Pineapple Sunshine Cake with Pineapple Fluff Frosting

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The best pineapple sunshine cake from scratch. Topped with a dreamy crushed pineapple fluff frosting, this dessert recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Pineapple cake is one simple dessert you can make in a pinch. And what I love most about this dessert is the light, angel lush, pineapple fluff frosting on top of the cake.

slice of pineapple sunshine cake topped with pineapple fluff frosting and shredded coconut on gray plate with fork

That whipped pudding topping really adds a refreshment factor to this very yummy dessert. Nothing about this cake is heavy or dense, but it does have the most incredible pineapple flavor.

While you can make this pineapple sunshine cake recipe with a cake mix, I highly recommend making it from scratch with just a handful of ingredients, including crushed pineapple. Even making it homemade, it's super easy to make.

While I do like to add nuts to my cake batter, they are totally optional. I guess you could say the same for the shredded coconut and maraschino cherries I like to sprinkle or add on top of each slice.

This southern pineapple cake, along with homemade carrot sheet cake, is the perfect dessert for Easter Sunday get togethers.

A few of my other favorite easy cake recipes include strawberry Jello cake, pumpkin pear spice cake, and my grandmother's lemon cake.

pineapple cake, sliced and plated on gray plate with fork, on top of blue and white checkered tablecloth, with fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries, and cake pan behind

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my baking tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the pineapple cake recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

Remember, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

pineapple cake ingredients, including flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla extract, crushed pineapple, walnuts, whipped cream, and vanilla pudding mix

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer with Large Bowl

Whisk

9″x13″ Cake Pan

Wire Rack

Cake Tester

HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE SUNSHINE CAKE

Before you get started mixing up your cake batter, be sure to preheat your oven to 350° F, and grease a 9″x13″ cake pan with cooking spray (or shortening/flour).

To mix up the batter…

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the flour, sugar, and baking soda 'til well combined.
  2. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and pineapple (do not drain the pineapple), mixing everything together well.
  3. Fold the nuts into the cake batter (optional step).
  4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan, and bake at 350° F for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
steps for how to make pineapple sunshine cake in light teal colored bowl with whisk and hand mixer, folding nuts into cake batter with spatula, and spreading cake batter in 9x13 baking dish

Once your crushed pineapple cake is fully baked, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

Now to make the whipped pineapple frosting…

  1. Add the crushed pineapple to a large bowl. Do not drain the pineapple.
  2. Whisk the pudding mix into the crushed pineapple 'til well combined.
  3. Let the pudding mixture sit for about 2 minutes.
  4. Then gently fold the whipped topping or whipped cream into the mixture 'til smooth.
steps for how to make pineapple fluff frosting in light teal colored bowl with gray spatula, including mixing together crushed pineapple, instant vanilla pudding mix, and whipped cream

Now you can frost your pineapple cake and garnish with toppings like shredded coconut, extra nuts, maraschino cherries, and/or fresh pineapple.

easy pineapple cake in light blue cake pan with teal bowl of whipped pudding topping and spatula

Be sure to refrigerate the cake topped with angel lush frosting for at least 30 minutes before serving; and be sure to store any leftover cake in the refrigerator, as well.

You can make this easy pineapple cake ahead of time, preferably no longer than the day before unless you're freezing it.

CAN PINEAPPLE CAKE BE FROZEN?

Yes, this cake can definitely be frozen. But I'd wait to make the frosting when you're ready to actually serve the cake.

Just be sure to store pineapple cake in an airtight cake pan or cover it with plastic wrap and foil for protection while in the freezer.

southern pineapple cake in pan with fresh pineapple and maraschino cherries on wood cutting board, and slice of pineapple cake, topped with frosting and shredded coconut, on light blue plate with fork

ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENT OPTIONS

If you wanna really twist things up, instead of pineapple, you can use mandarin oranges, canned peaches, etc. I'd be tempted to also try making this with crushed strawberries.

Or maybe mix it up with two different kinds of fruits. Strawberries and pineapple would be fantastic… Maybe pineapple in the cake and strawberries in the whipped pudding topping.

Just be sure whatever fruit you choose is canned in 100% fruit juice and not in a syrup. Or if using strawberries, maybe lean toward fresh so you don't have all the added water from frozen fruit.

slice of easy pineapple cake, topped with toasted coconut, on gray plate with fork on blue checkered tablecloth

CAN I MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE?

Now I'll be honest. I have not tried making this cake gluten-free.

That being said, I'd probably trial it like I have other cake recipes, and I'd make it with a good gluten-free cake flour. I might add a little bit of xanthan gum, as well, depending on if the flour already includes it.

Of course, you also want to check other ingredients to make sure that everything is safe to consume for a gluten intolerance/allergy.

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

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pineapple sunshine cake recipe

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Yield: 16

Pineapple Sunshine Cake with Pineapple Fluff Frosting

Pineapple Sunshine Cake with Pineapple Fluff Frosting

The best pineapple sunshine cake from scratch. Topped with a dreamy crushed pineapple fluff frosting, this dessert recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Pineapple Fluff Frosting:

Garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Before you get started mixing up your cake batter, be sure to preheat your oven to 350° F, and grease a 9″x13″ cake pan with cooking spray (or shortening/flour).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including the flour, sugar, and baking soda 'til well combined.
  3. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and pineapple (do not drain the pineapple), mixing everything together well.
  4. Fold the nuts into the cake batter (optional step).
  5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan, and bake at 350° F for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Once your crushed pineapple cake is fully baked, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. To make the frosting, add the crushed pineapple to a large bowlDo not drain the pineapple.
  8. Whisk the pudding mix into the crushed pineapple 'til well combined.
  9. Let the pudding mixture sit for about 2 minutes.
  10. Then gently fold the whipped topping or whipped cream into the mixture 'til smooth.
  11. Now you can frost your pineapple cake and garnish with toppings like shredded coconut, extra nuts, maraschino cherries, and/or fresh pineapple.
  12. Be sure to refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before serving; and be sure to store any leftover cake in the refrigerator, as well.

Notes

*Or you can use chopped walnuts.

*You can use the whipped topping of your choice.

You can make this cake ahead of time, preferably no longer than the day before unless you're freezing it.

CAN PINEAPPLE CAKE BE FROZEN?

Yes, the cake can definitely be frozen. But I'd wait to make the frosting when you're ready to actually serve the cake. Just be sure to store the cake in an airtight cake pan or cover it with plastic wrap and foil for protection while in the freezer.

ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENT OPTIONS

If you wanna really twist things up, instead of pineapple, you can use mandarin orangescanned peaches, etc. I'd be tempted to also try making this with crushed strawberries. Or maybe mix it up with two different kinds of fruits. Strawberries and pineapple would be fantastic… Maybe pineapple in the cake and strawberries in the whipped pudding topping.

Just be sure whatever fruit you choose is canned in 100% fruit juice and not in a syrup. Or if using strawberries, maybe lean toward fresh so you don't have all the added water from frozen fruit.

CAN I MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE?

Now I'll be honest. I have not tried making this cake gluten-free. That being said, I'd probably trial it like I have other cake recipes, and I'd make it with a good gluten-free cake flour. I might add a little bit of xanthan gum, as well, depending if the flour already includes it.

Of course, you also want to check other ingredients to make sure that everything is safe to consume for a gluten intolerance/allergy.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 31gProtein: 3g

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