012

"Made this cake today for our Easter dessert. I was surprised at how much mousse was there, I have a TON left over. BUT, it is SOOOOOOOO tasty. I toasted some coconut for the top"

bonfieldross User ID: 5084261 151379
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2011

"excellent cake , such a great flavor and light and enjoyable ..thanks for sharing the recipe"

ronniecarol User ID: 5959759 182334
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2011

"When my hubby saw this in my magazine he said it was the only thing he wanted for Christmas. We had our dinner this past Sunday due to children's work schedules & it was fabulous!!!"

MonicaKennedy User ID: 5705900 114653
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2011 Edited Dec. 23, 2014

"I am the recipe writer for this -- if you can find the big flaked coconut it is even prettier. I have found it at Easter time the past few years, or you can take dried coconut flakes and re-hydrate them in sweetened water, then use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water. Dust them with a bit more powdered sugar before topping the cake and it looks so pretty! UPDATE: Yes it's a ton of mousse, I pile it high and keep excess for yummy dessert for those who helped bake, lol! Also, in their edit of my recipe they omitted some things such as mixing pineapple juice with coconut milk and generously soaking each layer. I also often top with pineapple rings and cherries. See my original here:"

MonicaKennedy User ID: 5705900 212920
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2011 Edited Dec. 23, 2014

"I am the recipe writer for this -- if you can find the big flaked coconut it is even prettier. I have found it at Easter time the past few years, or you can take dried coconut flakes and re-hydrate them in sweetened water, then use a salad spinner to get rid of excess water. Dust them with a bit more powdered sugar before topping the cake and it looks so pretty! UPDATE: Yes it's a ton of mousse, I pile it high and keep excess for yummy dessert for those who helped bake, lol! Also, in their edit of my recipe they omitted some things such as mixing pineapple juice with coconut milk and generously soaking each layer. I also often top with pineapple rings and cherries. See my original here:"

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