(Pardon the horrendous picture. This is actually the only decent shot I got and I am terrible at taking pictures in restaurants!)
I’m currently in China getting chubby on dumplings and hand-pulled noodles but figured I’d leave something sweet for you to munch on while I’m gone!
I made this cake as a (surprise, surprise) last-minute decision for a friend’s birthday (originally someone else volunteered but ended up not having enough time). I simplified it by baking it in a disposable cake pan, making a whipped topping rather than buttercream, and just slathering on toppings rather than slicing out layers etc. Actually, I was under some severe time constraints so we drove all the way to the restaurant with separate components and a still-too-warm cake and I threw it all together in Boy’s trunk. Thankfully, it came together perfectly and went well with the Cuban dinner we attended for the celebrant. It was a huge hit (some even said it was better than this ice cream cake). The flavors melded and the cake was a light ending to our meal. Each individual component was full of flavor and together there could be nothing more delicious.
Pina Colada Cake
adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes
For Brown Sugar Cake:
- 3 3/4 c cake flour
- 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
- 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 c buttermilk
- 5 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For Pineapple Topping:
- 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in juice
- 1 c sugar
- 1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean
For Coconut Whipped Topping
- 2 c heavy cream, chilled
- 1/4 c confectioner’s sugar, plus more to taste
- 1/4 tsp coconut extract
- 1/2 c sweetened shredded coconut, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350F.
For filling: Combine pineapple, sugar, lemon juice, and the scraped vanilla seeds in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly while the sugar dissolves, 2-3 minutes. Then increase the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and almost jam-like. Cool completely before using.
For cake: Butter a 9×13″ cake pan (or 3 9″ round cake pans). If you use the 9×13″ pan, you will have extra batter for cupcakes or a 9″ round cake.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl attached to an electric mixer. Whisk gently to combine. Add brown sugar, butter, and 1 1/2 c buttermilk and blend on low speed. Once incorporated, beat on medium 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with remaining 1/4 buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between, just until combined. Pour 2/3 of the cake batter (you can eyeball) into the prepared cake pan, saving the rest for cupcakes or a smaller cake. (Or divide among the 3 9″ round cake pans evenly.) Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (for smaller pans, adjust time accordingly). Cool completely before topping.
For whipped topping: Whip heavy cream until soft peak stage. Add confectioner’s sugar and coconut extract and continue beating until stiff peaks. Taste and add sugar/extract as needed for your coconut loving taste.
For assembly: Spread pineapple topping over cooled cake (despite not using all the cake batter in my 9×13″ cake, I still used all of the topping – it’s yummy!). Then spread shredded coconut, followed by the whipped topping. Serve and enjoy!
I wish I had more pictures but alas it was not my camera’s night.
Enjoy your week everyone!