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Pineapple Coconut Cake

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
  • Makes
    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


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain pineapple, reserving 1 cup juice; set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 899 calories, 62g fat (42g saturated fat), 248mg cholesterol, 388mg sodium, 78g carbohydrate (56g sugars, 3g fiber), 10g protein.

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  • Judyta
    Jul 29, 2020

    This cake is definitely my cup of tea!... It turned out absolutely delicious and moist, I doubled the recipe and I made a four layer cake for my husband‘s birthday, we all loved it it was one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. The flavor of the pineapple and the coconut along with the whipping cream and the cream cheese gives a very delicate taste it is not so sweet actually. All the ingredients and the portions are perfect for flavor make sure you really follow every step and don’t change anything. Thank you for sharing your recipes

  • Duy
    Apr 28, 2020

    This cake is not my cup of tea. It is way too rich! 1 quart of heavy cream, 16 oz of cream cheese. Each slice is 900 calories! If I were to make it again, I'd reduce the mousse recipe by half -- don't need that much frosting. Even with generous frosting, I had quite a bit leftover. The frosting as is is not very sweet. I would increase the sugar. Otherwise ,the pineapple coconut flavors are a great combination.

  • Jellybug
    Sep 22, 2019

    I can and will justify making this cake, because its a special occasion cake and not a cake you serve everyday. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter are special occasion and this cake serves many.. Delicious cake..

  • Maria
    May 29, 2018

    MoistElegantFreshEasy to make it

  • cindeew
    Apr 3, 2018

    I just made this for Easter dinner, I did a top ring of green grass with icing and put malted Easter eggs in the grass. I did make it for the first time and used convection bake it rose really well and then fell, next time I will do normal bake. One cake was small so I did not split it and the other one split perfectly. So mine was a three layer cake and not four but everyone loved it. It is not overly sweet.

  • John
    Feb 3, 2018

    Went exactly to spec, and it turned out incredible. I did not change a thing and am super pleased with this recipe.

  • Pearlena
    Nov 23, 2017

    Horrible cake. I agree with hot strawberry. Too dense and not enough for 2 pans. I used the pineapple in the mousse not the cake. The mousse was great and I figured the pineapple went in there. Directions weren't great.

  • elizabethhayes
    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
    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
    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.