Pina Colada Cake

Pina coladas are probably my favourite cocktails. I simply adore the combination of pineapple and coconut, so I made this delightful cake to take along to a friend’s ‘cheese, wine and mocktail’ night. I thought it very fitting for the ‘mocktail’ part of the evening. Mind you, the mocktails we were served were absolutely to-die-for – a frozen strawberry ‘daiquiri’, a pineapple, coconut and orange concoction and a zingy mint lemonade. I quickly got out of bed the following morning (after a late night!) to search for a recipe for the most refreshing mint lemonade (a drink you find in Lebanon) and now I cannot wait to make it myself (when I can get hold of a bagful of lemons that I don’t have to pay too much for – will be knocking on my parents’ door for that one!).

We were also treated to lovely antipasto platters, Lebanese meatballs, cheesy leek Cobb dip (which hubby wants the recipe for!) and yummy mushrooms on mini-toasts to name but a few of the scrumptious finger foods. The savoury dishes were rounded off well with this yummy cake that was not too overpoweringly sweet. My friends told me they liked it but that it could have done with some more intense flavours so next time I might up the doses of rum, pineapple and coconut (will add some dessicated coconut I think).

The recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen . .

For the cake . .
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) dark rum or equivalent rum essence
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (237 ml) coconut cream
1/2 cup (72 grams) finely chopped fresh pineapple (or pineapple from a can, strained, juice reserved)

To brush over the cake . .
1 to 2 tablespoons rum/essence (optional)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice (optional)

For the glaze/icing . .
1 cup icing sugar
Pinch of table or fine sea salt
1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 175° celcius. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan (I used a springform pan) and line the bottom with a circle of baking paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat eggs, one at a time, and rum. Add coconut cream and mix; the batter will look like its curdled but just ignore. Add dry ingredients, half at a time, mixing and scraping down bowl between additions. Mix only until flour is just mixed through. Using a rubber spatula, fold in bits of pineapple.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto rack and discard baking paper.

While the cake is still hot brush it with rum or pineapple juice.

Cool cake completely at room temperature. To make the icing, place the icing sugar and salt in a small bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons pineapple juice and whisk until a thick glaze forms. Thin glaze only as needed, adding additional pineapple juice a teaspoon at a time until glaze is just thick enough to pour. Pour glaze into middle of cake and if it’s too thick to crawl to the edges itself, nudge it with a spatula until the top is covered. Serve immediately or let it set in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.


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