The Cake Slice: Piña Colada Cake

June 20, 2009 at 3:16 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, groups, layer cakes, sweet things, the cake slice | 32 Comments

piña colada cake

Anyone who knows me well knows that I like relaxing vacations in tropical places (but really, who doesn’t?).  If I can’t be in paradise, then a frou-frou frozen drink with a paper umbrella and a plastic mermaid can usually put me in high spirits!  But a Piña Colada Cake??  I dunno about that, but if it’s from the book Sky High, I’m willing to give it a shot.

This cake has a couple of standout elements.  The first is the actual cake itself– a brown sugar cake that’s really soft and moist, and it stayed that way over the four nights it took us to eat it (and I only made 1/3 of the recipe!).  The second is the pineapple filling– crushed pineapple cooked down with vanilla bean and lime juice.  It is supremely delicious, and I’m thinking that if I reduced it just to the point of a loose sauce (rather than a jammy cake filling), it would make an awesome topping for vanilla ice cream! 

I have to say, however, that on the first night, I wasn’t so impressed by the total package.  A healthy sprinkling of rum moistens each cake layer.  Normally that would get me pretty excited, but it was just too harshly alcoholoic for me.  And the coconut buttercream tasted overwhelmingly of the coconut extract (which always seems a little fake to me) used to flavor it.  Happily, after a night of refrigerated rest, the flavors nicely mellowed out…just like me under a palm tree with a drink in my hand!

Here’s a printable link to the recipe.  Better yet, get your hands on a copy of Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alicia Huntsman and Peter Wynne.  Cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our mile-high cakes this month.


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  1. Seriously, that looks gorgeous! Of course, it’s making me hum the pina colada song in my head now… “if you like pina coladas… and getting caught in the rain…” 🙂

  2. This looks fabulous! I have the book and I’ve had my eye on this one. It looks like the perfect summer cake!

  3. looks delicious. I m dreaming of the tropics 🙂

  4. I loved the cake and pineapple filling but, found the butter cream frosting a little gross. Your photo looks lovely!

  5. I made this cake a month ago and I loved it. But I was heavy handed with the rum and I love me some coconut buttercream.

  6. Ahh yours look so much better than mine! Lol… that’s strange that you felt it was TOO coconut-y. My cousin and I thought the opposite. It was still pretty yummy though! 😀

    • It was too coconut extract-y on the first day…that stuff tastes kind of like chemicals to me.

  7. Looks delicious… I would like to be on a beach holding a pina colada right now!

  8. The frosting on the cake looks like one dreamy cloud|!!! Oh, I would die for a slice right now!!!

  9. Mmm, yours looks wonderful! I like how fluffy and nice the icing looks.

  10. I love pina coladas and this cake sounds seriously delicious! Great photo – your cake looks wonderful!

  11. Oh steph! That looks amazing. You could have been describing me in your feelings about frozen drinks + palm trees. I’m pretty sensitive to chemical tastes as well, I’m wondering if you’ve tried an organic coconut extract? Somewhat hard to find (at least for me!), but worth it! I use one by “flavorganics” and substitute it for vanilla in my usual buttercream recipe.

    Wanna be neighbors? I think you need a taste-tester…

    • Hi Min!! That’s a great tip on the extract– I’ll seek it out!

      • Hi Steph!! Any luck with the extract? I just remembered this cake and had to come back for a drool…too hot for baking right now! And, just wondering if you used Bundaberg =)

      • Hi Min! Yes, I found the extract, but haven’t had the excuse to make up another coconut cake yet. No Bundy anymore…have to use Myer’s instead for the time being. 🙂

  12. It looks beautiful. I was wondering how all the flavors and layers would meld together. I hope to get back into participating in July!

  13. Lovely cake. My frosting was super greasy, so greasy that I didn’t even notice the flavor! But the cake and filling were awesome!

  14. I don’t like coconut extract either due to the fake smell so I ommitted it and it turned out just fine. Loving that loaf pan shape of your cake.

  15. wow, this sounds like it would be sooo good. great flavors i bet. also great as cupcakes i’m sure 🙂

  16. Your cake looks wonderful and so moist. Glad you like the flavours once it mellowed.

  17. Absolutely beautiful and from the sound of your post the cake was delicious as well. Unfortunately I didn’t have time for this month’s challenge and I’m now truly regretting it.

  18. This looks great! I haven’t had time to make it yet 😦

  19. Your cake looks gorgeous! I’m glad you tried it again…and enjoyed the flavors. it sounds delicious!

  20. Beautiful cake! It sounds like it would be good without the rum, such an explosion of flavors!

  21. Your cake looks outstanding. And I’m right there with you on the tropical vacations. I love paper umbrellas.

  22. Pina Colada anything would be amazing! Beautiful

  23. I always love my cakes better on day two, but I hear what you’re saying about coconut flavoring. I use a natural organic extract and I find it tastes a bit fake, somehow. The pineapple fillings sounds to die for! One of my favorite brunch spots here in A’dam makes an amazing pineapple-basil jam, that’s out of this world!

  24. WOW – that looks truly fabulous, and sounds like a little tropical vacation in every bite 🙂

  25. Your toppings are so delicate. I felt the same way about the frosting. I think it could be awesome with a pineapple cream cheese- yum!

  26. Wow! That looks great and tasty!

  27. Hm, I am making this cake on the weekend and trawling the net for any hints or opinions. Sounds like the icing wasn’t great – anybody have a suggestion for a better icing?

    • I would use the same icing, but cut back on the coconut extract a bit…maybe 1 tsp instead of 1 1/2 tsp.

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