Pineapple Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + cooling Bake: 30 min. + cooling


12 servings

Updated: May. 06, 2023
"My mother had a large family to care for and not a lot of spare time for fixing fancy desserts. But somehow she regularly found a way to bake this cake for us," recalls Debbie Norling of Harris, Minnesota. "These days, I make it for Mom, as well as my family. It's still a treat!"


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks and egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add pineapple to pan. Add water to juice to measure 3/4 cup; pour into pan and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add butter and lemon juice. Cool completely.
  4. For frosting, in a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, egg whites, water and cream of tartar over low heat. With a hand mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Pour into a large bowl; add vanilla. Beat on high until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes; set frosting aside.
  6. Set aside a third of the filling. Spread remaining filling between cake layers. Spread reserved filling in a 4-in. circle in the center of top layer. Frost the sides of cake and around the filling on top.
Editor’s Note: A stand mixer is recommended for beating the frosting after it reaches 160°.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 476 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 418mg sodium, 90g carbohydrate (63g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.

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