I’ll bake you a cake, yes. But you should know that it will likely be a recipe I invented the same day, and its debut for you will be its raison d’être. That’s certainly the case with this Pineapple Dreams Coconut Cake. I invented it for a birthday, and named it the way I did because it totally the stuff of dreams if you’re a tropical pineapple lover.
Nibbling the last little sliver at the party was the first time I tasted this cake… after I served it to everyone else, hoping for the best. Luckily, this little looker of a coconut cake was devoured in minutes among eight people, with a few jockeying for seconds. It has the taste of sweetly beachy excitement, with a firm, damp crumb and an ingredient list that makes no apologies. Grain-free, nut-free, dairy-free and sweetened with honey, but this cake doesn’t smell of substitution. It is its own self, and a creamy, dreamy, golden, sun-kissed one at that.
One note about presentation: this cake is warmly yellow inside, coconut flour stained gold by crushed pineapple, honey, and egg yolks. I used a variation of my favorite frosting recipe to coat its surface, then piled on toasted coconut flakes… and when I saw a lovely piña colada “ice cream” cake decorated with dehydrated pineapple slices, I knew I had my finishing touch. I don’t have a dehydrator (seriously, who does?) so I was happy to see that the technique makes use of a regular ol’ oven. I piped a wee droplet of frosting into the center of each dried pineapple slice, and sprinkled a few cacao nibs for a pop of rich bitterness to temper the sweetness. If you prefer to skip the added step of drying your coconut slices at home, use store-bought dehydrated pineapple or apple rings and all will be well.
Note: this is a rework of an earlier recipe of mine called Citrus Celebration Cake. Original recipe can be found here.
- ½ cup coconut flour, plus more for greasing pan
- ½ cup arrowroot flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup crushed pineapple
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup palm shortening, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- Dried pineapple rings
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Cacao nibs
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a round 8" cake pan with coconut oil, line with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Whisk the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a blender, combine the crushed pineapple, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract and eggs until smooth.
- Gradually fold the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing the batter until there are no lumps. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon and then bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you prepare the frosting.
- Using a hand mixer, whip the frosting ingredients in a small mixing bowl until very smooth.
- Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the pan and frost the top and sides with a butter knife or specialty frosting spreader.
- To make the dried pineapple rings, preheat the oven to 170° F. Cut away the rough exterior of a fresh pineapple, then slice into very thin rings. Lay the rings on a silicone baking sheet or wax paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the rings are dried and browned on the edges.
- Press the pineapple rings together in the center of the frosted cake. Spoon or pipe a dollop of frosting in the center of the pineapple rings, then sprinkle toasted coconut flakes and cacao nibs over and under the pineapple slices as preferred.
- Serve room temperature.