Southern Pineapple Cake

Embark on a culinary journey down South with the classic Southern Pineapple Cake—a delightful dessert that marries the tropical zest of pineapple with the hearty flavors of nuts and coconut. This article will guide you through each step of crafting this cherished confection, from assembling the simple yet scrumptious ingredients to perfecting the golden topping that crowns the cake. Whether you’re a novice baker or a seasoned pro, this guide promises to make the process enjoyable and the results impressively delicious. Let’s dive into the world of Southern baking and discover why this cake is a staple at gatherings and a symbol of warm, Southern hospitality.

Introduction to Southern Pineapple Cake

What Makes Southern Pineapple Cake Special?

Ah, the Southern Pineapple Cake—a sweet staple that no Southern gathering would dare to go without! This cake isn’t just a treat; it’s an institution. Revered for its moist, rich texture and unique flavor profile, it’s a testament to the simplicity and ingenuity of Southern cooking.

Originating from the warm, welcoming kitchens of the South, this cake combines ingredients that speak volumes about its heritage. Pineapple, once a symbol of hospitality, makes every slice a sweet, welcoming gesture. The addition of nuts and coconut not only introduces a delightful crunch and chew but also layers in flavors that scream ‘home-cooked goodness.’

Each bite of this cake is like a page out of a Southern grandma’s cookbook, offering comfort and a burst of flavor that brings nostalgia and new memories to the table. So why do people cherish this cake so much? Perhaps it’s the way it brings people together, or maybe it’s the perfect balance of sweetness and texture that it brings to potlucks and picnics. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: the Southern Pineapple Cake is a beloved icon for a reason.


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Southern Pineapple Cake

Southern Pineapple Cake

  • Author: Avani
  • Total Time: 1 hour


A classic dessert that captures the essence of Southern hospitality, this Southern Pineapple Cake combines moist cake layers with the tangy sweetness of pineapple and a rich, creamy frosting. It’s a perfect treat for any occasion, from family gatherings to special celebrations.



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 – 20 oz can crushed pineapple (with juice)
For the Topping:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup coconut flakes


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease or spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, and crushed pineapple with juice until well combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the topping, heat butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar in a saucepan until it boils over medium-high heat.
Stir in pecans or walnuts and coconut, continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken slightly.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes all over the top, and spread the topping evenly over the warm cake. Let cool before serving.


  • For a less sweet cake, reduce the amount of sugar in both the cake and frosting.
  • Fresh pineapple can be used instead of canned; ensure it’s finely chopped.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients and Recipe Preparation

Key Ingredients for Southern Pineapple Cake

To whip up this tantalizing treat, you’ll need a lineup of ingredients that are likely already sitting in your pantry or just a quick grocery run away. Here’s what you’ll gather:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour: The base of your cake, providing the structure.
  • 2 cups sugar: Adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • 1 tsp. baking soda: Helps the cake rise and become fluffy.
  • 2 large eggs: Bind the ingredients together and add richness.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract: A dash of vanilla enhances all the other flavors.
  • 1 – 20 oz can crushed pineapple (with juice): The star of the show, infusing the cake with moistness and vibrant tropical flavor.
For the Topping:
  • 1/2 cup butter: Adds creaminess to your topping.
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk: Creates a rich, smooth texture.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract: Complements the sweetness with its aromatic essence.
  • 1 cup sugar: Sweetens the topping to a delightful perfection.
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts: Introduces a nutty crunch.
  • 1 cup coconut flakes: Brings a chewy texture and tropical taste.

Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

Here’s how you’ll put it all together:

  1. Preheat and Prep: Start by heating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with butter or a non-stick spray to ensure nothing sticks.
  2. Mix the Magic: In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla extract, and the crushed pineapple along with its juice. Stir these together until the mixture is well combined—this is where the cake begins to take shape.
  3. Bake to Perfection: Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Slide it into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Topping Time: While the cake bakes, prepare the topping. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and mix in evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Add pecans or walnuts and coconut flakes, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
  5. Finishing Touches: Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven. While still warm, poke holes across the top with a fork or skewer. This will allow the topping to seep into the cake, infusing it with flavorful moisture. Evenly spread the thickened topping over the cake.
  6. Cool and Serve: Let the cake cool down before cutting into it. This waiting period allows the topping to set and flavors to meld together beautifully.

Now that you have the ingredients and the know-how, the next sections will guide you on how to perfect your baking technique and present this delectable dessert.

Cooking Tips and Techniques

Enhancing Flavor and Texture

Achieving the perfect Southern Pineapple Cake is an art that comes with its own set of tips and tricks to enhance the flavor and texture. Here’s how you can elevate your baking experience:

  • Juicy Details: Don’t skimp on the pineapple juice! Including the juice from the can not only infuses the cake with more pineapple flavor but also ensures that the cake remains moist and tender. It’s this moisture that sets the cake apart from drier, crumblier desserts.
  • Mixing Matters: When combining your cake batter, mix until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a tough cake because it develops the gluten too much. A gentle hand will help keep the cake light and fluffy.
  • Baking Blindspots: Oven temperatures can vary, so keep an eye on your cake as it bakes. Start checking for doneness about five minutes before the suggested baking time expires. A golden-brown crust and a clean toothpick are your cues that it’s ready.
  • Topping Techniques: For the topping, getting the consistency right is key. The mixture should be thick enough to cling to the cake but still fluid enough to seep into the holes you’ve poked. This creates pockets of gooey sweetness throughout the cake, which are a delightful surprise with every bite.

By paying attention to these aspects, you ensure that your Southern Pineapple Cake is not only delicious but also a showstopper in both taste and presentation.

Serving and Presentation Ideas

Presentation and Pairing Ideas

The presentation of your Southern Pineapple Cake can make it the star of any dining table. Here are some creative ways to serve and enjoy this delightful dessert:

  • Dress it Up: A sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes or a few whole pecans can add visual appeal and texture to the top of your cake. Consider adding a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream to each serving for an extra indulgent touch.
  • Serve with Style: Slice the cake in neat squares and place each piece on a colorful plate for a festive look. Garnish with mint leaves or edible flowers for a touch of elegance.
  • Pair Perfectly: This cake pairs wonderfully with a cup of hot coffee or tea. The warmth of the beverage complements the moist, dense texture of the cake beautifully. For an afternoon treat, try it with a cold glass of lemonade or sweet tea to stick with the Southern theme.

Whether you’re serving this cake at a casual family gathering or a more formal event, these ideas will help you present it in a way that’s as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Nutritional Information

Caloric and Nutritional Content

When indulging in a slice of Southern Pineapple Cake, it’s helpful to be aware of its nutritional aspects. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect per serving:

  • Calories: Each serving contains approximately 494 calories. This includes both the cake and the rich topping.
  • Fat: You’re looking at about 18 grams of fat per slice, with a mix of saturated and unsaturated fats, thanks to ingredients like butter and nuts.
  • Carbohydrates: Expect around 80 grams of carbs per serving, which includes a substantial amount of sugar for that delightful sweetness.
  • Protein: Each piece offers about 6 grams of protein, primarily from the eggs and nuts in the recipe.
  • Fiber: With 3 grams of fiber per serving, the nuts and coconut contribute to your daily intake.

While Southern Pineapple Cake is certainly a treat, understanding its nutritional content can help you enjoy it as part of a balanced diet. Perhaps, consider smaller portions if you’re watching your calorie intake but still want to savor this delicious dessert.

Storage and Preservation

Tips for Longevity

To enjoy your Southern Pineapple Cake to the fullest, proper storage is key. Here’s how to keep it fresh whether you’re looking to savor it over a few days or save it for later:

  • Refrigerate for Freshness: Due to its moist ingredients like pineapple and the dairy-based topping, it’s best to store this cake in the refrigerator. Keep it in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap to maintain its moisture and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.
  • Freezing for Later: If you won’t finish the cake within a few days, freezing is a great option. Wrap individual slices or the entire cake in plastic wrap, then in foil. Label with the date, and it should keep well for up to 6 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to eat.
  • Serving After Storage: Whether chilled or thawed, always allow the cake to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving. This enhances the cake’s flavor and texture, making it just as good as when it was freshly baked.

By following these storage tips, you can ensure that every piece of your Southern Pineapple Cake remains as delicious as the first day it was sliced. Whether you’re pulling it out for a late-night snack or an impromptu gathering, it’ll always be ready to impress.

In the next section, we’ll tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about making Southern Pineapple Cake, so you can bake with confidence and creativity every time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Southern Pineapple Cake

When diving into the world of baking a Southern Pineapple Cake, several questions often arise. Here are answers to some of the most common inquiries to help ensure your baking success:

  • Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned? Yes, fresh pineapple can be used, but it’s crucial to chop it finely and include enough juice to match the moisture content of canned pineapple. Remember, the juice is key to the cake’s moist texture.
  • Is there a gluten-free version of this cake? Absolutely! Swap the all-purpose flour for your favorite gluten-free flour blend. Make sure it’s a 1:1 substitute designed for baking to ensure your cake still rises and sets properly.
  • How can I make this cake less sweet? To reduce the sweetness, you can decrease the sugar in the cake batter and topping by up to one-fourth. Keep in mind that this will slightly alter the final texture and moisture.
  • What are some variations of this cake? For a twist, add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the batter, or mix in different nuts such as almonds or macadamia nuts. You could also top the cake with a cream cheese frosting for a richer flavor profile.
  • Can I make this cake vegan? To veganize this cake, replace the eggs with applesauce or a commercial egg replacer, use vegan butter, and swap the evaporated milk in the topping for a plant-based alternative like coconut milk.
  • Why did my cake come out dense? This could be due to overmixing the batter or measuring the flour incorrectly. Be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off without packing it down.

By addressing these FAQs, you can tailor the Southern Pineapple Cake recipe to better suit your preferences and dietary needs, making this beloved dessert even more versatile.


The Joy of Baking Southern Pineapple Cake

Baking a Southern Pineapple Cake is more than just a culinary task; it’s an invitation to create memories and indulge in the richness of Southern traditions. This cake stands out not just for its delightful flavors but also for the warmth and hospitality it represents. Each ingredient comes together to tell a story of gatherings, celebrations, and the simple joys of everyday life.

So, whether you’re baking for a special occasion or just a casual weekend treat, remember that every slice of this cake is a testament to the beauty of homemade desserts. Enjoy the process, share the results with loved ones, and take pride in the masterpiece you’ve created.

Now that you’re equipped with all the knowledge and tips for making the perfect Southern Pineapple Cake, why not tie on your apron, preheat your oven, and start baking? After all, every great meal deserves a sweet, satisfying finale.

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