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Recipe: Tropical Pina Colada cake to get you in the mood for summer

The tropical Pina Colada cake.
The tropical Pina Colada cake.

This tropical Pina Colada cake has everything a citrus lover could want in a dessert.

A light and moist sponge cake gets topped with a luscious pineapple and coconut buttercream.

This cake is perfect for a lighter dessert or for those who prefer fruity bakes to chocolate.

It has become my go-to base cake recipe, which I edit with fruits and juice depending on what flavour I’m going for. You could use fresh or tinned pineapple for the juice, and I recommend some orange extract as it adds more of a fruity flavour (I find pineapple can get lost in the cake).

Florence Stanton, Tasting Thyme blogger.
Florence Stanton, Tasting Thyme blogger.

The cake batter may look curdled at some stages, but keep with it until all the flour is added and you’ll see it come together.

The prep time for this cake is 25 minutes and around 40 minutes to bake.

To make smaller, using an 8 inch square/circular tin (which I did on occasion during lockdown), you’ll want to divide the quantities by 1.5, and half the amount of buttercream. Also you may want to add 5-10 mins of bake time if just using one tin.

Tropical Pina Colada cake

Serves 12 


  • 165g butter, softened
  • 270g granulated sugar
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 90ml pineapple juice (from the tin or fresh are fine)
  • 360ml milk
  • 425g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

For the buttercream:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 400g icing sugar

To decorate:

  • Fresh pineapple
  • Shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C Fan/200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Line/grease two 9 inch round tins.
  2. In a large bowl/the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and granulated sugar on a medium speed. For real creaming, this should be about 3-5 minutes with an electric/stand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and orange extract.
  3. Add the pineapple juice and combine again. The mixture may begin to look a little curdled, due to all the citrus/liquid/eggs etc. but stick with it!
  4. Combine the flour with the baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl. Add a third of this and a third of the milk, mix until all combined. Then repeat with remaining flour and milk. The mixture will be fairly smooth and should pour easily.
  5. Pour evenly into the tins and bake for 35-40 minutes/until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack before making the buttercream.
  6. Making the buttercream: First whisk the butter on a high speed with an electric mixer (or whisk attachment in a stand mixer). Add the pineapple juice, orange extract, coconut and half of the icing sugar. Mix on high until icing sugar is incorporated, then add the remaining amount.
  7. Mix until everything comes together in glorious golden waves.
    Ensure the buttercream is thick enough to spread, if not, add more icing sugar.
  8. Spread this over the cake and decorate as desired. Serve immediately.

Check out our bank of recipes, or you can get more baking inspiration from Florence’s website or Instagram page.

Florence Stanton is a baking Instagrammer and blogger from Aberdeen.

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