Southern Pineapple Cake

Southern Pineapple Cake stands as a testament to the rich culinary traditions of the South, blending sweetness, moisture, and a tropical flair into every slice. This dessert, perfect for any gathering or special occasion, embodies comfort food at its finest, offering a sweet escape with its fruity and moist layers topped with a creamy frosting.

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Southern Pineapple Cake

  • Author: recipstep
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A classic dessert that captures the essence of Southern hospitality, this Southern Pineapple Cake combines moist cake layers with the tangy sweetness of pineapple and a rich, creamy frosting. It’s a perfect treat for any occasion, from family gatherings to special celebrations.



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
120 oz can crushed pineapple (with juice)
For the Topping:
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup coconut flakes


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease or spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, and crushed pineapple with juice until well combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the topping, heat butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar in a saucepan until it boils over medium-high heat.
Stir in pecans or walnuts and coconut, continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken slightly.
Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes all over the top, and spread the topping evenly over the warm cake. Let cool before serving.


  • For a less sweet cake, reduce the amount of sugar in both the cake and frosting.
  • Fresh pineapple can be used instead of canned; ensure it’s finely chopped.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Southern


  • Calories: 530
  • Sugar: 65g
  • Sodium: 430mg
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 85g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 75mg

Southern Pineapple Cake

FAQs about Southern Pineapple Cake

Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned? Yes, you can use fresh pineapple. Make sure to chop it finely and measure it to match the quantity of canned pineapple required by the recipe. Fresh pineapple might add a bit more texture and freshness to the cake.

What can I substitute for the cream cheese in the frosting? If you’re not a fan of cream cheese or simply want a different option, mascarpone cheese is a great substitute that will still give you a creamy and rich frosting. For a lighter option, whipped cream frosting can also complement the cake well.

How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the pan? Grease your baking pan thoroughly with butter or non-stick spray, and consider lining the bottom with parchment paper for an extra layer of security. This will make it much easier to remove the cake once it’s baked.

Is it possible to make this cake less sweet? Absolutely. You can reduce the amount of sugar in the cake batter. For the frosting, decreasing the powdered sugar will lessen the sweetness, though this may also affect the texture slightly.

Can this cake be made in advance? Yes, this cake keeps well. You can bake the cake, cool it, and wrap it tightly to freeze for up to a month. Thaw and frost it the day you plan to serve for best results.

The Essence of the Cake

The Southern Pineapple Cake owes its irresistible charm to the combination of juicy pineapples and traditional cake ingredients. The pineapples not only impart a tangy sweetness but also ensure the cake remains wonderfully moist. This cake, often adorned with a luscious cream cheese frosting, pecans, and sometimes coconut, delivers a complex flavor profile and a delightful texture contrast.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the cake:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (20 oz) of crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Additional chopped pecans and shredded coconut for garnish (optional)

Southern Pineapple Cake

Baking the Perfect Cake

To create this delightful dessert, begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and greasing a 9×13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, crushed pineapple along with its juice, and vanilla extract, mixing until well incorporated. Fold in the pecans if using. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Crafting the Cream Cheese Frosting

While the cake cools, prepare the frosting by beating together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, continuing to beat until creamy. Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting evenly over the top. For a final touch of elegance, sprinkle chopped pecans and shredded coconut over the frosting.

Serving Suggestions

The Southern Pineapple Cake shines brightest when served at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully. This cake pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk, making it a versatile dessert for various occasions. Whether it’s a casual family gathering or a more formal celebration, this cake promises to be a crowd-pleaser, inviting everyone to savor a slice of Southern hospitality.

Adapting the Recipe for Different Occasions

One of the great aspects of Southern Pineapple Cake is its versatility. For a more decadent dessert, consider adding a layer of pineapple filling between two cake layers or even turning it into cupcakes for individual servings. During the holiday season, a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg in the batter can introduce a warm, festive flavor. For summer gatherings, garnishing with fresh berries or a citrus glaze can add a refreshing twist.

Storing and Preserving Your Cake

To keep the Southern Pineapple Cake as moist and flavorful as the day it was made, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to five days. If you plan to serve the cake later, you can freeze it without the frosting for up to three months. Simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before adding the frosting and garnishes on the day you plan to serve it.

Tips for the Perfect Cake Every Time

Achieving the perfect Southern Pineapple Cake is all about balance and attention to detail. Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature before starting, as this will help them mix more thoroughly for a uniform texture. When mixing the batter, do so just until the ingredients are combined to avoid overworking the flour and ending up with a dense cake. Lastly, letting the cake cool completely before frosting is crucial to prevent the frosting from melting and sliding off.

Engaging the Community with Your Baking

Baking is not just about the delicious end product; it’s also about the joy and connections it fosters. Share your Southern Pineapple Cake at community events, potlucks, or as a thoughtful gift to neighbors and friends. Baking for others is a heartfelt way to show care and bring people together, and this cake, with its rich flavors and moist texture, is sure to become a much-requested favorite.

Southern Pineapple Cake

Celebrating Tradition Through Taste

The Southern Pineapple Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of tradition, warmth, and the simple joy of sharing good food with loved ones. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its delightful taste and the sense of comfort it brings to any table. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this cake offers the perfect opportunity to dive into Southern baking traditions and create lasting memories.

Exploring Variations to Suit Every Palate

For those eager to experiment, the Southern Pineapple Cake offers a canvas for creativity. By incorporating different fruits like mango or peach, you can introduce new flavors while maintaining the cake’s signature moisture. Alternatively, for a nuttier texture and taste, swap pecans for walnuts or almonds. If you’re looking to cut down on sugar, try reducing the sugar amount and adding a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup. These variations not only cater to diverse tastes but also keep the tradition alive with a personal touch.

Mastering the Art of Presentation

Presentation plays a key role in making your Southern Pineapple Cake the star of any dining table. A beautifully frosted cake, garnished with a crown of pecans and a sprinkle of toasted coconut, can elevate the visual appeal. For an elegant touch, serve each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and a few slices of fresh pineapple on the side. Remember, the way you present your cake can turn it from a simple dessert into a show-stopping centerpiece.

The Joy of Baking Together

Baking can be a solitary activity, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity to bond with family and friends. Inviting loved ones to join in the preparation of the Southern Pineapple Cake can lead to shared laughter, learning, and the creation of cherished memories. From children helping to mix the batter to friends decorating together, these moments contribute to the richness of the baking experience, making the final product all the more special.

Embracing Feedback for Continuous Improvement

Every baker knows the importance of feedback in perfecting their craft. After serving your Southern Pineapple Cake, take the time to ask your guests for their honest opinions. What did they like? What could be improved? This feedback is invaluable, offering insights that can help you tweak your recipe, try new techniques, and ultimately enhance your baking skills. Moreover, it reinforces the communal spirit of cooking, where every suggestion contributes to the collective enjoyment of food.

Cultivating a Baking Legacy

The act of baking and sharing recipes like the Southern Pineapple Cake goes beyond mere cooking; it’s about preserving and passing on culinary heritage. By documenting your version of this classic recipe, whether through a family cookbook, a blog, or social media, you’re contributing to a legacy that future generations can inherit. This not only celebrates the timeless appeal of the Southern Pineapple Cake but also ensures that this cherished dish continues to bring joy and sweetness to tables for years to come.

Incorporating Seasonal Twists

As the seasons change, so can your Southern Pineapple Cake. In autumn, infuse the batter with spices like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg to complement the chill in the air. Springtime might inspire the addition of lemon or lime zest for a citrusy lift. Summer is perfect for topping the cake with fresh berries, while a caramel drizzle can warm up winter evenings. Seasonal adjustments not only keep the recipe fresh all year round but also allow you to celebrate the flavors and fruits of each season.

Navigating Dietary Restrictions with Ease

Adapting the Southern Pineapple Cake for dietary restrictions is simpler than it may seem. For gluten-free versions, use a trusted gluten-free flour blend. To cater to vegan diets, replace the eggs with applesauce or a commercial egg substitute and use vegan cream cheese and butter for the frosting. These substitutions ensure everyone can enjoy a slice, regardless of dietary limitations, making the cake as inclusive as it is delightful.

Learning from Common Baking Challenges

Even experienced bakers encounter hiccups now and then. If your cake comes out denser than expected, it might be due to overmixing the batter. A cake that’s dry could benefit from a bit less cooking time or a slightly lower oven temperature. Encountering and overcoming these challenges is part of the baking journey, providing valuable lessons that refine your skills and understanding of the craft.

Celebrating Success with Every Bake

Each time you bake a Southern Pineapple Cake, you’re not just making a dessert; you’re crafting an experience. The aroma filling the kitchen, the first slice revealing a moist, tender crumb, and the smiles of those who taste it are the true rewards of baking. Celebrating these successes, big or small, reinforces the joy of baking and encourages a continuous exploration of culinary creativity.

Fostering a Community of Bakers

Sharing your Southern Pineapple Cake adventures, from triumphant highs to educational lows, can inspire and encourage others in their baking journeys. Whether through social media, baking clubs, or community events, creating a space for bakers to exchange tips, recipes, and stories builds a supportive community. This communal spirit not only enriches your own experience but also spreads the warmth and joy that baking brings to the hearts and homes of others.


Crafting the perfect Southern Pineapple Cake is an adventure in baking that brings joy, challenges, and ultimately, delicious rewards. This cake, with its moist crumb, rich frosting, and the sweet tang of pineapple, offers a slice of the South that’s hard to resist. Whether you’re baking for a special occasion or just a weekend treat, this cake promises to be a crowd-pleaser. Remember, each cake you bake is an opportunity to learn, share, and enjoy the process. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to delight in the making and sharing of a Southern Pineapple Cake that’s sure to become a cherished recipe in your collection.

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