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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Cake Slice presents: Piña Colada Cake

For the June installment of The Cake Slice, the bakers made the Piña Colada Cake from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. It's a brown sugar cake, filled with tangy pineapple filling, and frosted with coconut meringue buttercream (again, the recipe makes Italian meringue buttercream, but with a few changes I Swissed it up!). Stephanie from Cram It In Your Face is staying with me this week, and she helped me make it. If you remember from last month's Cake Slice recipe, I baked it at Stephanie's house and I did all the work! This time I put her to work! We omitted the rum soak because I don't like the flavor of alcohol when it's not cooked out a little. Stephanie and I both agreed that the cake needed more coconut flavor. I think next time I'd make extra coconut frosting and put some in the middle on top of the pineapple filling. Also, we felt that the coconut milk gave the frosting an "off" flavor. Next time, I'd leave that out and use coconut oil instead of coconut extract. But I'm the baker, so I'm the worst critic. The wing nighters loved it and gave it 5 stars!

See how the other bakers fared this month by clicking here!

Here's me measuring water (because I used buttermilk powder), but I wanted to show my newest fashion statement... pink hair! I put Stephanie to work this time!
I don't know how I could survive without my cake leveler!
Stephanie is the queen of action shots! ;)
Mmm that pineapple filling is BOMB!
Another action shot... and props to my cake turntable, thanks for the help!
Sorry for the lighting... it was so cloudy!!
Stephanie and I shared the first slice, the fruit of our labor!!
Piña Colada Cake
from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

Brown Sugar Cake
3 3/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the base of three 9inch cake pans.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk gently to combine. Add the brown sugar, butter and 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk to the dry ingredients. With the mixer on low blend to incorporate. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk the eggs with the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk and the vanilla and add to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and beating only long enough to incorporate between additions. Divide the batter between the 3 pans.
Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.

Pineapple Filling
1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple in juice (no added sugar)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 one-inch piece of vanilla bean split in half (We used 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)

Combine the pineapple, sugar and lime juice in a pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan too. Warm over a medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, 2 to 3 minutes.
Raise the het to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juices have almost completely evaporated and its turned jam-like in consistency (This took us about 10 minutes). Let the filling cool completely before using. (Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated)

Coconut Buttercream
3 eggs whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water (We omitted this)
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (We reduced this to 2 sticks)
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp coconut extract

(We changed this to make it Swiss meringue buttercream. Whisk the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes, or until mixture is fluffy and cool to the touch. Switch to the paddle attachment. On medium speed, add butter a few tablespoons at a time. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture becomes very thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.)

Put the eggs whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment so they are ready to go.
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the sold boil stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Beat the egg whites briefly at medium speed. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, being careful to avoid the beaters. Continue to whip until the meringue has cooled to body temperature.
With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the butter, several tablespoons at a time and continue to beat until a smooth fluffy frosting forms.
Add the coconut milk in several additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well after each addition. Add the coconut extract and mix until smooth.

To assemble
9 tbsp rum – light, amber or dark
Coconut flakes and thin slices of pineapple

Place one layer flat side up on a cake stand. Sprinkle a generous 3 tbsp rum over the cake. Spread half of the pineapple filling over the layer, leaving a small gap around the edge. Add the second layer, sprinkle with more rum and cover with the remaining pineapple filling.
Top with the third layer and sprinkle with the remaining rum. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the coconut buttercream.
Decorate with some thin shreds of coconut and slices of pineapple if wished.


Amanda said...

This looks and sounds great! My pineapple-loving family would even get into this one.

And I love the pink hair! I noticed it when I was scrolling but not to that part of the words yet. I had to jump ahead. :)

Flourchild said...

Wow this cake looks so good! I love your Flour child Bakery name!!

Paris Pastry said...

This looks amazing!!! I so love pineapples! Ever since I ate a fresh pineapple instead of the canned ones, I've been addicted!
Wish I had a cake leveler.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks so good! love your pink hair!!

thecookieshopinenglish said...

This filling sounds soooo good!

symphonious sweets said...

Wish I had tried the smbc! Love the hair!!!

Monica H said...

Your cake looks so moist. I totally agree with you on the lack of coconut flavor. Did not care for the frosting much.

I wish I had help in the kitchen!

The Bahens said...

That pineapple filling was amazing, wasn't it! Great job on your cake, and my buttercream turned out this time!!!

Caroline said...

Your cake looks great! I just wanted to let you know because of you I'm a SMBC convert! Made the frosting Swiss-style the last 2 times I've made this cake.

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful! Love the pink hair too.

Jennifer said...

Thats one GREAT looking cake!!!

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and beautifully done at that too. Love the way you've decorated the cake with the shredded coconut and pineapple slices.

Jelli Bean said...

This looks great! I was just browsing pina colada cupcakes recipes, so it's quite the coincidence that you just made this. Yum! Oh yeah, and I love the red streak in the hair.

Eliana said...

This cake looks wonderful. And what great help you had. Also, thanks a bunch for checking in with me.

SuzanneRN said...

Hey there! Yummy lookin cake! Also, you can try exercise TV, they have free workout videos as well:


KIT! :-)

Stacy said...

Is there anything better than a delicious cake and baking with family??? This looks super yummy! Can't wait to give it a try!

PS. I LOVE the hair!!!

Sandi Oh said...

Hi, I love your post, and read it often. I just wanted to say that I have used the pineapple filling recipe alot, but I always add it to buttercream and it's delicious. Also I use a reduced coconut milk (soaked with a vanilla bean) instead of just coconut to give a more concentrated flavor.
ps..I like the pink hair too!

Steph said...

That looks so good! I just got the book and was thinking of making that cake. I love your hair!

Marta said...

This looks delicious! Like a trip to a tropical destination on a cake! Thanks for the step-by-step photos. I find those very useful!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm what a gorgeously gorgeous cake!! I must make this soon.

Marta said...

Yes yes yes! These buns are perfect! They're tall, soft and flavourful! I struggle to find a recipe that was better than store-bough... but I'm sure these are it!

Cathy said...

this looks great!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

The pineapple filling really looks great! And I lovve your hair, I had pink streaks in my hair too, loved them soo much!! It's looking great on you :)

Dajana said...

that sounds like a lot of fun.
I love pineapples, little less coconut, but the whole cake is gorgeous

apparentlyjessy said...

Such a beautiful cake! I really need to invest in this Sky High cook book! I am loving the pinky red colour in your hair too! :)

Annie said...

Love it!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe said...

Can't resist to a pina colada cake, my favourite cocktail ! The filling looks delicious and the cake is gorgeous ! Nice work girls !

thereddeer said...

Love the new hairdo :D - and the action shots of the cake making, looks like you had lots of fun.

Ingrid said...

Looks good! Other's have said that the cake while good needed something more.

Liesl said...

THIS LOOKS SO FREAKING GOOD! A great summer dessert!

jodye said...

OMG this looks so so so amazing! I simply must make it right now! Props on the pink hair, too, it looks great!

scrappysue said...


Adam said...

Nice, that's a serious, towering, island cake. I love the filling, and of course if you rolled with the buttercream, I'm sure it was amazing.

This reminds me. Last year I had an idea to make a Mai-Tai cake. What do you think of that? Super lame or super cool?

Mo Diva said...

i want your kitchen toys!

Mermaid Sweets said...

Love the pink hair and the cake and the bake and destroy shirt - I live in my pink hoodie. Sorry I have been MIA on the commenting, busy busy busy. I think you convinced me to get a cake leveler.

Agos said...

I have to try that :D It even looks so pretty! I think I'm going to use a coconut cake mix, though...