If you like Pina Colada’s, and getting caught in the rain….
I couldn’t resist. That song is just so catchy! Keep reading this post to find out how to make your very own cake version, that won’t leave you with a hangover the next morning. Ok, maybe it will leave you with a sugar hangover, but that’s a whole different ballgame.
On Friday, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. Her favorite drink happens to be a Pina Colada, so I scoured Pinterest to find a cake version I could make. After looking at a bunch of different ones, I settled on one from Liv for Cake. One of the main reasons was our mutual disdain for maraschino cherries. I mean, really, why do those things even exist? Also, I’m also pretty sure I gained 10 pounds, just by looking at her blog, so I figured the recipe had to be pretty good!
While making this recipe, I experienced a lot of firsts. Obviously I had never made this particular recipe, but I had also never toasted coconut or made Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It’s really true what they say about Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Once you try it, you’ll never want to use American Buttercream again. I seriously contemplated making more, just so I could eat it, but since I had already gained 10 pounds by looking at Liv for Cake’s blog, I figured that probably wasn’t smart.
I have to say, I tip my hat to all of you food bloggers! It is so difficult to get pictures of food, before someone tries to eat it, or I just forget. Case in point, I meant to take a picture of the inside of the cake, but forgot and took the above picture after we had already started eating it. Sorry about that! Hopefully as this blog goes on, I’ll get better at all that, and hopefully my pictures start getting better also! Seriously, though, check out Liv for Cake’s blog (this is her Pina Colada post) and see how awesome her pictures are and check out all the delicious recipes she shares! I’ve pinned quite a few, of her other recipes, that I plan to try soon!
Now onto the delicious cake and the recipe that goes with it. The only thing I really changed, from her original recipe, was the size of the cake. Her recipe called for three 6 inch cakes and I made two 8 inch instead. I also thought I had cornstarch, but didn’t, so I substituted it for flour. To make the cake the same size as the one above follow the recipe below. I have doubled the original recipe, but when I made it I wasn’t sure how much I would need, so I actually made the cake and buttercream recipe twice, instead of doubling it right off the bat. If you would like to make her 6 inch cake, follow the recipe in the link above!
PINA COLADA CAKE
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons rum or 2 teaspoons rum extract (I used rum)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup egg whites or 6 large egg whites (I used egg whites I bought at the store, because I’m lazy)
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
4 teaspoons rum or 2 teaspoons rum extract (I used rum)
14 oz can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch ( I didn’t have this so I used 2 tablespoons of flour)
7 oz bag sweetened coconut
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until pale and fluffy.
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.
- Add rum.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Fully incorporate after each addition. Mix until just combined.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. (For my 8 inch cakes it took about 37 minutes to cook them).
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a hot water bath, on the stove, and whisk constantly until the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (about 2-3 minutes).
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on medium-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (about 5-10 minutes).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.
- Add rum and whip until smooth.
To make the pineapple filling:
- Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
- Heat over medium-high until thickened (about 1-2 minutes).
- Cool completely before using on cake.
To make the toasted coconut:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large sheet pan with parchment.
- Spread flaked coconut evenly and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Toss lightly part way through baking.
- Cool completely before using on the cake.
- Place one layer of cake onto a serving plate. Top with a thin layer of buttercream and pipe a dam around the outside using a large round tip to hold the filling.
- Place pineapple filling inside the dam and spread evenly.
- Top with some toasted coconut.
- Top with final layer of cake and crumb coat the entire cake (this is a thin layer of frosting all over the cake). Chill for 30 minutes.
- Use the remaining frosting to cover the outside of the cake. Decorate the top with swirls and maraschino cherries.
- Press the toasted coconut into the sides.
In her notes she mentions that it is best if served the same day, but will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. I sent it home with my mother-in-law and I’m pretty sure it is already gone!
Also, she notes that the buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point during mixing, and to just keep mixing until it is smooth. I’m really glad she mentioned this, because I had never made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before, and if she hadn’t made that note, I would have thought I screwed it up. A friend also let me know that Swiss Meringue Buttercream freezes well, so if you have some leftover, just stick it in the freezer for later!
It really was a delicious cake and my mother-in-law said it tasted a lot like a Pina Colada. I can’t really say if it did or not, because I’ve never had one, but I can say that I would definitely make this cake again! Next time, I would leave the swirl and cherry out of the middle, and space my swirls evenly, so they were centered when I sliced it, but other than that, this recipe was perfect!
If you try this cake, I would love to know what you think!