Super Moist Pineapple Cake

You are going to love this easy pineapple cake recipe! One of my readers entered it into a baking contest, and it won second place. While I love layer cakes, sometimes simple is best. This pineapple cake needs no frosting, though it’s amazing with freshly whipped cream. It’s soft, moist, eggy and delicate. 

An overhead photo of pineapple cake on a marble backdrop.

When I first began making layer cake recipes, I was a nervous wreck. They used to scare me to death because I was always worried about messing up. But overtime with patience and practice I grew more comfortable with the process.

Now, I actually love preparing layer cakes with buttercream (especially my chocolate espresso layer cake). They’re wonderful with everything from advanced frostings such as Italian Meringue Buttercream to more basic options like this Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting.

However, layer cakes can take a long time to put together. Sometimes I just want to eat some cake, you know? Especially if I’m preparing several recipes at once.

This pineapple cake recipe is fast, easy and has a perfect level of sweetness. It’s eggy like a pound cake, but with a softer texture similar to yellow cake. I love it so much that it ultimately wound up in the dessert chapter of my cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen.

A photo of pineapple cake cooling on a rack, fresh from the oven.

Don’t let the cracks on top fool you; the cake is incredibly moist. It has an entire 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple mixed into the batter, including the juice. And yes, I know that sounds like a lot. It is. But trust me, the cake holds together. You’re looking at it.

How to Make Pineapple Cake

  • This cake will not work if you substitute fresh pineapple. I know many of you would prefer to use fresh fruit, but a 20 ounce can does not equal 20 ounces of straight crushed pineapple. I’m sure there’s a way to recreate the canned contents using a specific ratio of crushed real pineapple to pineapple juice. However, I can’t promise it will work here since I haven’t tested it.
  • Add the eggs to the batter very slowly. The cake has a higher than normal ratio of eggs to butter and sugar, so you want to add them very slowly. Let the eggs incorporate one at a time, scrape down the bowl periodically. Don’t rush or you risk breaking the batter. However, if it does start to break, don’t worry. The flour mixture will still bring things back together. I speak from experience.
  • Don’t substitute egg sizes. This goes for all ingredients, at least when you first prepare a recipe. Substituting ingredients might impact the structure of the cake. Read about why egg size matters in baked goods.
  • Crushed pineapple makes the batter look lumpy. Because crushed pineapple has lumps mixed in with juice, it will make the batter look broken when you add it in. Add the flour mixture as quickly as possible after adding the pineapple.

So, what are you waiting for? This pineapple cake is calling your name.

A slice of crushed pineapple cake.

Super-Moist-Pineapple-Cake
Print Pin Recipe

Super Moist Pineapple Cake

5 from 6 votes
This Pineapple Cake needs no frosting (though it's wonderful served with some freshly whipped cream on the side). 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pineapple cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings (approximately)
Calories 270
Author Jennifer Farley

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 7 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple (do not drain - see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: fresh whipped cream for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper (note: the 8-inch pan cuts it a bit close with the batter when the cake rises in the oven but won't spill over). Place the cake pan on a baking sheet.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, kosher salt and lemon zest (make sure the zest doesn't clump together). Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy (first on low speed and then gradually increasing the speed to medium high). Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Turn the mixer back on low speed and slowly add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after the second egg. Allow the eggs to incorporate completely and then scrape down the bowl again. (This is a lot of eggs so don't worry if the mixture starts to break. The flour mixture will bring it back together.)
  • Add the crushed pineapple along with the vanilla and mix very briefly on medium low to combine. (The texture of the crushed pineapple and juice WILL make the batter look broken.) With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 batches and mix until just combined. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a spatula, giving the batter one final stir.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and use a spatula to level off the top.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Serve plain or with freshly whipped cream.

Notes

You want pineapple canned in juice, not in syrup.
  
Don't drain the canned pineapple. You want all of the pineapple juice in the cake for both flavor and moisture! This cake will not work if you substitute fresh pineapple.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 80mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 9.8% | Calcium: 3% | Iron: 6.9%

Recipe Troubleshooting

For help troubleshooting a recipe, please email recipehelp@savorysimple.net. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! This email address is only for recipe troubleshooting; Solicitations will be ignored.

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. I am a participant in the rewardStyle and Amazon affiliate programs, which help support Savory Simple by providing me with a small commission fee when you shop through my links, at no additional cost to you.

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  • Simply beautiful! I’m still a little bit terrified of layer cakes and tend to lean more towards cupcakes because they’re a little less daunting and quicker to make. But I want to push myself to give more layer cakes a go and I think I might start with this one!

  • I stink at making layer cakes. It’s why I stick with cupcakes. Much easier to decorate. This cake looks simple but absolutely gorgeous (and I’m sure it’s delicious!).

  • I love fruity desserts and pineapple is up there with my top favorites. This cake is lovely and looks so light. Perfection!

  • I am suddenly craving this cake. It looks so simple and delicious… but I have a pineapple intolerance (and I don’t think I could resist a second or third slice). I wonder if this would work with any other canned fruit…

  • one of my favorite desserts growing up was a pineapple cake my aunt made. It was not really a cake more like a pie that was cold but nontheless it was my favorite. Your pineapple cake brought back fun memories and I love how moist it looks. tangy sweet and moist are the perfect ingredients for an amazing cake:)

  • I love naked cakes like this! When cakes have a ton of frosting, you don’t get to appreciate the delicate taste and texture of the cake. The flavors in this sound simply amazing! Can’t wait to make this : )

  • Wow, this cake looks perfect! I love that it is like pound cake but with a softer texture. I’m pretty much addicted to pineapple so I know that I would love it!

  • You listed vanilla under the ingredients, but you left it out of the instructions. (Oops!) I realized it when I saw the vanilla sitting on my counter right after I put the cake in the oven, so I pulled it out–slopping some of the batter as I did so–and quickly stirred in the vanilla. I’m sure it will taste fine, but I was just wondering if you would come over and clean my oven for me since this is. All. Your. Fault. ;)

    • Sorry about that, editing it now. Next time don’t pull a cake out of the oven over a teaspoon of vanilla. Not worth the mess or the potential burns! Vanilla makes everything better but it’s also one of those ingredients that won’t make or break a recipe unless it’s the main flavor.

      • But I *so* love vanilla…and I know you’re on your way over here now with oven cleaner, so it’s all okay! Haven’t tasted the cake yet, but it looks lovely and will be tonight’s dessert. Thanks for the recipe!

  • I am about to make this cake for tomorrow’s dessert. What do you recommend for storing? Wrapped and on counter or refrigerated?

  • Ive nevet made a “layer” cake that I know of, but I just made this cake with the assistance of my 5 yr old son and it came out just fine. For those posting about the difficulty of layer cakes who haven’t yet tried this recipe, i say, ” if a 5 yr old can do it, have no fear. Yum!”

  • I made the Pineapple cake and it was easy and turn out great. I wanted a plain cake but still inviting looking so i dusted it with powdered sugar. Beautiful

  • Looks delicious! Planning to make it soon but curious about the amount of butter; 7 oz (14 tbsp) seems like a lot, is it 7 oz or 7 tbsp? Thanks for the recipe!

  • Can this be adapted for cupcakes? I’m hosting a baby shower in April and this looks perfect, but we were thinking cupcakes. Recomendations?

    • Hmmm… I’ve never tried it, but I think it sounds like a great idea. Since you have time, are you ok with experimenting? You would probably have enough batter for 12 cupcakes. They definitely wouldn’t take 60 minutes, so I’d start peeking through the oven window after around 25 minutes and then doing toothpick tests when they seem firm. They would be good with a coconut frosting. Maybe I’ll experiment sometime in the next few weeks if I have time. If I do, I will let you know what happens! But I’d be doing exactly what I just described above if you want to dive in.

    • Unfortunately, you can’t. The pineapple itself is part of the structure of the cake. The only thing I can think of is swapping out the pineapple for another canned textured fruit like grapefruit (something like peaches would be too soft). I know Del Monte and a few other brands sell canned grapefruit. I’m not sure how that will taste since grapefruit is slightly more bitter and less sweet, but it’s worth a try (I might try it for fun, actually). If you are set on pineapple cake made from only the juice, your best bet is to find a different recipe. I’m sure one exists out there. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • All my boyfriend wanted for his birthday was a moist pineapple cake and I couldn’t find one anywhere and then I stumbled upon this one, thankfully. This cake came out so moist and delicious, in one night it was completely devoured. Thank you SO much for this recipe! It was delicious.

  • I had half a batch of coconut buttercream frosting left from some 4th of July cupcakes, so I started searching for a nice cake to go with it. Your pineapple cake was perfect. I had just enough frosting for a thin layer over the whole cake, so there was a little coconut sweetness with each bite without overwhelming cake. It was a big hit! Thank you for the clear directions and photos. I agree that a 9 inch pan is the way to go.

  • Wonderful recipe! Made this for my husband’s birthday, came in handy in a pinch since we lacked time and funds to order from a bakery, and he really wanted pineapple. Very filling, too, so we’ve got some for the next few days. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • I’m wanting to make a sculpted cake for mistext daughter’s pineapple themed birthday in a flew weeks. I’m planning on using your recipe because it looks amazing! Do you think it is sturdy enough to carve, provided I freeze it before carving? Thanks! I’ll report back.

    • Hi Anjea! I don’t think this one is sturdy enough to carve, unfortunately. I’m not kidding about the “super moist,” because it’s a very soft cake. While freezing might help, I’m concerned it will lose it’s shape once it thaws. My layer cake recipes are much sturdier, if you’re trying to go that route. Good luck!

    • I have not frozen it, but I can’t think of any reason that would be an issue. It’s a bit softer than my other cakes (hence the “super moist”), so I can see it potentially being a bit delicate when it thaws due to the condensation. I’d recommend thawing it in the refrigerator to minimize that.

      • Thank you Jennifer. Maybe I’ll just have to figure out my schedule to bake right before I need it. Made it today. Looking forward to a slice!
        Suellen

    • Hi Tiara,

      You sure can! Someone recently shared a photo with me of a triple layer version they prepared with coconut buttercream. I need to try that one!

  • Thanks for the recipie Rachel. I tried this for my hubby’s birthday. The taste was some superb. But the texture of my cake was too dense and kind of pudding like.
    Can you suggest what might have possibly gone wrong.
    Thanks again for the recipie

        • Ok, just wanted to make sure since that’s often the culprit. It’s hard for me to know without being able to see the cake, but offhand I’m thinking maybe it needed more time in the oven, or your baking powder has possibly expired?

          • I baked for 50 mins. After 50 mins when I checked it was done. May be my baking powder is the issue, it’s old abt to expire. I ll try with a new baking pwd and update thanks for ur suggestion.

  • I just made this pineapple cake to take to a friend tonight. It turned out perfect and It looks
    Exactly like the picture. Took all the stress out of my life as to what to bake as I am not a
    Baker. Oh by the way I had a piece……delicious!!!!

  • Didnt turn out….the batter was too liquid….didnt cone out cake-lije, more like mashed pineapple….had to throw out.

    • Hi Julie, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with the cake! That’s always such a frustrating experience. I’d be happy to help you troubleshoot if you’d like. Did you by any chance make any substitutions to the original recipe?

      • I used fresh pineapple chunks, crushed it and weighted to 20 oz incl liquid. Maybe the canned 20 oz pineapple is different? (Different ratio of pineapple and liquid).?? I will have to try it next time using tbe canned pineapple. Also, the recipe says to grease the pan and line with parchment paper. I normally dont grease the pan when lining it.

        • Yes, unfortunately you substituted the main ingredient in the cake, and the ratio of pureed fresh pineapple with natural juice is not going to be the same as the ratio that comes in a can. If you follow the recipe as it’s written, I’m guessing you might have better luck! If you try it again, let me know how it goes :)

  • I was wondering if I could replace the batter in a pineapple upside down cake with the batter from this recipie.
    So would the texture and taste come out the same if I make it in a bundt pan lined with pineapple slices and the brown sugar/buter mixture? Or would the shape of the pan mess it up?

  • Just made your recipe this afternoon. I had opened a can of crushed pineapple thinking it was diced pineapple, so I needed to use the open can. :) This was perfect! Such a pleasant cake. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jen, it sounds yummy and easy. Unfortunately I can’t get canned crushed pineapple here in Malaysia.
    I can get canned pineapple cubes and caned pineapple rings – can I use them and just blend them to get them crushed.

    • Great question! I think either of those will work fine if they’re packages in juice as opposed to syrup. The crushed pineapples have some texture, so make sure not to puree them too much. You want the pineapples broken down but not silky smooth (I’m not sure if that’s even possible, but figured it can’t hurt to mention).

  • Does this recipe make more than an 8 inch round? How many would it fill? Should it be doubled? Also do you recommend this cake to be layered? Wanted to make a cute pineapple cake (decorated as a pineapple) thanks

    • Hi Teresa, this cake makes one 8-inch or 9-inch round cake (I always note the yield at the top of the recipe). It can be doubled if you want to make more than one cake. I believe others have had success with layering it, but I’ve never personally tried.

  • I love the pineapple cake, I would like to try it with strawberries, but they don’t come like the pineapple, any suggestions?

    • Hi Larry,

      Unless you want to make a strawberry pineapple cake, removing some of the solid pineapple and adding chopped strawberries, I don’t think you can do an even swap here. The cans of crushed pineapple have a very specific liquid to crushed pineapple ratio that would be tough to replicate without a lot of experimenting. I have a few strawberry cakes on the blog, but they’re layer cakes. You could always cut them in half to prepare a single layer. That would be your safest bet.

  • Hi Jennifer,
    Gonna give your recipe a try. One of my child is getting engaged .planning on making a nude cake with your receipe . will let you know if its a Hit or a Miss… :-) .Warm regards.