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.
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.
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.
Super Moist Pineapple Cake
- 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
- 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.
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.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
Kellee Y. says
This cake did not turn out well for me. It was dense and rated like flour. I am an experienced baker, too. It was not undercooked. Just awful. Made it for a birthday, ended up throwing it in the trash.
Kellee Y says
*Tasted, not rated
Jennifer Farley says
Hi Kellee, I’m so sorry that the cake didn’t turn out! If you want to shoot me an email at email@example.com, maybe we can figure out what went wrong.
Nice recipe. Thank you for sharing. I made this cake last weekend and its easy to make, so spongy and delicious!
I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was a huge hit! Such a unique texture and wonderful flavor. I served it with whipped cream. Next time I want to try making a coconut milk frosting!
Tried this for my dads birthday. turned out to be very delicious.
Hillman Homewood says
Can you use it the same way as upside down pineapple cake or is the batter too moist? Thanks!
Jennifer Farley says
I’m not sure, I’ve never tried that. To be safe, I’d follow a recipe for upside down cake.
I made this at my work, I followed the recipe directions accordingly and it came out nice. The cake was more like a pound cake texture but it did stay moist and held up nicely with the cream cheese topping I made. I recommend this recipe.
I tried your pineapple cake recipe today. I followed the recipe. I think it tastes good. The texture is also good. like the other comments above, i find the cake quite dense and almost like a pound cake,but still tastes really good. And its also moist in the inside. So, I am happy with the result. I am thinking whether to add whip cream on top or not. Thank you for this recipe. I’ll make it again.
June Peters says
We loved this moist pineapple cake. Topped with fresh strawberries it makes a beautiful dessert. Of course Cool Whip is good for this too. I seldom make icing for any cake.
It was overall good but it had a little weird tast
Smita Das gupta says
Can I use cake wheat flour instead of all purpose flour??
Jennifer Farley says
I would skip the wheat flour and stick with AP. Some people already find this cake to be a bit dense, and wheat flour would definitely yield a *more* dense cake.
Is this recipe too moist to frost with buttercream? I have a request for a pineapple cake but decorated with buttercream.