This cake taste as good as the impression it makes when you show off all your hard work for this Pina Colada Cake! This all started when I was trying to come up with a menu for a Cinco de Mayo dinner which actually turned out to be a Father’s Day celebration dinner for my boyfriends Dad.
As an artist myself, I am always inspired by art and culture for my recipes and design projects. I have always admired the art and style of Frida Kahlo and this turned into a Frida Kahlo inspired Cinco de Mayo. The menu included Black Bean Enchiladas, Mexican Green Rice, Sweet Corn Cake and more! Take a look at the end of the post for the entire menu, recipe links, and design elements.
The Layers of Flavors
I wanted to have all of the flavors associated with a Pina Colada drink like coconut, and pineapple, and of course rum! Plus a little extra tropical flair with some passion fruit curd drips spilling over on top of the cake. There is also some lemon curd inside to balance out the coconut cream filling layers. You can omit the lemon curd if you wish and just have coconut cream filling throughout the layers. It will still be mind blowing good.
There are four flavors that make this cake. Coconut is the main flavor. The Coconut is represented in the cake itself, the coconut cream filling in two layers, and in the coconut buttercream followed by Pineapple. The Pineapple is in a filling layer, in one of the buttercream frostings, and on the candied Pineapple Flowers.
There is a Lemon curd filling one of the layers. The outside of the cake is decorated and kicked up with the tropical punch of passion fruit with a glossy Passion Fruit Curd.
You can’t have a Pina Colada without Rum! The Rum is in the coconut cream filling and brushed onto the cake layers.
I must admit that this cake was a lot to juggle and didn’t’t realize until I get into it, but as with any involved recipe, being organized is the best advice. You may only do this once a year or just once and calling in c=some recruits wouldn’t hurt. I don’t want to scare you off of making this cake because it’s so worth it. To stay organized and to help guarantee a successful outcome, here are some tips before you get started if you are a beginner baker
Pina Colada Cake Baking Tips
- Plan, plan, plan! This cake takes planning and patience so plan ahead. This is going to help with oven and counter space and literally brain space to keep organized.
- Keep everything cold.Make room in your fridge to keep fillings and chill the cake between frostings.
- Make as much as you can the day or a couple of days before like the curds and coconut filling
- Also make the pineapple flowers 3 to 4 days before
The Fillings and Buttercreams
Because there are so many elements to this Pina Colada Cake, some of the recipes are on separate posts in this blog. I know people hate clicking back and forth but I think it will be ok since most people will be doing this over a couple of days anyway and you will just be on concentrating on 1 or 2 recipes at a time. You can get the recipes for the Lemon Curd here, The Pineapple Filling here, and the Passion Fruit Curd here.
I love how these Candied Pineapple Flowers look on this cake. I think they were the perfect choice. Get the recipe and techniques here. Don’t be stingy when applying them. The more you put on, the more they look like a flouncing dancing skirt on the cake.
I applied them at an angle with leftover pineapple buttercream frosting curving around the cake starting from the top to the bottom. This will look best if you have different sizes of flowers from small to large which you will naturally get if you use as much of the pineapple as possible.
This cake was the centerpiece of my Frida Kahlo inspired Cinco de Mayo dinner that followed classic Mexican dishes that are simple and easy to put together after all that hard cake work you did!
Frida Kahlo Inspired Cinco de Mayo Dinner Menu
Pina Colada Cake
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean with seeds scraped
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsps cornstarch
2 tsp coconut rum
1/2 tsp vanilla extract3/4 very cold heavy cream
Combine whole milk and coconut milk with vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.
Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl.
Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture, a little at first to temper, then after adding the rest return the mixture to the pot and bring to a boil whisking constantly until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in rum and vanilla extract.
Let cool to room temp then cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
After the custard mixture has gotten cold, scrape into a mixer bowl with whisk attachment and add the cream.
Whose until soft peaks form.
Put into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
2 sticks of unsalted room temperature butter
1/4 tsp salt
8 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
5-6 cups powdered sugar
Drain the pineapple and set juice aside
cream together butter, salt, half of the pineapple fruit and 5 tbsps of the juice
Add powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency.
Continue to taste the frosting for desired pineapple flavor. If it’s too sweet you can add a dash of salt or more pineapple flavor add more juice but you then need to add more sugar so add small amounts at a time.
Put in an airtight container until ready to use.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
16oz crushed pineapple with juice
2/3 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan.
Stir in the pineapple including the juice and the water.
Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to boil. It will take about 10 minutes.
Let boil for 1 1/2 minutes then remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.
Use to fill cakes or spoon over ice cream or poundcake.
This filling was used in the beautiful Pina Colada Cake!