The Best Piña Colada Cake for Summer

Piña Colada Cake – coconut cream cake, pineapple curd and coconut buttercream.

Pina Colada Cake: coconut cake with pineapple curd and coconut buttercream. #cakebycourtney #pinacoladacake #pinacolada #cake #summercake

Happy Monday, friends! Excited to start the week with the perfect cake to get us ready for summer!

Piña Colada Cake

A Piña Colada Cake has been on my list to make for the last couple years, but like my Tres Leches Cake, it’s just not one that I’ve had the chance to try until now. And we can thank my Hummingbird Cake for the prompt!

After making the pineapple curd in that one, the curd was a match made in foodie Heaven for my Coconut Cream Cake to create a piña colada flavored cake.

Pina Colada Cake: coconut cake with pineapple curd and coconut buttercream. #cakebycourtney #pinacoladacake #pinacolada #cake #summercake

I made a few revisions to my Coconut Cake recipe and wanted to give you some notes about ingredients.

Coconut Cake

First up, let’s talk changes! I’ve loved my coconut cake layers and after a revision last year, thought I had them perfected. However, I’ve had a few of you say that you’re still struggling with this recipe – that it’s dense or dry. While dense and dry cakes are often the result of over-mixing and over-baking, I wanted to see what I could do on my end to help prevent this issue.

Pina Colada Cake: coconut cake with pineapple curd and coconut buttercream. #cakebycourtney #pinacoladacake #pinacolada #cake #summercake

To make sure we get a moist, tender cake, we want to ensure there’s enough fat to create and retain moisture. In order to do that, I switched out all egg whites to six egg whites and two whole eggs. The fat from the egg yolks will help with moisture. I also reduced the amount of cake flour a bit.

Coconut Milk and Cream of Coconut

Additionally, I want to make sure the ingredients for the coconut cake and coconut buttercream are easy to understand and easy to find.

Canned Coconut Milk

For the cake, I’ve used canned coconut cream in the past, which I’ve melted and added to the cake batter. Lately, it seems like coconut cream can be hard to find, so I wanted to update the recipe and give you the option of coconut milk.

I usually use THIS brand of canned coconut milk, but any brand will do. When you open the coconut milk, you’ll notice there’s a liquid and cream that have separated. Mix the liquid and the cream together until smooth, and then measure out the one cup you need for the recipe.

Substitutions

If you can’t find canned coconut milk, you can always use buttermilk and add a little extra coconut emulsion or coconut extract. Remember, an emulsion is water based and an extract is alcohol based, but they can be used interchangeably.

Pina Colada Cake: coconut cake with pineapple curd and coconut buttercream. #cakebycourtney #pinacoladacake #pinacolada #cake #summercake

If you can’t find cake flour, make sure to check out THIS post to learn how to make your own using all-purpose flour and corn starch.

Cream of Coconut

For the buttercream, we use a different type of coconut cream. This cream is actually called cream of coconut and can often be found in the alcohol aisle at the grocery store. THIS is the brand to look for. If you can’t find this, use a little extra coconut emulsion in the buttercream.

Video Tutorial

 

Pina Colada Cake: coconut cake with pineapple curd and coconut buttercream. #cakebycourtney #pinacoladacake #pinacolada #cake #summercake

Piña Colada Cake

Coconut cake layers with pineapple curd and coconut buttercream.
5 from 13 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Servings 20 people

Ingredients
  

FOR THE CAKE

  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 whole eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • 1 tsp (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (339 g) cake flour
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (231 g) canned coconut milk the canned coconut milk usually separates, so be sure to mix the cream and the liquid really well before measuring.

FOR THE CURD

  • 1 cup (230 g) pineapple juice I used fresh
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp (5 g) corn starch
  • 4 tbsp (56.5 g) unsalted butter

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 1/4 cup (57.7 g) cream of coconut this is from the bottle, not the can
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1 tbsp (16 g) coconut emulsion
  • pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe will make enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you'll want to make an extra 1/4 to 1/2 batch

Instructions
 

FOR THE CAKE

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch or four 6-inch pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together on medium-high speed for two minutes. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add the egg whites and whole eggs, making sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl between additions. Mix on medium-high for 2 minutes after all the eggs are added.
  • Add the coconut emulsion and vanilla extract.
  • Turn the mixer on low speed and alternately add the flour mixture and the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Evenly distribute the batter in your pans.
  • Bake for about 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Remember, the cake continues to bake in the pan for about 5 minutes while it's cooling.
  • Let cool in pans for 15 minutes and then invert onto cooling racks to cool completely.

FOR THE CURD

  • The curd is best made a day ahead of time.
  • Whisk the sugar, the pineapple juice and corn starch in a medium saucepan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk in the whole eggs and yolks in a small bowl and then whisk them into the pineapple mixture.
  • Turn the heat to medium. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it's thick like pudding, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until incorporated.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pushing it through with a rubber spatula. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 hours and up to 5 days. 

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and coconut cream. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the extracts and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat the frosting until it is light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir out air bubbles.

ASSEMBLY

  • Place your first cake layer, right-side up, on a cake plate or cake board. Cover the cake layer with about 1/2 cup frosting.
  • Spread about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the curd in the center of the cake, carefully spreading it to the edge of the piping.
  • Repeat step 2 for the second layer, and then place the final cake layer on top, bottom-side up.
  • Lightly coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting to lock in the crumbs. Freeze the cake for about 10 to 15 minutes to set the frosting.
  • Finish frosting and decorating the cake with the remaining frosting.
  • You can add some curd on the top, as I did, or serve a spoonful of the remaining pineapple curd with each slice of cake.
Keyword Coconut Buttercream, Coconut Cake, Pina Colada Cake, Pineapple Curd
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Comments

  1. What are the benefits of using an emulsion over extract? I noticed you used emulsion in this cake and the blueberry cobbler one. I’m wondering if it’s worth ordering since my local grocery stores do not stock it.

  2. 5 stars
    I noticed that you say to spread the pineapple curd to the edge of the piping, but you don’t mention piping any frosting around the edges of the layers in the instructions. Is this a necessary step? Thanks.

    1. Yes, be sure to pipe a rim of buttercream around the edge of the cake layer before adding curd 🙂

  3. The link to the bottled cream of coconut isn’t working. What is the name of the brand you use and where to get it?

  4. If I made this in a 9×13 would it be best to spread the pineapple curd on top of the cake after its cooled, then frost with the buttercream? I’m making for a group of YSAs and don’t want to make a layer cake –
    Or is the batter sufficient to make in a jelly roll pan? Is 9×13 better?

  5. Does it really need a total of 8 eggs (6 whites and 2 whole)? I saw that your coconut cake with chocolate frosting only used 6 total eggs (4 whites and 2 whole) but everything else about the recipe was the same.

  6. 5 stars
    Followed recipe exactly as written. It was a hit at my daughters bday. The coconut buttercream.. omg so delicious. The pineapple curd just makes the cake (I served each slice with extra!) and the cake was so moist and tender. Thank you again for another “keeper”!

  7. 2 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly using three 8″ pans, but these cakes did not rise above one inch. They were dense and sticky. Super disappointing. Though I’m not a professional baker, I have been baking as a hobby for a lifetime. Cannot imagine what happened.

  8. I actually have canned coconut cream. Can I use that in the cake in place of the coconut milk or will it be too much fat? I’m going to do this for a wedding cake

  9. I made this cake today to practice for my daughters bday next month. The cake itself is delicious but I noticed the cake is a bit different than the other types of cakes I’ve made. It seemed more dense and drier than previous cakes I’ve made. Flavor wise it’s 10/10. I will try to cook a little less next time and hopefully that fixes the issue

  10. I haven’t made it yet, but wanted to ask how far in advance can I make this, if it’s stored in the fridge?

  11. If I wanted to make cupcakes and fill them with the pineapple curd would it be ok if I filled them and froze them until the event? It would be only a few days..

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