Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe

This Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe is the most moist and delicious pineapple coconut cake perfected with a smooth, sweet and flavorful pineapple filling and topped with a creamy rich coconut buttercream making this Southern classic cake one for the ages!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

Pineapple Coconut Cake on white cake stand with slice of cake on white plate against white background

Big Mama’s classic coconut cake recipe was considered a masterpiece in Winona, Mississippi. Back in the day, Big Mama would take a whole coconut, crack it and then grate the insides right over the perfect white cloud of frosting.

Big Mama’s secret was a pineapple filling tucked inside the layers of the coconut hinted cake. It took you by surprise because it added just the right amount of unique flavor to an otherwise “been there, done that” classic.

The Heart and Soul of the Best Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe

Cuisine Inspiration: This cake is a splendid blend of tropical vibes and Southern charm

Primary Cooking Method: Baking

Dietary Info: This decadent treat is vegetarian-friendly

Key Flavor: The dominant flavor profile is a tropical paradise, with the bright, tangy pineapple and the sweet, nutty coconut taking you straight to the beach with every bite.

Skill Level Required: Intermediate.

Sweet Highlights:

  • Tropical Bliss: The pineapple and coconut combo is like a mini vacation for your taste buds
  • Layered Perfection: The moist and tender layers of cake provide the perfect foundation for the rich and flavorful filling and frosting.
  • Creamy Dreamy: The frosting is a cloud of creamy deliciousness
  • Sweet and Tangy: The pineapple filling adds a delightful zing, balancing out the sweetness of the cake and frosting.
  • Coconut Galore: From the extracts to the flakes, this cake is a coconut lover’s dream, providing a sweet and nutty flavor that’s irresistible.


Close up of three slices of Pineapple Coconut Cake recipe on white plates

For the Cake:

  • Unsalted Butter: A whole cup of this creamy delight ensures our cake is moist and rich.
  • Vegetable Oil: A little oil action helps keep the texture smooth and the crumb just perfect.
  • Granulated Sugar: We’re bringing the sweetness, balancing out all those tropical flavors.
  • Eggs & Yolks: These guys are crucial for structure and richness. Plus, they add to the moisture.
  • Cake Flour: Sifted to perfection, it’s all about that fine, tender crumb.
  • Leavening Agents: Baking powder and a dash of salt? Yes, please! They’re our rising stars.
  • Sour Cream: Talk about moist! This adds a slight tang and an unbeatable texture.
  • Vanilla & Coconut Extracts: We’re layering flavors like a pro – tropical vibes, here we come!

For the Pineapple Filling:

  • Butter & Cornstarch: We’re cooking up a storm, making sure our pineapple filling is thick and lush.
  • Sugar & Pineapple: Sweetness and tang, all wrapped up with a tropical bow.
  • Lemon Juice: Just a splash for that bright, zesty kick.
  • Vanilla Extract: Because vanilla makes everything better, right?

For the Frosting:

  • Butter & Cream Cheese: Creamy, dreamy, and just the right amount of tang.
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: It’s all about that sweet, smooth finish.
  • Whipping Cream: A teaspoonful for that lush, luxurious texture.
  • Extracts & Coconut Flakes: A hint of vanilla, a dash of coconut, and a whole lot of shredded delight.

How to Make Pineapple Coconut Cake

Overhead of three slices of Pineapple Coconut Cake on white plates

For the Cake:

  • Start your baking journey by getting that oven nice and warm at 325°F and prep those 9-inch rounds with a generous spritz of non-stick spray.
  • In the mixer’s realm, unite butter and oil for a 2-minute whip on high, then let the sugar rain down for a fluffy, pale yellow magic. Eggs next, and yolks too – one at a time, mixing and scraping.
  • Slow is the game for adding flour, baking powder, and salt. Remember, overbeating is a no-go.
  • Now, the grand finale of batter making: sour cream, vanilla, and coconut extracts. Mix till just right, and voila! Your batter is a pale yellow silk.
  • Into the pans and off to the oven they go. 27-32 minutes is your magic number, but keep an eagle eye – a clean toothpick means done, but don’t you dare overbake!

For the Filling:

  • In a pot, let the butter and other goodies melt into the pineapple crush, stirring your way to a thickened bliss over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Then, patience – let it cool.

For the Frosting:

  • Butter and cream cheese, into the mixer they go, until they’re fluffy and thick.
  • Sugar next, but take it slow, then back to high for a good whip.
  • In goes the cream and extracts, and whip it till you’ve got a cloud of fluffy frosting.

To Assemble:

  • Layers of cake, meet pineapple filling. And then, the frosting – lavish and divine.
  • A gentle embrace of coconut flakes on the sides and top, and there you have it – a Pineapple Coconut Cake masterpiece, ready to steal the show. Serve it up and watch it disappear!

Easy Pineapple Coconut Cake with Cake Mix

Could you save time and effort by just using a cake mix instead of making the cake layers by scratch?

Sure you definitely could! You can use a butter cake mix, yellow cake or even a white cake mix and add coconut flavoring to it to enhance the flavor and easily take steps away.

I would suggest adding just 1 teaspoon of coconut flavoring since it can be very strong in flavor.


If you have leftovers, cover the cake with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container, and it can be stored at room temperature for up to two days.

For a little longer shelf life, store it in the fridge, and it’ll stay fresh and delicious for up to a week.

More Amazing Southern Cake Recipes

If you are looking for more incredible Southern cake recipes, check out these:

*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!*
Pineapple Coconut Cake recipe on white cake stand with slice of cake on white plate against white background

Pineapple Coconut Cake

The most moist and delicious coconut hinted moist layer cake is perfected with a smooth, sweet and flavorful pineapple filling!
4.59 from 84 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 22 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 18 servings



For the Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract

For the Pineapple Filling

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes


For the Cake

  • Start by preheating your oven to 325°F then liberally spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with non-stick baking spray.
  • In your mixer bowl, add butter and oil and beat for 2 minutes on high speed. Slowly add in sugar and beat on high speed for an additional 4-5 minutes until very pale yellow and fluffy. Next, add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Turn your mixer down to its lowest speed, and slowly add flour into batter in two increments then add baking powder and salt. Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Lastly, add sour cream, vanilla and coconut extracts, scrape down sides and mix until just combined and turn off mixer. The finished batter should resemble a pale yellow color with a silky thick texture.
  • Evenly pour cake batter into prepared baking pans and place in oven to bake for 27-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes just barely clean but don't over bake (crucial not to over bake this cake)!!
  • Remove cakes from oven and rest in pans for 10 minutes. The cake layers should have a rich golden color and spongy texture with tiny bubbles on their tops. Invert cakes from pans onto cooling racks until cooled.

For the Filling

  • Add all ingredients into a medium sized pot over medium heat. Begin to stir allowing the butter and all ingredients to melt into the crushed pineapple. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the mixture as thickened. Turn off heat and allow filling to cool to room temperature.

For the Frosting

  • Add butter and cream cheese to the bowl of your mixer and beat on high speed until it begins to thicken and fluff.
  • Next slow down mixer and carefully add in confectioner’s sugar. Once all sugar has incorporated, turn mixer back to high to continue whipping.
  • Add in heavy cream, vanilla and coconut extract and continue whipping until it is smooth, light and a fluffy frosting.
  • To Assemble, add pineapple filling between layers then frost entire cake with cream cheese frosting then gentle pat the sides and top of the cake with coconut flakes. Serve.



To make this recipe even easier, you can replace cake filling with cake mix to save time.  Continue by adding coconut flavor to mix.
If you have leftovers, cover the cake with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container, and it can be stored at room temperature for up to two days.
For a little longer shelf life, store it in the fridge, and it’ll stay fresh and delicious for up to a week.


Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 6.1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @GrandbabyCakes or tag #grandbabycakes!
Filed Under:  Cake, Easter, Mother's Day, Oven


  1. Preparing to make this cake for my cousin 65th birthday. I have a question, how are the layers arranged? For instance is one layer up, one layer down, and the final layer up? Or are all three one on top of each other? I want to make it right since it is pressure for me in preparing the cake. I follow your recipes to the letter, and trust me, they never fail, never. Also I have your cookbook. Excellent recipes. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and giving us the reasoning behind the science of baking. Truly appreciative.

4.59 from 84 votes (46 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating