Happy almost weekend! To celebrate, I made you a slightly upgraded version of the classic pineapple pastry that you have 100000% eaten if you were a kid growing up in India. This particular version is a little more buttery, a little more moist and layered with freshly whipped cream, tinned pineapple for that old-school effect, and toasted coconut to finish.
Cut into giant slices, top with more pineapple if you want (of course you do), and shove big forkfuls of cake and cream straight into your mouth, without pausing. This is basically the tropical dessert we all need right now. Bonus, it slices and tastes best when chilled. Which means, summer is finally bearable.
The cake recipe is the same as this one, scaled down to fit a loaf pan but still make a cake that’s tall enough to slice into two layers. You can make this as a round layer cake too, if you use the original proportions. I use tinned, pre-cut pineapple because it’s just more convenient, plus the syrup is lovely to spread onto the lower half of the cake to help moisten it just before spreading cream on top. Fresh pineapple is totally fine too though.
I had thought of adding pineapple to the cake batter itself, but it does tend to leave some moist patches inside which I thought would be best to avoid. And then when I actually got down to baking, I totally forgot anyway, so just got more enthusiastic with the pieces on top 🙂 Don’t stuff too much pineapple into the center of the cake, because cutting it becomes really hard, the cake layers will have trouble not sliding around.
The whipped cream is unsweetened, though you can add sugar if you like and you may need it if using fresh pineapple. For me, the cake plus the tinned pineapple was sweet enough. The cream is light, airy, and rounds all of the flavours off perfectly!
It’s definitely a rich, filling cake, and going beyond a slice at a time is a little difficult, but let me know if you do 🙂
- For the cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup caster sugar
- 100 gms butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsps vanilla extract
- For the filling and topping
- ½ cup fresh shredded coconut
- ½ cup chilled whipping cream
- ½ cup chopped tinned pineapple
- ⅓ cup pineapple juice (from the tin itself)
- Preheat the oven to 175 C. Grease a 9x5 loaf tin, line it with baking paper, leaving a little overhang for easy removal, then grease the paper as well. Set aside.
- Sift the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix in the salt if using, then set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl till pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla beat well till combined.
- Fold in the flour mixture, and beat until smooth and combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out. The batter is thick but spreadable.
- Bake for 20 mins, then check to see if the top is browning too fast. If so, cover with aluminium foil and continue to bake for about 10 mins till a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Rotate the tin halfway through the baking time for even browning.
- Let the cake cool completely at room temperature.
- In the meantime, spread the coconut out in a single layer on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned, tossing the coconut as needed to ensure it doesn't burn. Set aside to cool completely.
- To make the filling, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks, and keep it chilled while you slice the cake.
- Slice the cake horizontally and gently place the top on a plate. Poke the lower half of the cake several times with a toothpick then spoon a little of the juice over it. The idea is to moisten it but not make it soggy.
- Reserve about ¼ cup of the whipped cream for the sides. Fold the pineapple gently into the remaining cream.
- Spread half of the pineapple cream mixture onto the lower half of the cake, then flip the top half over, drizzle a little juice on the underside, and place it back on the lower half, smooshing it down just a little to press the pineapple pieces into the cream.
- Spread the remaining pineapple cream mixture on the top half of the cake, then cover the sides with the reserved whipped cream from earlier. Chill the cake for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the toasted coconut on the top and spread it on the sides of the cake as well. Add more pineapple pieces to the top if you like, then chill the cake for about 2 hours, till the cream has set and the cake feels firm.
- Use your sharpest knife and slice it into thick pieces. Keep in the refrigerator at all times. Happy eating!
*Fresh pineapple and fresh juice can be used, although you may want to add ¼ cup powdered sugar to the whipped cream.
*I use Amul whipping cream, and usually keep it in the fridge. Make sure the cream you use is chilled at least 24 hours and that the bowl and beaters are chilled for 30 minutes before you begin, especially in a warm kitchen.