Pina Colada Cake

As we begin November and the weather decides to turn down the thermostat, there's something downright lovely about baking and enjoying a tropics-inspired cake. Each bite holds all kinds of flavor and texture and it's easy to imagine how lovely it would be to be sipping a pina colada on a sunny island somewhere. But until you have tickets in hand, we're bringing you a taste of the tropics that can be achieved with your oven and mixer.

I'd recommend leaving the recipe basically as is, though I would like to share one of my own tricks. I only stock pineapple chunks at my house and if I need crushed pineapple, I just run a can through the food processor on the chop setting and then carry on with my "crushed" pineapple. I don't use it a lot and then I have pineapple chunks for sweet and sour chicken or pork. Apart from that, if you wanted to use a different nut - pecans or macadamias, for instance - you could do that without issue. Otherwise, just stick to the recipe and savor the results.

Sometimes I suggest a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on a dessert, but this cake is intense enough that I simply have a slice alongside coffee, tea, or milk. Then I close my eyes and dream of warmer days, warmer venues, or both!

Pina Colada Cake

  • 1 package (16 - 18 ounces) cake mix, like Signature Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix or a yellow cake mix
  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, well-drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup white vanilla baking chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-6 teaspoons reserved pineapple liquid

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with vegetable spray; set aside.

In a stand mixer on low speed, combine the first 4 ingredients (cake mix through egg) until the mixture is crumbly. Measure 1 ½ cups of the crumb mixture and reserve it. Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared 9 x 13-inch pan.

In medium bowl, stir together the next 3 ingredients (flour through drained crushed pineapple). Pour the filling over the crust.

In the same bowl you used to make the filling, combine the reserved 1 ½ cups crumb mixture, almonds, coconut, and vanilla baking chips. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the filling and crust in the 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.

When cake is cool, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and enough of the reserved pineapple liquid until the mixture is smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Slice into squares and enjoy.

  • Yields: 24-36 servings, depending on how you slice them
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour plus another hour of cooling