Pina Colada Cake

Pina Colada Cake is one of our all time favorite desserts. This lovely poke cake is absolutely heavenly. After a cake mix with pudding is baked, you poke holes in the cake and add a can of condensed milk. Then you poke more holes in the cake and add a can of cream of coconut. After covering the cake with whipped topping, you then add toasted coconut, or colored coconut for festive holiday occasions. The cake is moist, delicious and just wonderful. For even more decadent flavor add a can of drained crushed pineapple over top of the cake before adding the whipped topping!

Years ago when we were newly married our Sunday school teachers would have us over for dinner occasionally. Harriett was a fabulous cook. Everything she made was delightful. I collected several recipes from her including this scrumptious cake when she made it for us for dinner one evening. Even though the name is Pina Colada Cake, there is no pineapple or booze in the recipe. But it has loads of coconut flavor due to the can of cream of coconut that your pour into the holes. Cream of Coconut is not alcoholic but it is usually found in the section of the grocery store where the mixers for daiquiries and other sweet drinks are found. Very infrequently I’ve located it next to evaporated milk. It is NOT the same thing as coconut milk.

In the 1980s I made up a hand-written recipe book for my mother-in-law with about 100 of my favorite recipes. This recipe was in that book, and she has probably made this cake more times than I have! She takes it to almost every potluck she attends. It’s always very well received. Truly, this cake is special–especially if you’re a coconut lover like me.

If you’re looking for a wonderfully festive cake for holidays, birthdays, or any other special occasion, then bake up one of these poke cakes sometime soon. Color the coconut on top for whatever holiday color is appropriate. Pina Colada Cake is really easy to make, too. For the little bit of effort you have to put in to make this dessert, it has a really big pay off! Enjoy.

Pina Colada Cake is a featured recipe on Recipe Lion. See the post here.

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Pina Colada Cake is one of the most scrumptious cakes you will ever taste.

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Pina Colada Cake is loaded with coconut flavor and taste. Because condensed milk and cream of coconut is poured into holes in the cake, the cake turns out extremely moist.

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Pina Colada Cake is a great dessert for any occasion.

 

Here’s what I did.

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These are the ingredients I used to make this cake. For the actual cake I added 3 eggs, butter, and substituted half-and-half for the water in the recipe to make it a little richer. Also, since my cake mix didn’t have pudding in the mix, I added French vanilla pudding mix.

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Place cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, softened butter, and half and half in a large mixing bowl.

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Mix with an electric mixer until well combined.

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Grease a 9×13″ glass baking dish. Add cake batter and bake according to package directions–usually about 25-30 minutes.

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Here the cake has been baked.

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Poke holes in the cake and add a can of condensed milk. Spread the milk into the holes until all the condensed milk has absorbed into the cake. Allow cake to cool an additional 10 minutes.

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Poke more holes into the cake with the straw. Stir the cream of coconut really well and then pour the contents of the can over top of the cake. Spread the cream of coconut with a knife filling in the holes in the cake until all the cream of coconut has been absorbed.

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Allow cake to cool completely. Then spread with Cool Whip. Toast a half cup of coconut in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350 for about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle toasted coconut over top of whipped topping.

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For holidays you can color the coconut–red or green for Christmas, orange for Halloween, pink for easter, lime green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. 

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You will enjoy every mouthful of Pina Colada Cake.

 

Here’s the recipe.

PINA COLADA CAKE

(Recipe adapted from Harriett Brown, when we attended First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Largo, FL)

Print Recipe
Pina Colada Cake BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Heavenly poke cake recipe that's filled with lots of coconut flavor. This lovely and festive cake is moist and delicious. Color the coconut on top with holiday colors if desired.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bake one yellow cake mix with pudding as directed for a 9x13” baking pan, except substitute half-and-half for the water in the recipe.
  2. As soon as cake comes from oven, poke holes about every two inches apart throughout the cake with a straw.
  3. Pour a can of condensed milk over top, spreading so every hole is filled.
  4. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Poke more holes in the cake and pour a can of cream of coconut over top.
  6. Cool cake completely.
  7. Spread a 12-or 16-oz container of cool whip over top, then sprinkle with coconut on top as desired.
  8. Refrigerate.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: I only had regular cake mix on hand, so I used that and a box of instant vanilla pudding mix.

NOTE: I substituted half-and-half for the water in the recipe on the back of the box for richer cake.

NOTE: You can usually find Cream of Coconut in the section of the store where they sell Daiquiri mixes and other liqueurs, though there is no alcoholic content in it. Be sure to shake or stir the can really well before pouring over the top as it settles to the bottom easily.

NOTE: During holiday seasons I color the coconut in red and green.

NOTE: You CANNOT substitute coconut milk for the cream of coconut in this recipe.

NOTE: To make the original cake I used the cake mix, half-and-half, eggs and butter according to the package directions. Some cake mixes call for oil but I used butter instead.

NOTE: If desired, you can add a can of drained, crushed pineapple to the cake before you spread it with Cool Whip.

 

[b]Pina Colada Cake[/b]
Recipe Type: Cakes and Cheesecakes
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Harriett Brown, when we attended First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Largo, FL
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 15
Heavenly poke cake recipe that’s filled with lots of coconut flavor. This lovely and festive cake is moist and delicious. Color the coconut on top with holiday colors if desired.
Ingredients
  • Yellow cake mix with pudding in batter
  • half-and-half
  • 14-oz, can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can cream of coconut
  • 12-oz. cool whip
  • Coconut, as desired
  • 1 flexible straw
Instructions
  1. Bake one yellow cake mix with pudding as directed for a 9×13” baking pan, except substitute half-and-half for the water in the recipe.
  2. As soon as cake comes from oven, poke holes about every two inches apart throughout the cake with a straw.
  3. Pour a can of condensed milk over top, spreading so every hole is filled.
  4. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Poke more holes in the cake and pour a can of cream of coconut over top.
  6. Cool cake completely.
  7. Spread a 12-or 16-oz container of cool whip over top, then sprinkle with coconut on top as desired.
  8. Refrigerate.
Notes
I only had regular cake mix on hand, so I used that and a box of instant vanilla pudding mix. [br][br]I substituted half-and-half for the water in the recipe on the back of the box for richer cake. [br][br]You can usually find Cream of Coconut in the section of the store where they sell Daiquiri mixes and other liqueurs, though there is no alcoholic content in it. Be sure to shake or stir the can really well before pouring over the top as it settles to the bottom easily. [br][br]During holiday seasons I color the coconut in red and green.[br][br]You CANNOT substitute coconut milk for the cream of coconut in this recipe.[br][br]To make the original cake I used the cake mix, half-and-half, eggs and butter according to the package directions. Some cake mixes call for oil but I used butter instead.

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Pina Colada Cake is not made with either pineapple or rum which are both found in pina coladas, but it’s still a marvelous cake.

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Doesn’t Pina Colada Cake look spectacular? If you like coconut you will love this cake.

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75 Replies to "Pina Colada Cake"

  • comment-avatar
    Tara Vance March 23, 2017 (1:27 pm)

    My store didn’t have the canned Cream of Coconut. They have a bottle that is 16.9 fl. oz. How many ounces are in the can?

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 23, 2017 (8:33 pm)

      Hi, Tara, I think the can is about 12 to 14 ounces. However, if it was me, I would probably still use ALL of it. It will provide even richer flavor. Just make sure you shake it really well before using it, as this stuff tends to settle when it’s been sitting on a shelf for awhile. Enjoy.

      • comment-avatar
        Tara Vance March 24, 2017 (3:54 pm)

        Thank you! I’ve got the cake in the oven right now. 😀

  • comment-avatar
    Cath February 19, 2017 (8:28 am)

    I’ve been making Pina Colada cake for years with a recipe that is really tasty but really easy. Here’s how:
    Pour a box of angel food cake into a bowl. Add a can of pineapple. Mix all together. Add a teaspoon of coconut flavoring. Pour into a baking dish and bake according to package directions. Frost with cool whip, toasted coconut.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa February 20, 2017 (1:58 pm)

      Hi, Cath. I love the idea of using coconut flavoring. I bet that really amps up the flavor too. Never heard of using angel food cake but that sure sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

  • comment-avatar
    Lori October 15, 2016 (3:14 pm)

    I’m going to surprise my friend with this cake, for her birthday, next week. I had to read through all other comments, only because I was concerned about all the liquid poured over. I thought, maybe I should make a trial one first. Evidently it holds up, so I’m going to dive in, and do it. I’ll post results after.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa October 18, 2016 (4:23 pm)

      It works fine Lori. The liquid absorbs into the cake making it the moistest cake ever. It’s amazing.

  • comment-avatar
    Andrea P July 20, 2016 (1:41 pm)

    I thought the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk was too much. Instead, I did whole can of the cream of coconut and added about 1/4 of the can of milk. I also added crushed pineapple to to the top of the cake after it cooled followed by the cool whip and toasted coconut. It came out amazing! Great recipe!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa July 20, 2016 (2:56 pm)

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe, Andrea. Everyone who makes it usually loves it! Thanks for stopping by.

  • comment-avatar
    Marie June 18, 2016 (11:45 pm)

    Hi, just a question. I couldn’t find any cream of coconut anywhere but I did find coconut cream. I looked up the difference between the two and I just wanted to ask your thoughts on substituting the one for the other. Coconut cream is very thick and doesn’t have any sugar added. I’m thinking of diluting it with maybe milk and adding some sugar. Tell me what you think. Thanks

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa June 19, 2016 (7:28 am)

      Hi, Marie. The only place you will find cream of coconut is usually in the alcohol section (even though it’s non-alcoholic) next to the daiquiri mixes. That assumes you have a grocery store nearby that actually sells wine and alcohol. It is like sweetened condensed milk on steroids but with coconut. I don’t think the coconut cream will work because it won’t have the sugar content. If you still can’t locate cream of coconut, I would probably use the coconut cream as is without diluting it (Unless it is totally unspreadable) and adding at least a half cup of powdered sugar to it. Taste and see how sweet it is. Add more if necessary. Hope this works.

      • comment-avatar
        Marie June 19, 2016 (3:43 pm)

        Update. I went ahead and used coconut cream and pureed it with one cup of frozen pineapple chunks and some powdered sugar and it tastes amazing!

        • comment-avatar
          Teresa June 19, 2016 (4:49 pm)

          Yay! Marie I’m so glad it turned out so well for you. The nice thing about this dessert is it will keep in the refrigerator for a week (if it lasts that long!)

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  • comment-avatar
    Sharon May 3, 2016 (8:22 am)

    Have you ever been looking/reading a scrumptous recipe, like this one and notice yourself smacking your lips?!!! I did it while reading this !! I can’t wait to make it!!

    I love your web site/blog!! Keep adding more recipes here!!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa May 3, 2016 (9:58 am)

      Thanks, Sharon. I think I have over 1,200 recipes on my blog, so feel free to salivate over each one. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    melanie March 27, 2016 (4:35 pm)

    SO yummy using a pineapple supreme cake mix with a vanilla pudding mixed in

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 29, 2016 (3:37 pm)

      Wow, Melanie, I LUV the idea of using a pineapple supreme cake mix. I bet this cake was a winner!

  • comment-avatar
    Sara March 25, 2016 (2:31 pm)

    Will this cake set well overnight? I’m ready to make it for my mom’s birthday but wondering if I should just do it all tomorrow morning and let it cool just prior to serving or if I can get away with making it tonight…not sure if it will get too soggy for so long in the fridge. I keep seeing these poke recipes on Pinterest so this is my first attempt. Can’t go wrong with coconut 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 25, 2016 (7:28 pm)

      It will be fine, Sara, if you set it over night. I usually make it 24 hours in advance. It will keep several days in the fridge (assuming it lasts that long). I don’t think it will get too soggy.

  • comment-avatar
    Mari March 19, 2016 (6:11 pm)

    I have been baking this cake for years. Everyone loves it. I add a cup of shredded coconut to the cake mix. Once the cake completely cools I poke holes throughout the entire cake and then add 1 can of Goya piña colada mix. I put it in the fridge and before I serve it – I add the cool whip and then the shredded coconut. It’s always a big hit.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 19, 2016 (7:46 pm)

      Sounds wonderful, Mari. I’m sure it is a big hit with everyone.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve March 7, 2016 (7:32 pm)

    This was a great cake. I folded in at the end some coconut and chunk pineapple….delicious. I also used real whipped cream….stabilized. Sorry, none of that Cool Whip junk for me.
    Teresa…..I see someone else asked about butter. If you take a look at the first pic and the ingredients in the bowl, it shows about a quarter stick of butter. And below the picture, you include butter in your ingredients, altho its not listed in your recipe. I didn’t use it. Thought you might want to be aware of the discrepancy.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa March 7, 2016 (8:29 pm)

      Hi, Steve. When making the original cake, I used the cake mix, plus the half-and-half, eggs and butter (you can also use oil) according to the cake mix directions. I’ve clarified the directions so it is a little easier to follow. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. So glad you enjoyed the cake. I think adding coconut and pineapple are great additions. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  • comment-avatar
    mrs. g February 3, 2016 (12:35 pm)

    I’m truly intrigue by these recipe., football game coming up and I saw us cake, n I love it; I will be doing for all family
    But never heard of “half and half” …. What is that?.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa February 3, 2016 (4:27 pm)

      It’s half cream and half whole milk. Hope you enjoy.

  • comment-avatar
    Anonymous November 23, 2015 (6:29 pm)

    Does it need to be refrigerated?

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 24, 2015 (11:39 am)

      Yes, because of the whipped topping.

  • comment-avatar
    Candi November 14, 2015 (6:51 pm)

    This is absolutely the best cake ever! I have made it twice and the second time I used almond joy creamer because the store closest to me didn’t have coconut milk and my son really wanted me to make this again. It worked out great also. Make sure you toast your coconut before you top it on the cool whip.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 15, 2015 (4:55 pm)

      Thanks, Candi. I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake. I bet the Almond Joy creamer was spectacular. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Patricia November 3, 2015 (10:42 am)

    The Pinacolada cake sounds wonderful, but like the other comments say, shouldn’t it have some pineapple in it. I think I will do the same with this recipe as I do with my pineapple upside down cake and use a small can of pineapple juice as the liquid in the cake mix

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 3, 2015 (10:46 am)

      Hi, Patricia. I received this cake recipe back in the late 70s, so I’ve always made it the way it was in the original recipe. I think pineapple would be a great addition.

    • comment-avatar
      Dorothy March 20, 2016 (1:06 am)

      I have made this cake for years and it is delicious as is. However, after some experimenting I used crushed pineapple and brown sugar mixed well and at the bottom of the pan before pouring the batter into it. I used the juice of the pineapple in the batter. It is awesome that way.

      • comment-avatar
        Teresa March 21, 2016 (12:08 pm)

        Wow, Dorothy, that sounds wonderful. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas with me.

  • comment-avatar
    Maria July 24, 2015 (2:36 pm)

    Do you know if this cake can be frozen?? It sounds wonderful but would be too much for us!

  • comment-avatar
    Wilma Hartzler July 10, 2015 (5:23 pm)

    Am anxious to try this recipe. If you choose to add pineapple just use one small can of crushed pineapple with juice, one box of instant vanilla pudding. mix and add to the Cool Whip, i have used this with a Mandarin Orange cake that I make and it is delicious. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful recipes..

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa July 11, 2015 (9:57 am)

      Hi, Wilma. I’m sure you could add the pineapple to the cake mix, but I think I would drain it and put it on after poking holes in the cake and adding the condensed milk and the cream of coconut. Then just spread it over the top of the cake before adding the cool whip topping. I think you will get a fuller effect that way.

  • comment-avatar
    Juli May 25, 2015 (1:36 pm)

    I made this cake and it is fantastic! I used Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow cake mix so I didn’t need to add pudding or anything to make it better. I use this same cake mix for Tres Leche as well. I also shaved the thin brown layer off the top of the cake so the milks seep down throughout the cake. Everyone at work loved it!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa May 25, 2015 (2:29 pm)

      Hi, Juli. I’m so glad you and all the folks at your work loved this dessert. You can also add crushed pineapple before the cool whip on top, if you like. My mother-in-law makes this cake for every potluck she goes to and never comes back with any leftovers! 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Kathy Z. May 14, 2015 (7:35 pm)

    I’ve never known of a Pina colada cake without pina (pineapple)

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa May 15, 2015 (12:09 pm)

      I know, Kathy. It’s strange, isn’t it? This is a very old recipe from a friend from back in the late 70s and early 80s when pina colada desserts were not very popular like they are today. I personally think crushed pineapple would be excellent on it before putting the cool whip on top.

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  • comment-avatar
    Dale Taylor January 13, 2015 (4:32 pm)

    Recipe looks awesome! Anxious to make it!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa January 13, 2015 (6:33 pm)

      Thanks, Dale. Hope you enjoy it.

  • comment-avatar
    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting December 8, 2014 (6:30 pm)

    This cake looks INCREDIBLE!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 8, 2014 (9:15 pm)

      Thanks, Julianne. It really is incredible. Thanks so much for stopping by. I really enjoy your blog.

  • comment-avatar
    Cindy December 6, 2014 (7:50 pm)

    What does the sweetened condensed milk do to the cake? My mom used to make this all the time I was growing up but she only used the cream of coconut. It tastes great this way!!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa December 6, 2014 (8:52 pm)

      Thanks, Cindy, for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your comments. Sweetened condensed milk adds so much extra flavor and sugar! I’ve only made it using both sweetened condensed milk and the cream of coconut. They both saturate the cake making it unbelievable!

  • comment-avatar
    Kimberly November 28, 2014 (4:32 pm)

    In your recipe, you’ve listed ‘condensed milk’. In the photos, I see Sweetened Condensed Milk; which is it? There IS a difference! 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa November 28, 2014 (8:29 pm)

      I’m sorry, Kimberly, I never knew there was a difference! I will adjust the recipe to make sure it says sweetened condensed milk. Thanks for the correction. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

      • comment-avatar
        Cindy December 6, 2014 (7:54 pm)

        Sweetened condensed milk and condensed milk are the same thing. Otherwise it would of said evaporated milk!!

        • comment-avatar
          Teresa December 6, 2014 (8:50 pm)

          Thanks, Cindy.

    • comment-avatar
      Bobbie March 18, 2016 (2:36 pm)

      Kimberly, Condensed Milk and Sweetened Condensed Milk are the same product.

      • comment-avatar
        Teresa March 19, 2016 (7:47 pm)

        Thanks, Bobbie.

  • comment-avatar
    rafy October 15, 2014 (3:21 am)

    Hi! great cake! i know is a pina colada cake but like you said is an old recipe and use only coconut cream and condensed milk for this recipe, you can also mix a half of coconut cream and a half of pineapple juice taste the mix and add this mix to the cake and you have the pina colada cake is more easy to make and don’t have to look for the pineapple cake mix, it would be moist and pinacolada real flavor and you can put some maraschino cherries (for garnish), thank’s for this recipe

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa October 15, 2014 (7:11 am)

      Yes, Rafy, I love all those ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  • comment-avatar
    Angelina October 1, 2014 (8:16 am)

    I’d make this, but I wish that II had the Nutritional Value of 1 piece of this cake. I gotta say, it does sound phenomenal!

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa October 1, 2014 (3:17 pm)

      Angelina, I’m sorry, I don’t have that info. Try putting the ingredients into an online program that records that information and divide by 12 or 15 pieces and that should be close to what the caloric info is.

  • comment-avatar
    Amy B August 8, 2014 (4:46 pm)

    Could you use Rum instead of water or half and half to give adults the full experience? : )

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa August 8, 2014 (5:14 pm)

      Yes, if it’s in the part that’s baked. The rum will cook off as it baked though you will still get the essence. You can also garnish with maraschino cherries. 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Denise August 5, 2014 (11:48 pm)

    I was wonderinv how much butter you added to the recipe. Also, did u just mix in thr pudding powder or did u mix that with milk also. Im.excited to try this recipe.

  • comment-avatar
    Denise August 5, 2014 (11:46 pm)

    I was wondering how much butter u added to the recipe? And also do u iust add the pudding powder or do you

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa August 6, 2014 (8:24 am)

      Denise, I don’t use any butter in this recipe. Most yellow cake mixes call for 1/3 cup oil and that’s what I used. Normally I purchase a yellow cake mix that already has the pudding. For the one in this post I didn’t have one on hand so I used a plain yellow cake mix and added a 3-oz. box of instant vanilla pudding powder at the same time I put the cake mix in the bowl. I hope this helps. Enjoy your cake!

  • comment-avatar
    Gloria July 2, 2014 (9:43 pm)

    I tried it this cake but used a pineapple cake mix with a box of instant coconut pudding, following all other directions. This cake is sinful! Just the best and so moist. Thanks for posting all other wonderful recipes, think l will be changing size in my clothing..yummy just looking at the pictures.

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa July 3, 2014 (7:28 am)

      Wow, Gloria, I didn’t even know you could find a pineapple cake mix! Sounds scrumptious. I’m glad it turned out so well for you and your family.

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  • comment-avatar
    Natalie Baker May 15, 2014 (3:44 pm)

    I don’t see any pineapple in this! I make one this way and just call it coconut cake and my pina colada cake has all this, plus drained crushed pineapple added to the top after the cream of coconut and the condensed milk, but before the cool whip. Both are great cakes !

    • comment-avatar
      Teresa May 15, 2014 (8:11 pm)

      Hey, Natalie, I always thought it was weird that this cake didn’t have crushed pineapple in it either (or a cherry on top!) But it’s an old recipe and that’s the way it came. I do think I would enjoy making it your way a lot, though. Thanks for sharing the idea.

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