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Pineapple Rum Cake with sides covered with toasted coconut and topped with round slices of candied pineapple. The cake in on a glass pedestal.
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5 from 2 votes

Pineapple Rum Cake

This cake is impressive and delicious. Perfect for a tropical party!
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Cooling Times2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Island, Pineapple Rum Cake, Tropical
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Anna

Special Equipment

  • 3 - 8" round cake pans
  • Electric Mixer


Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature, leave them out of the fridge for 30 minutes and they should be fine.
  • 4 teaspoons dark rum, or 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 recipe Pineapple Filling, see below
  • cup pineapple simple syrup, from Candied Pineapple Slices or ⅓ cup simple syrup
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, see below
  • 6 ounces toasted coconut
  • 4 slices Candied Pineapple, for garnish, if desired
  • Dark Rum Caramel Sauce, for serving if desired

Pineapple Filling Ingredients

  • 8 ounces canned crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons milk, as needed

Toasted Coconut Ingredients

  • 6 ounces flaked coconut


Bake the Cake Layers

  • Preheat oven to 350º F, and make sure the rack is in the center.
  • Line just the bottom of 3 8"-round cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Measure the flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a medium bowl and whisk together or sift together. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer cream the butter, then add the sugar and mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 - 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the eggs one at time, beating after each addition.
  • Mix in the rum or rum extract and beat until thoroughly blended.
  • Reduce speed to low and add ⅓ of the flour mixture then ½ of the milk, then another third of the flour, the second half of the milk and end with the flour mixture. Scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  • Mix until batter is just smooth, do not overmix.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. Layers will not brown.
  • Cake is done when a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, cool on rack for 7 - 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto rack to finish cooling. Peel parchment paper off of cake.
  • Cool cake layers completely before filling and frosting.

Pineapple Filling Directions

  • In a medium saucepan stir all ingredients together.
  • Heat over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4-6 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool completely before using on cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions

  • Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment whip the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and well combined.
  • Turn the mixer to low and gradually add in the sugar.
  • When all the sugar is incorporated, add the rum extract.
  • Then add the milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time as needed, beating on high until the frosting is the right consistency for smoothing onto the cake.

Toasted Coconut Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Spread flaked coconut evenly onto a large, rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake for 2 minutes, then stir.
  • Bake for an additional 2 minutes, stir again.
  • Coconut may need a couple more minutes to achieve the color you prefer.
  • Cool completely before using on cake.

Frost and Decorate the Cake

  • When cake is completely cooled, put one layer onto your serving tray, you can secure it with a dollop of frosting between the layer and the tray.
  • Brush the top of the first layer with one-third of the simple syrup, let soak in for a few minutes.
  • Then frost the top of the layer with a ¼" thick layer of the Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Then put half of the pineapple filling on top of the frosting and spread to within 1" of the edge of the layer.
  • Place the second layer on top of the first and brush one-third of the simple syrup on top.
  • Then add the frosting and filling.
  • Place the final layer on top of the first two and brush with the remaining simple syrup.
  • Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining Cream Cheese Icing.
  • Press the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake.
  • If using the Candied Pineapple Slices, cut them in half and place on top of the cake in a pinwheel design.
  • If desired, place one candied or maraschino cherry in the center.
  • Drizzle each slice with the Dark Rum Caramel Sauce when serving, if desired.
  • If not eating right away, refrigerate the cake.


Gr8 Do-Ahead Tips:

  • 5 days in advance toast the coconut. Keep in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature until ready to use.
  • 5 days ahead of time make the candied pineapple.
  • 3 days in advance make the caramel syrup. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • 2 days ahead of time make the Pineapple Filling. Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature when ready to use.
  • The day before bake the cake layers. Refrigerate them sealed in plastic wrap until ready to frost. (I like to make the cake the day of serving as it is fresher and moister.)
  • The day of serving, make the frosting and ice and assemble the cake.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!