The Perfect Summer Piña Colada Cake

There are a few summer birthdays in our family (mine included!), and warm, sunny birthday celebrations call for light and fruity cakes that remind you of holidays!

One particularly successful recipe that I tried out recently was a piña colada cake that went down a treat for Mum’s birthday. A light and fluffy coconut sponge, combined with a tropical pineapple upside down cake, and topped off with a slightly boozy spiced rum caramel glaze. It was a mixture of different recipes that I brought together and hoped for the best. And I’m happy to say it worked… and it worked well! So, here is the recipe – I recommend you give it a try:


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 250g chopped butter
  • 4-6 tablespoons of spiced rum
  • 440g canned pineapple slices, drained
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan-assisted).
  2. Grease and line your baking tin with baking paper. A 22cm diameter tin is ideal and it’s best to use a tin without a removable bottom as your caramel might leak out (trust me – I made that mistake so you don’t have to!)
  3. Over a low heat, melt 1 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan with 100g of butter. Stir regularly until the sugar has melted and doesn’t feel gritty any more. When you have a smooth caramel, add 3-6 tablespoons of spiced rum (depending on how boozy you want it). Stir in and remove from the heat.
  4. Pour half of your caramel mix into the base of your lined cake tin and arrange your pineapple rings on top. Be careful not to touch the caramel – it’s hot! Set the remaining caramel aside for later.
  5. Setting your cake tin aside, you can now start mixing your cake batter. Beat 150g softened butter with 1 cup of caster sugar until light and fluffy. It’s quicker and easier if your butter is at room temperature.
  6. Next, add the eggs one at a time, beating well to combine into the mixture, and add a few drops of vanilla essence.
  7. Add half the milk, coconut and flour with a pinch of salt. Fold into the mixture with a large metal spoon until just combined, then repeat with the remaining milk, coconut and flour.
    Tip: sift the flour into your mixing bowl to add air and volume to your cake and don’t over mix your cake batter otherwise you’ll knock all the air bubbles out and end up with a pancake.
  8. Spread your cake mix on top of your pineapple rings and caramel in your lined cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55-60 minutes until golden.
  9. Check your cake is cooked through by inserting a skewer to make sure it comes out clean. Then, leave your cake to cool in the tin until it is cool enough to touch.
  10. Place a plate over your cake tin and carefully flip your cake over to turn it out upside down. Remove the baking paper to reveal your pineapple rings, and use a skewer to poke holes into the sponge, being careful not to push right through to the plate. Warm your remaining caramel and pour it over the top before serving.

This piña colada cake is best served warm, but it’s also delicious cold too. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche flavoured with a hint of icing sugar, cinnamon and lime zest for a delicious summer cocktail cake that will go down a storm!

Happy baking xx

3 thoughts on “The Perfect Summer Piña Colada Cake

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