Lemon Pineapple Cake
This Lemon Pineapple Cake is light, fluffy, and bursting with flavor.
Moist lemon cake layers are filled with a pineapple cream filling and frosted with lemon cream cheese frosting in this dreamy dessert.
Table of Contents
How to Make Lemon Pineapple Cake
This moist Lemon Pineapple Cake makes a perfect birthday cake recipe, holiday cake, shower cake, and more!
You can find the full, printable cake recipe further down in this post, but here is a quick rundown of our steps.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour three 8 inch pans. We also like to line the bottom of our pans with circles of parchment paper to make sure that there will be no sticking.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
- Combine the Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, lemon juice, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Set aside. (The mixture will take on a thickened consistency as the milk and lemon juice react).
- Creaming Butter, Cream Cheese, & Sugar: In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Eggs: Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- Alternating Wet & Dry Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, add about half of the flour mixture. Mix until combined. Add the milk and vanilla. Blend on low speed, then add the remaining flour mixture. Increase the mixing speed slightly and mix just until blended and smooth. Do not over mix.
- Time to Bake! Divide the batter between the three prepared pans.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
This recipe makes approximately 8 cups of batter. Works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).
Easy Pineapple Cream Filling
This easy Pineapple Cream Filling has been a favorite of ours for years! It is so quick to make and really delicious. In the past, we've used it in our Pineapple Cake Recipe.
To make the filling, a small box of instant vanilla pudding is prepared using heavy cream instead of milk, which results in a delightfully fluffy vanilla cream.
Next, fold in drained crushed pineapple. That's it! In a matter of minutes, the pineapple cream filling is ready. We used it as a topping for our cake also because we love it so much!
Alternate Filling: If you are unable to find vanilla instant pudding, or would like to try another option, we also love this Cooked Pineapple Filling , which we often spread with a thin layer of Sweetened Whipped Cream when used as a filling.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
I used a very thin layer of lemon cream cheese frosting in between the cake layers before adding the pineapple cream filling, and also used it to frost the outside of the cake.
We love this easy lemon cream cheese frosting recipe which is a combination of cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
(As a side note, if you ever need to make this frosting and are out of lemons, the frosting is still great just with lemon extract alone.)
Our Lemon Buttercream Frosting is also a great choice for this cake also!
*You can see in our cake photos that we added a touch of yellow coloring gel to the frosting to give it more of a lemony look.
Assembling and Decorating the Lemon Pineapple Cake
Place the first lemon cake layer on the cake plate or pedestal. Spread with a very thin layer of frosting (optional).
Pipe a dam of cream cheese frosting around the inside edge of the cake layer (about ¼-1/2 inch from the edge) using a piping bag with the tip snipped away.
Next, fill inside of the dam with the pineapple filling. The purpose of the dam is to keep the soft filling from escaping when the layers are stacked.
Repeat for the next two cake layers. Fill in any gaps between the cake layers with additional frosting. (I do this using my piping bag).
Crumb Coat & Chill: Apply a thin crumb coat to the cake. At this point, I like to chill the cake in the freezer for about 15 minutes. You can also chill the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator at this time if needed.
Cream cheese frostings are a bit on the softer side and so chilling is helpful just before decorating.
Decorating the Cake: Next, I applied the final coat of frosting around the sides of the cake, smoothed with a bench scraper, and then lightly textured the sides using a small silicone pastry brush.
I added a thick shell and rosette border around the top of the cake using a large 2D piping tip. (See our star tip piping video for more details!)
I carefully spread the pineapple filling on top of the cake, carrying it just to the border of the cake.
Finally, I added a small bead border using a small round piping tip 4. (Round tip piping video tutorial)
Can Lemon Pineapple Cake Layers Be Frozen?
Yes they can! Just as with most of our cake recipes (from almond cake to orange cake, strawberry cake, and more), these layers freeze perfectly. We wrap and freeze our cake layers all the time, we find that it can even make cakes even more moist!
Wrapping and Freezing: When baking in advance, we wrap our freshly baked layers after they have cooled a bit but are still slightly warm.
We place each cake layer onto it’s own foil-wrapped cake cardboard, wrap with plastic wrap and then tightly with foil.
The layers can be frozen for up to three months and will taste as fresh as the day that they were frozen.
Thawing the Cake Layers: When it is time to thaw the cake layers, remove them from the freezer and leave them wrapped on the kitchen counter until ready. The condensation will form on the foil rather than the cake.
*You can thaw completely, or remove the foil when just partially frozen if you’d like. Some decorators find it easier to assemble their cakes with when the layers are still partially frozen because they are less fragile.
More Cakes with Pineapple
In addition to today's Lemon Pineapple Cake, we have more cake recipes with pineapple for you to try.
- Pineapple Dream Cake
- Orange Pineapple Cake
- Pineapple Coconut Cake
- Elvis Presley Cake
- Hummingbird Cake
- Banana Split Cake
Lemon Pineapple Cake
- 8 oz package cream cheese, softened (226g)
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (168g)
- 2 cups sugar (400g)
- 4 large eggs, room temperature (to save time you can warm them in a bowl of very warm water for 5 min)
- 3 cups cake flour- see Notes for substitution (342g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (8g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (3g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
- ¾ cup milk (175g)
- ¼ cup lemon juice approximate amount in one small lemon
- ¼ cup vegetable oil (we used canola oil) (54g)
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Extract (10g)
- Zest of two lemons
For the Pineapple Cream Filling
- 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream - add a little more if needed for desired consistency
- 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, DRAINED.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened (226g)
- 16 oz Cream Cheese, softened (453 total gram weight) We used two 8 oz packages cream cheese.
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract- adjust amount to your liking. (4g)
- Zest from 1 lemon approximately 1 ½ teaspoons (3g)- optional. Note that the flecks of zest may be visible in the frosting.
- 6 to 6 ½ cups powdered sugar, adding more if necessary (690g - 747g)
- *Yellow coloring gel optional for tinting the frosting
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. We like to line the bottom of our pans with circles of parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, lemon juice, lemon extract, and lemon zest. Set aside.**It will take a on a thick, clumpy look- don't worry- the lemon is basically turning the milk into buttermilk.
- In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
- Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
- With the mixer on low speed, add about half of the flour mixture. Mix until combined.
- Add the milk and lemon extract. Blend on low speed, then add the remaining flour mixture. Increase the mixing speed slightly and mix just until blended and smooth. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter between the three prepared pans.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
- This recipe makes approximately 8 cups of batter. Works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).
Pineapple Cream Filling
- Combine the pudding mix and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. I prefer to mix with a hand held mixer, but a whisk is fine also.
- If using a mixer, start on low speed until well combined. Then, switch to high speed and whip the pudding until thick and fluffy. If mousse is too thick, mix in small amounts of heavy cream to reach desired consistency.
- If mixing by hand, simply whisk rapidly for a couple of minutes or until mixture is nice and thick.
- Fold in crushed, drained, pineapple until well combined.
- I used this for two layers of filling as well as a topping for our cake.
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cut butter into ½ inch slices and add to the bowl of your mixer, beat until smooth.
- Cut the cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating until blended.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon extract.
- Gradually add powdered sugar as well as yellow coloring gel (optional) and beat until well blended.
- This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly and remix. Do not microwave to soften.
- Assembling the CakePlace the first lemon cake layer on cake base or pedestal. Spread with a very thin layer of lemon cream cheese frosting (optional). Pipe a dam of the lemon frosting around the edge of the cake layer (about ¼-1/2 inch from the edge).
- Fill within the dam with the pineapple cream filling. Repeat steps for the next cake layer and top with the third cake layer.
- Crumb coat the cake (thin layer) with frosting and chill for 15 minutes in the freezer to firm everything up before applying the final coat of frosting. Decorate the cake however you like! For my cake, I smoothed around the sides of the cake with a bench scraper before texturing the sides with a silicone pastry brush. I added a top border of shells and rosettes with a 2D piping tip. I added additional pineapple cream to the top of the cake, and a simple bead border (tip 4) around the base.
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