This Piña Colada Cake is the perfect combination of rum, coconut and pineapple. This white sheet cake has a splash of rum and shredded coconut for delicious flavor. And then it’s topped with sweet and tart pineapple buttercream.
I’ve made this Piña Colada Cake exactly 10 times. Haha. Whenever I think I know what I’m doing, cakes love to come out of the oven all messed up and tasting mediocre; they laugh in my face and humble me right to the ground.
All that testing was worth it because we now have a delicious cake that will remind you exactly of a piña colada. It has a balance of flavors of equal parts pineapple, coconut and rum. It’s only slightly boozy-tasting.
When I was making this cake, it reminded me of Hawaii. And yeah, a lot of that has to do with how many frozen piña coladas I consumed before noon when I visited.
I’ve only been once—last year for the first time—and it truly is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. There’s a vibe in Hawaii, I can’t explain it. But I think whenever I go to lands where the indigenous culture is so alive and celebrated, it gives the place a magical vibe. I feel similarly when I visit New Mexico.
What is a Piña Colada Made Of?
In case you’ve been leading a sad life and have never had a piña colada, I am here to explain their gloriousness. Piña Coladas consist of rum, sweet pineapple juice, coconut and lime juice. how these ingredients are incorporated vary on where you’re consuming the piña colada.
My favorite iteration goes like this: tons of ice in a blender, pineapple juice and fresh chunks of pineapple, cream of coconut, lime juice and dark rum. It is truly the most delicious drink to consume by a pool or ocean. When I’m in Hawaii, I probably drink 5 in one day and feel great!
The Reason I Love Sheet Cakes!
I love a sheet cake, always. Their ease is always welcomed. Of course, I tried to make it all Hawaii-like with hibiscus flowers and tropical vibes. This is so unneeded.
The frosting is almost as good as the cake. I added some fresh pineapple into the frosting, along with some vanilla paste, coconut extract (very optional) and rum. It was SO good.
If you make this cake, lemme know in the comments below! And while I think this cake is for sure an amazing summer recipe, it’s good for winter, too. You know, for when you want to get rid of those cold-time blues. The tropical flavors will take you to a warm tropical place in no time!
How to Make a Piña Colada Cake
- Mix together the dry ingredients. In this cake recipe, we have all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugars together. In this recipe we have two types of fat: butter and oil. This always ensures a super moist, delicious cake. I also used brown sugar AND granulated sugar to give a lovely molasses flavor.
- Pour in the dark rum. I like to add the dark rum to the butter because the fat absorbs it and this how we get a tasty cake!
- And then pour in the vegetable oil and beat in the eggs.
- Switching off between the dry ingredient mixture and the buttermilk, add it to the wet ingredients. This ensures that the cake is well combined.
- Fold in the shredded coconut. And then, bake the cake in a 9×13-inch cake pan.
- Make the frosting, by adding the sifted powdered sugar and butter to a large bowl or stand-up mixer. Mix until mostly combined.
- Pour in the heavy cream, rum, pineapple, vanilla and salt. Then beat on high for about 1 minute. As a result, the frosting will be super light and fluffy.
Piña Colada Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Rum Pineapple Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 slice canned or fresh pineapple, cut into a rough dice
To Make the Piña Colada Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. I also like to line my baking pan with a parchment just to make sure nothing sticks.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set the dry mixture aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter, white sugar, brown sugar and rum; beat until nice and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the oil and eggs. Beat until combined.
- Alternating between the buttermilk and the dry mix, add them to the butter mixture, until just combined. Lastly, add the shredded coconut and mix until distributed throughout the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread the batter out until it reaches the edges. Transfer to the oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool before adding the frosting.
To Make the Pineapple Frosting:
- To a stand-up mixer (or alternatively you can do this in a large bowl with an electric mixer), add the butter. Beat the butter until smooth. And then add in the sifted powdered sugar, heavy cream or milk, rum and pinch of salt. Beat for about 2 minutes until the frosting is nice and fluffy. I find that heavy cream and beating the frosting is what really makes the frosting THAT much better. Lastly, add the diced pineapple and give it a mix one last time.
To Assemble the Cake:
- Pour all of the frosting on the cooled sheet cake and spread it around, creating cute swoops as you go. Top it with whatever you like! I piped out buttercream hibiscus flowers, see below for notes! Cake will stay moist for about 2 days when wrapped properly.
Looking for more dessert recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
- Lemon Coconut Petal Cake
- Strawberry Sheet Cake with Rhubarb Frosting
- Chocolate Sheet Cake with Fudge-y Frosting
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
- Brown Butter Pecan Sheet Cake
- Tres Leches Cake