Pixelated Crumb

Piña Colada Cake

Pina Colada Cake

Remember the strawberry starburst cake that I made for the wedding shower for two work friends? Well, it was a potluck dinner and I was one of three people bringing dessert, yet I still found it necessary to make two cakes because I always worry about there being enough food (and yet there is always, always way too much). See, the strawberry cake is only a single decker (as I call one layer cakes) and the thought of being responsible for a dessert shortage at a function just terrifies me. So I figured, why not make another easy single decker?

Pina Colada Cake

This piña colada cake had already made my shortlist for my dessert for the shower, but I was just so excited about really good strawberries at the market that I couldn’t pass up the strawberry cake. The more I thought about it, I couldn’t not make this piña colada cake. It just made sense in so many ways! The shower itself was a stock-the-bar party (we gave each couple a pretty impressive amount of booze) so a cake inspired (and spiked!) with alcohol seemed apropos. And it’s so easy to throw it together that there’s really no reason not to make it.

Pina Colada Cake Brushed with Rum

The cake gets a splash of rum three times over: it’s baked into the cake, drizzled onto the cake when it comes out of the oven, and yup, it’s in the glaze too. The cream of coconut and the juice and little bits of pineapple make this the perfect solid form of what is already a perfect drink. It’s moist, mildly boozy, and conjures up images of sandy Puerto Rican beaches. What more could you want (you know, other than actually being on said Puerto Rican beaches)?

Pina Colada Cake

Did we end up with way too much dessert? Yes. Could I have easily gotten away with just the strawberry cake? Absolutely. Would I do it any other way? And miss getting to try this cake? Never!

Print Recipe

Piña Colada Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen



To brush over the cake



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the rum and the cream of coconut. Add half the flour and when it’s nearly all incorporated, add the second half. Mix only until flour is just incorporated. Fold in bits of pineapple with a rubber spatula.

  3. Spread the batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment. Brush the cake with rum or pineapple juice while the cake is still hot for extra flavor.

  4. Cool the cake completely. Whisk together the powdered sugar, salt, and 2 teaspoons pineapple juice and 2 teaspoons rum. Thin the glaze only as needed, adding additional pineapple juice or rum a teaspoon at a time until the glaze is just thick enough to pour. Pour the glaze on to the middle of cake and if necessary, spread with a spatula until the top is covered. Serve immediately or let it set in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.