piña colada cake

Piña colada cake

Is it summer yet? Oh! Let’s not wait for it because it’s raining pineapples here! The most favorite tropical drink in the form of a dessert – Piña colada cake! The flavors of coconut, pineapple and rum can influence you so much and make you fall in love with it right away!

The name piña colada in Spanish literally means strained pineapple. Pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum – these are the three main ingredients in making a piña colada. It is usually had during the hot summer days mainly because of the availability of the seasonal fruit pineapple during that season. Here, in India, pineapples are mostly available year-around, but the season for pineapple is during the winters or year-end.

I have been planning to make some dessert or dish with pineapple since the fruit was in season. But, I did not find a fascinating dish to prepare with it. Later, I remembered having this piña colada shake in a place nearby. So I thought, why not try a cake with the ingredients and flavors of the piña colada drink?!

I had no clue of the final taste and I was also one hundred percent sure that me or my husband would not like the taste as we are not that big a fan of coconut desserts. But then, I was so much interested in trying this recipe that I finally decided to make it and also have it however it turns out to be.

But, believe it or not, it has been just a week since I prepared this piña colada cake and it is almost over now (just a piece or two is left). It was so very good, we just loved it. We use rum to flavor the cake base. And, for layering it we use pineapple sauce, rum and coconut flavored whipped cream. Finally coating the outer layer of the cake with some toasted coconut – it was one amazing flavorful cake!

About the usage of rum, if you have the real rum, then you can use a tablespoon of it. But, in the case where you are using rum extract, add just a teaspoon of it. This is because the extract has more concentrated flavors and will over-power the cake if used in larger quantity. Also, the extract is non-alcoholic.

piña colada cake

You can also use any other flavored rum or rum extract like coconut rum too for the extra coconut punch. But, since I did not want the cake to be dominated by the coconut flavor, I did not use it. I also do not know how much of a coconut flavor it will lend to the cake. If you are using it, then try adding a smaller quantity and then increasing it according to your taste. Do let me how it turns out for you, in the comments below!

You can use fresh or tinned pineapples to make this piña colada cake. I have used a combination of both, although I prefer just fresh pineapples for the flavor especially. I was not very much satisfied with the tinned ones. (Talking from experience, lol!) But, if you have some particular brand that you are satisfied with, then feel free to use them.

So, I think this is the official first recipe for a cake in our blog, but, if you have been following me in Instagram you would have noticed that I made a cake during March month that I posted, but I did not include that in the blog because I did not shoot it. I made it for my husband’s birthday. Will make the same cake sometime soon and will upload it too!

To bake the cake layers in the stove, add salt to a heavy-bottomed vessel (as a layer for about 1 inch) and place a stand in it (to keep your cake tin). Cover and let it heat for about 10 minutes. Place the cake tin on the stand, cover the vessel and let it bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a tooth-pick inserted comes out clean.

I guess I have covered enough of the piña colada cake. Look through all the amazing and drool-worthy images of the piña colada cake and start making it. I am now as much tempted as you to enjoy a piece. So, I am going to have a piece (or two even may be:p) of the piña colada cake while you go prepare it and enjoy it yourself with your family too! Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!

While you are here, look through all my other dessert recipes that are worth trying for this Diwali season! Also look through the ever-decadent brownie recipes and also no-bake dessert recipes!

piña colada cake

Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.

If you have tried any of my recipes, then tag @the_busy_apron and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #thebusyapron. Also tag @TheBusyApron and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #thebusyapron.

piña colada cake

Piña Colada Cake

Abhipriya Raghav
Rum flavored cake base layered with rum and coconut milk flavored whipped cream and pineapple sauce and finally coated with a layer of toasted coconuts.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings


For the cake

  • cups all purpose flour / maida
  • tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 whole eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp rum or 1 tsp rum extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

For the pineapple filling

  • 2 cups crushed pineapple
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp corn starch

For the whipped cream

  • cups heavy cream / whipping cream
  • ½ tbsp rum or ½ tsp rum extract
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk

Toasted coconut decor

  • toasted dessicated coconut, as required


To prepare the cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C . Prepare the cake pans by lining it with parchment paper and grease the bottom and the sides with softened butter. Dust some all purpose flour too.
    piña colada cake
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
    piña colada cake
  • Keep the buttermilk at room temperature. For instant buttermilk, refer notes below.
    piña colada cake
  • In another large mixing bowl, dd butter and beat it until smooth.
    piña colada cake
  • Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
    piña colada cake
  • Add eggs, one at a time, and reduce the speed and beat until it is fully incorporated.
    piña colada cake
  • Add the rum or the rum extract and beat just until mixed.
    piña colada cake
  • Add about one third of the flour mixture and incorporate it well with the butter mixture.
    piña colada cake
  • Now, add 1/2 of the buttermilk and incorporate it well. Continue adding the rest of the flour and buttermilk in the same manner. Mix until just combined. (3 additions of flour and 2 of buttermilk)
    piña colada cake
  • Divide the batter and pour into the greased cake pans and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Spread the batter evenly.
    piña colada cake
  • Let the cake cool down for 10 minutes in the pan. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
    piña colada cake

To prepare the pineapple filling

  • Place all the ingredients into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until thickened (around 2-3 minutes). Stir in between.
    piña colada cake
  • Let it cool completely before using in the cake.
    piña colada cake

To prepare the whipped cream

  • Place the bowl and the beaters in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Pour the whipping cream or heavy cream into the chilled bowl and beat until soft peaks on medium speed.
    piña colada cake
  • Add the icing sugar and the rum or rum extract and beat on high speed until stiff peaks.
    piña colada cake
  • Add the thick coconut milk or the coconut cream and fold.
    piña colada cake

Assembling the cake

  • Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand and apply a layer of the whipped cream. Pipe a fence around the outside of the cake using a large round tip. Place half of the pineapple filling inside the fence and spread evenly.
    piña colada cake
  • Place another layer of the cake and repeat the process until the top layer. Crumb coat the cake and place in the refrigerator until set.
    piña colada cake
  • Apply a thick layer of frosting to cover the outside of the cake and smoothen it with a spatula.
    piña colada cake
  • Press the toasted coconut into the sides and also the top (if required).
    piña colada cake
  • Top with some sliced and baked pineapples. (optional)
    piña colada cake
  • Cut into triangular pieces and serve chilled.
    piña colada cake


  • You can divide the cake into two or three layers (as you wish).
  • According to the quantity of batter, bake the cake from anywhere around 20 to 30 minutes.
  • I divided the cake into three layers resulting in thin cake. So I baked it for 20 minutes. If you are not sure, bake for 20 minutes and then check and bake for additional 5 minutes or as required.
  • To prepare instant buttermilk, add some white vinegar to milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour and the buttermilk in batches (3 addition of flour and 2 of buttermilk) and mix until just combined.
  • Do not over mix the cake batter.
  • While making the pineapple filling, stir in between to make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  • Also, make sure that the pineapple is crushed. If the pieces are too big then it would be very difficult to cut the cake into pieces.
  • Make sure that the bowl and the beaters are chilled before beating.
  • If the whipping cream or heavy cream does not form stiff peaks, then place the bowl in another bowl of ice cold water and beat it. Or chill for sometime and then beat the cream.
  • Stiff peaks means that the cream should hold the shape and also should not fall off the bowl or spoon when inverted.
  • Mix thick coconut milk or coconut cream. Do not beat it, just fold it with the whipped cream.
  • If you do not want to use rum or rum extract, swap it for vanilla extract.
  • Crumb coat the cake, that is, apply a thin layer of the whipped cream and chill it before frosting it fully.
  • You can pipe swirls around the top of the cake too and even top it with some fresh cherries. 
  • I have topped the cake with some baked pineapples. To bake them, slice the pineapples thinly and wipe off excess moisture. Bake in an oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
Keyword american, cake, coconut, coconut milk, dessert, piña colada, piña colada cake, pineapple, rum, rum extract, toasted coconut