This Pineapple Poke Cake will take your tastebuds to a tropical paradise! With a pineapple upside-down cake texture, sweet pineapple syrup, and an easy coconut whipped cream topping, there's no beating this cake! Serve it at potlucks, wedding showers, baby showers, or just because.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
Table of Contents
Enjoy the taste of sunshine any time of year with this pineapple poke cake recipe!
Featuring an elevated boxed cake mix, simple yet delicious pineapple syrup, and coconut whipped cream frosting, this cake is the type of recipe we can and would like to eat every day of the year.
Though it does take a little while to make, a lot of that time is baking and cooling time. The steps to make and assemble this cake are easy and the results are completely worth it. No complicated kitchen techniques are required!
What are you waiting for? Let's dive right in!
Why You'll Love Pineapple Poke Cake
- No Jello! Made with a simple homemade pineapple syrup instead of Jello, this yellow poke cake recipe takes every opportunity to layer in that pineapple flavor.
- Super Moist. Canned crushed pineapple, whole milk, eggs, and additional flour and sugar give the boxed cake mix an exceptionally moist crumb. Unsuspecting diners will never guess it's made with a boxed cake mix!
- Pineapple Upside Down Flavor. Though this cake is served right side up, discover this pineapple upside down poke cake recipe for a new way to enjoy the classic cake flavor and texture.
- Easy Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting. A simple-to-make but always delicious and light coconut frosting made from whipped cream, confectioner's sugar, and sweetened flaked coconut. The icing on the cake!
Pineapple Poke Cake Ingredients
- Yellow Cake Mix: Or white cake mix.
- All-Purpose Flour: Amps up the boxed cake mix, enhancing the texture and structure of the cake.
- Sugar: Added to the boxed cake mix along with the all-purpose flour, extra sugar sweetens the deal.
- Salt: Accentuates the flavor of the cake.
- Eggs: Binds the cake together and helps it rise.
- Canned Crushed Pineapple: Undrained, as the juice adds moisture to the cake.
- Unsalted Butter: Melted.
- Milk: Ideally whole milk, but 2% also works.
- Sour Cream: Tangy and fatty, sour cream makes the crumb extra tender and rich.
Pineapple Glaze Ingredients
- Pineapple Juice: Reduces down, concentrating the sweet and golden pineapple flavor.
- Sugar: Just a half cup helps the syrup thicken up and enhances the sweetness of the pineapple juice.
- Unsalted Butter: Cuts the sweetness of the glaze and adds just the right amount of richness.
Coconut Whipped Frosting Ingredients
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Whips up nice and light for a coconut whipped frosting of your dreams.
- Confectioner's Sugar: Lightly sweetens the cream.
- Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Sweetened Flaked Coconut: The dreamiest flavor complement to the pineapple cake.
How to Make Pineapple Poke Cake
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Bake the Pineapple Poke Cake
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter and sprinkle with all-purpose flour.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake mix, flour, sugar, salt, large eggs, crushed pineapple, melted butter, whole milk, and sour cream until combined.
Step 3: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 43-48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step 4: While the cake is still piping hot, poke it with holes 1 inch apart with a skewer or chopstick.
Make the Pineapple Glaze
Step 1: While the cake finishe baking, make the pineapple glaze. Bring the pineapple juice and ½ cup granulated sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring as you cook, or until thick and syrupy.
Step 2: Remove the syrup from the heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
Step 3: Pour the hot pineapple syrup on the cake. Let it cool completely.
Make the Coconut Whipped Cream & Decorate
Step 1: Whip the whipping cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla together with a hand mixer, whisk, or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until the whipped cream is stiff.
Step 2: Fold in the sweetened dried coconut until combined.
Step 3: Spread the coconut whipped cream on the cooled cake. Enjoy!
- Measure the Flour Carefully. For the most tender cake, measure the additional flour by weighing it. Alternatively, you can also spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level off the top.
- Don't Overmix the Cake. Doing so will make it tough and dense. Stir the cake batter until just combined and no further.
- Don't Drain the Crushed Pineapple. The pineapple upside down poke cake relies on crushed pineapple juice for moisture and flavor.
- Omit the Coconut. Don't like coconut? No problem! Just omit the sweetened coconut from the whipped cream frosting.
- Extra Coconut. Enjoy an extra nutty pineapple coconut poke cake experience by using coconut cake mix instead of yellow or white cake mix. You can also top the cake with toasted flaked coconut!
Serve pineapple juice cake for Sunday family dinner or bring it to Easter dinner, summer picnics, or even birthday parties. It is perfectly enjoyed with hot coffee, Earl Gray tea, or glasses of cold milk.
- Refrigeration: Store leftover poke cake covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezing: The cake can be frozen whole or in individual servings in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost the individual pieces of cake in the refrigerator for 2 hours and the whole cake in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours.
Poke cake is compromised of a cake base, jello or syrup topping, and some version of whipped cream frosting. There are many different flavors and varieties of poke cake, varying the flavor of the cake base, type of poke topping, and whipped cream topping, giving it endless variations to enjoy!
Yes, you can substitute pineapple juice for water in cake. The flavor may be sweeter this way since pineapple juice has more sugar than water, but the pineapple juice will add a bright and tropical flavor and moisture to the cake.
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Silicone Spatula
- 9 x 13-Inch Baking Pan
- Icing Spatula (Optional)
More Dessert Recipes
- Lemon Poke Cake
- Strawberry Lemonade Bars
- Cast Iron Peach Cobbler
- Fresh Apricot Cobbler
- Date Cake with Rum Toffee Sauce
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!