Today I’m going to share with you a moist, refreshing and flavorful homemade Pineapple Cake recipe!
Our favorite Pineapple & Cream filling recipe has been hiding out in our Recipes section for years, but we’ve never had a post or photos to really highlight how fantastic this cake really is!
My husband, who is a HUGE fan of all things pineapple, was so overjoyed last week when I came home from Mom’s with this deliciousness that he danced around the kitchen with his slice. If a cake makes you dance, you know it’s a keeper.
I often think of my fruity cakes as summertime desserts, but I’ve never been one to turn down a delicious pineapple cake in the middle of winter either! If you and your people love pineapple, this is sure to become a treasured family favorite.
The recipe is actually very simple. One of the key players in this Pineapple Cake is our delicious homemade Yellow Cake recipe. I love this moist yellow cake as it tastes amazing with SO many fillings and frostings.
(If you’d like the cake layers themselves to have a pineapple flavor, I would recommend adding a bit of pineapple extract. We experimented with pineapple juice but the flavor did not come through.)
Since we don’t actually use any pineapple or flavoring in the yellow cake batter, it’s the Pineapple & Cream Filling that is the true star of this recipe. It’s what makes our Pineapple Cake a Pineapple Cake, and the final outcome is out of this world.
Are you ready to hear how simple this Pineapple & Cream Filling recipe is? All that you need is a small box of instant vanilla pudding, crushed pineapple, and whipping cream. That’s it!
First, we substituted whipping cream for the milk used in the instant pudding recipe and whipped it with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. (We’ve referred to this luscious cream filling as a “mock mousse” in other recipes.)
Next, we drained a can of crushed pineapple and folded into the whipped pudding.
This vanilla pudding and pineapple combination is reminiscent of the filling used in a southern Pig Pickin’ Cake, minus the oranges and whipped topping. It’s cool, light, and simply heavenly.
I spread a thick layer of the Pineapple & Cream filling onto the first two layers of cake. As you can see in the photo, I didn’t pipe a dam of frosting around the edge of the cake, but you can if you’d like!
(The filling is thick enough that there’s really no worry of oozing, although you’ll want to leave a bit of space around the edge of the cake layer to allow for the filling to spread a bit when the layers are assembled.)
After filling my cake layers, I frosted the cake in a thin coat of classic Cream Cheese Frosting. I then applied “squiggle piping” around the sides of the cake with a Wilton star tip 21. (I started at the top edge of the cake and squiggled my way down, row by row.)
Keep in mind that cream cheese frosting is a bit softer than regular buttercream. While piping, if you notice that the frosting doesn’t hold it’s shape as well as it should due to softening, just pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
After applying the cream cheese frosting, I spread the top with the remaining Pineapple & Cream filling.
For a super quick pineapple decoration, I melted white candy coating, spooned it into a disposable piping bag (with the tip snipped away) and piped a couple of pineapples with anchors onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Chill in the freezer for a few minutes until firm, or in the refrigerator for a few additional minutes. I like to make two just in case one breaks! You can use the raised side or flip it over for a smooth pineapple cake topper!
That’s all there is to it! Make sure to scroll beneath the recipe for a few additional details. Enjoy!
Pineapple Cake Recipe
- 1 1/2 sticks (169g) unsalted butter,softened
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (242g) milk
- 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons (18g) vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups (285g) cake flour....*if you do not have cake flour see note below
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
- **No Cake Flour? Here is a substitution: For each cup of flour in the recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch. This recipe has 2 1/2 cups flour, measure out the flour, remove 5 Tablespoons and replace with 5 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend.
For the Pineapple & Cream Filling:
- 1 small box instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream (not a whipped topping such as Cool Whip)
- 1 (15.25 oz.) can crushed pineapple, DRAINED. If you want to add pineapple to the top of the cake, reserve 1/3 cup
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 sticks (1 cup) (226 g) unsalted butter, let it sit out approximately 10 minutes. It should feel very cool to the touch.
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften very slightly.
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
For the Yellow Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour three 8x2 inch pans — can also be baked in two 8 inch pans
- In a medium size bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk at least 30 seconds to blend. Set aside
- In another bowl add the milk, vanilla and vegetable oil. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer beat the softened butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix on medium speed 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears
- Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately. Begin and end with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet). Mix just until combined, do not mix above medium speed or over mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, smoothing tops with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs attached. Let the cake cool in the pans 10 minutes then turn out.
- Makes 6 1/2 cups cake batter
- Works well for cupcakes
- The cake layers are only 1 1/4 inches high because the batter is divided between three 8 inch pans. (We wanted two layers of filling!)
For the Pineapple and Cream Filling:
- Stir together the pudding mix and whipping cream. You are using the whipping cream to make the pudding, rather than milk. The mixture will become very thick. We prefer to use a hand mixer to whip the mixture until fluffy (if you do not have a mixer, you can do this with a whisk by hand). Fold in crushed, drained, pineapple until it is a spreadable consistency.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
- Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
- Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
- Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat.
- 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 (do not microwave) and remix.
- Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
*The Yellow Cake in this recipe is identical to the classic Yellow Cake on our site, except that in today’s recipe, we are using the conventional method of mixing rather than the reverse creaming method. (We were going for fluffier layers, especially since we are dividing the batter between three 8 inch cake pans).
Each cake layer bakes up to about 1 1/4 inches thick, and after filling and frosting, the 8 inch cake stands a little over 4 inches tall.
We experimented with substituting a 1/2 cup of the drained pineapple juice in this recipe for 1/2 cup of milk, thinking that it would give a nice pineapple flavor. Once baked, the pineapple flavor just didn’t come through.
Since the filling and topping lends so much pineapple flavor, we opted to just stick to our yellow cake layers. However, if you’d like to flavor the cake layers themselves, pineapple extract can be found online and I’m sure that would work well!
We hope that you enjoy this scratch Pineapple Cake Recipe! If you are interested in all things pineapple, we have another great cooked pineapple filling that we used in our Piña Colada Cake. You can find it here!: Pineapple Filling.
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