Pina Colada Cake

It was my roommate Micky’s 20th birthday last week, and I wanted to make a special Micky-esque cake.  I made a cake in an…unique…shape.  Let’s just say the erotic bakery on 45th street in Seattle should hire me.  But for the purpose of this post I made a few cupcakes with the leftover batter so that I could have pictures that are less…graphic.

The glaze was the best part of the cake.  I used coconut milk instead of regular milk and it made for a creamy and delicious accompaniment to the fluffy pineapple laden cake.  If I were to make it again I would have bought a fresh pineapple rather than the canned one I used.  This recipe is adapted from Deb’s blog, Smitten Kitchen.

Deb recommends using fresh pineapple or canned pineapple in 100 percent juice, not syrup.  She also recommends using cream of coconut rather than coconut milk.  Cream of coconut is a thick and sweet liquid, while coconut milk is thinner and unsweetened.  If you use coconut milk, use 1 cup of it and add in 3/4 cup granulated sugar to the brown sugar.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (or canned, reserve juices)

To brush over the cake

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of rum (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice (optional)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • (Thin the glaze more if you want with coconut milk/coconut cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter the parchment.  You can also use cooking spray.  (I used coconut oil cooking spray and it worked well.)

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until at medium speed until it becomes fluffy.  Then beat eggs, one at a time, and rum.  Add cream of coconut and mix.  At this point Deb warned that it would look chunky and strange and she was right; so don’t worry.  Add dry ingredients slowly, only until fully incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the pineapple bits.

Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool in the pan for ten minutes and then run a butter knife along the edges to ease it free.  Invert onto a cooling rack and toss the parchment.  For extra flavor you can brush the cake with pineapple juice while it is still hot.  Cool cake completely and then whisk the glaze ingredients together in a bowl.  Spoon the glaze over the middle of the cake and let it ooze over the sides.  Serve the cake the same day as you make it.


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