This Pina Colada Cake is loaded with all the amazing flavors you’ll find in a Pina Colada cocktail! Delicious and easy, this pineapple coconut cake recipe starts with a box mix but tastes like it’s from a bakery – so good!
Pineapple Coconut Cake
Pineapple and coconut are a legendary pairing of flavors that works well beyond the classic cocktail. Baked goods benefit from that delicious combination as well and this Pina Colada Poke Cake is no exception.
We’re adding pineapple and coconut flavor in every place possible in this easy poke cake recipe. While this recipe starts with a box mix, the flavor is unmatched and feels decadent, special and just perfect for spring and summer.
The frosting is similar to the fluff frosting that I’ve used on this Strawberry Pineapple Cake and this amazing Pineapple Cake. It’s quick, easy, light and full of flavor. The perfect topping to this rich and moist pina colada cake.
This cake is a very simple recipe but looks and tastes so amazing that it could easily be served at a multitude of functions.
Why I Love This Pina Colada Cake Recipe
This recipe is a summer time favorite for so many reasons:
- Simple to prepare. Although there are three components to this cake (cake, filling, topping) they are assembled so quickly that it hardly takes any time at all.
- Can be made in advance. I love that this this cake can be made the day before and assembled before serving. It’s just a matter of spreading on the frosting.
- Amazing flavor. I love how the coconut and pineapple flavors are standouts in this cake recipe. You get the pina colada flavor for sure!
Pina Colada Recipes
Love all things pina colada? Us too! Here are some of our favorite pina colada recipes:
- Pina Colada Fluff
- Pina Colada Banana Bread
- No Bake Pina Colada Cream Pie
- Piña Colada Magic Bars
- Skinny Pina Colada Smoothie
What You’ll Need
This simple and moist Pineapple Coconut Cake really lets the flavors of pineapple and coconut shine through. As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Cake
- cake mix – white, vanilla or yellow cake mix will work in this recipe. White cake mix has the least flavor so it tends to taste more pina colada-y than the other options. You’ll need just 1 box.
- crushed pineapple – do not drain the pineapple, simple spoon from the can into the measuring cup.
- vegetable oil – or canola oil or other cooking oil.
- eggs – you’ll need 3 large, room temperature eggs.
Pina Colada Filling
- cream of coconut – found online or in the drinks/alcohol section of your grocery store. Different than coconut cream and coconut milk. Can’t find it? Substitute a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk.
- pineapple juice – use 100% pineapple juice. If you would like to use rum, see note below.
- rum extract – see note below about using real rum for a boozy take on this pina colada cake recipe.
Want to add real rum to the recipe? Easy! Replace the rum extract and two tablespoons of pineapple juice with rum. So you’ll be adding 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of rum to the mixture. Dark, light or spiced rum can all be used.
- instant coconut cream pudding mix – french vanilla or vanilla instant pudding mixes are great alternatives if you can’t find the coconut version.
- whole milk – I definitely prefer whole milk to lower fat alternatives but low fat can be used here.
- whipped topping – needs to be thawed before using.
- crushed pineapple – nicely drained and gives great texture and flavor to this fluffy frosting.
- toasted coconut – I like to top the cake with a little bit of toasted coconut for a both a color contrast and more coconut flavor.
Make sure you are using Cream of Coconut (can be found in either the beverages or alcohol section of your store). We are not using coconut milk or coconut cream in this recipe.
How To Make Pineapple Coconut Cake
Prepare the Pineapple Coconut Cake
- Preheat oven and spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray .
- Combine the cake mix, crushed pineapple, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds and then on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for 30 minutes and then carefully poke holes all over the top of the cake.
Prepare the Pina Colada Filling
- Whisk together the cream of coconut, pineapple juice and rum extract.
- Pour over the top of the cake.
- Rest until the liquid is fully absorbed and the cake has completely cooled.
Pineapple Coconut Frosting
- Combine pudding mix and milk and whisk until it thickens.
- Fold in whipped topping.
- Add the pineapple and fold into the mixture until evenly combined.
- Frost the cake.
- Top the cake with toasted coconut.
You can store leftovers of this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: You can also freeze this recipe! Let the cake cool fully then seal in a freezer safe container and store for up to 3 months. Let the cake thaw in the fridge before serving. You can even freeze the cake in individual slices, so you only have to defrost a piece at a time when you’re craving a sweet treat but don’t want a whole cake!
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Double check to make sure you are using Cream of Coconut (can be found in either the beverages or alcohol section of your store). We are not using coconut milk or coconut cream. Sweetened condensed milk can be substituted for the cream of coconut.
- Be sure to cool the cake completely before frosting. If it’s warm, the frosting will melt and run off the sides of the cake.
- Want to add real rum to the recipe? Easy! Replace the rum extract and two tablespoons of pineapple juice with rum. So you’ll be adding 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of rum to the mixture.
- This cake is suuuuper moist and on the crumbly side so take care when slicing and serving.
More Delicious Cakes
- Creamsicle Cake
- Limoncello Cake
- Hummingbird Bundt Cake
- Chocolate Pound Cake
- Oreo Cheesecake
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Carrot Cake
- Strawberry Shortcake Roulade
How To Make Pina Colada Cake
Pina Colada Cake (Pineapple Coconut Cake)
- 15.25 ounce cake mix white, vanilla or yellow cake mix will work (1 box needed)
- 1 cup crushed pineapple do not drain, spoon from the can into the measuring cup
- ½ cup vegetable oil or canola oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature
Pina Colada Filling
- 15 ounces cream of coconut not coconut cream and not coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk can be substituted
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 3.4 ounces instant coconut cream pudding mix vanilla or french vanilla instant pudding can be substituted
- 1 cup whole milk
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- ½ cup crushed pineapple well drained
- ⅔ cup toasted coconut for garnish (optional)
Prepare the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with square edges with baking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, crushed pineapple, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top so the cake bakes up evenly.
- Bake for 28 to 33 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Using a fork, gently poke holes all over the cake. Try not to crumble the top of the cake the best you can.
Prepare the Pina Colada Filling
- Whisk together the cream of coconut, pineapple juice and rum extract in a medium size bowl. Slowly and carefully pour over the top of the cake allowing it to fill in the holes and absorb into the cake. Let the cake rest until the liquid is fully absorbed and the cake has completely cooled.
Pina Colada Frosting
- Combine pudding mix and milk in a large bowl and whisk until it thickens, about 2 minutes.
- Add the whipped topping and fold in until no streaks remain. Add the pineapple (making sure it has been well drained) and fold into the mixture until evenly combined.
- Gently smooth the frosting over the top of the cooled cake with an offset spatula keeping it as even as possible. If you like, top the cake with toasted coconut. Cut into squares and serve.