Pineapple Coconut Cake

Summer picnics are the perfect opportunity for a getaway in your own backyard, filled with a bounty of food, laughter and fun. There’s no better way to cap off one of these memorable “staycation” meals than with a fruity, island-inspired dessert.

Create this summer’s tropical picnic to remember with these tips:

* Transform your backyard into a beachside cabana. From grass table skirts to brightly colored beach balls to flaming tiki torches, the options are nearly endless for establishing an island ambiance.

* Set the mood with music. Steel drums and lively rhythms are the perfect backdrop to a festive beach-style party.

* Greet guests with leis and umbrella-capped beverages. These simple touches go a long way to enhance the festive spirit.

* Whether guests include kids, or simply the young at heart, add some interactive beach-inspired activities, such as a volleyball net or sandbox for building sand castles.

* Serve up your own island-inspired recipes, such as a Pineapple Coconut Cake. Made with DOLE Canned Pineapple, this recipe will help you capture that tempting tropical taste for your next picnic. DOLE Canned Pineapple is naturally fat free and cholesterol free, very low in sodium and rich in Vitamin C. Plus, it comes in many forms, including slices, chunks, tidbits and crushed.

Canned fruit is also well-suited for other desserts such as fruit salads, baked muffins and breads or even as a dessert topping. It’s also a perfect ingredient for mixing into cottage cheese or blending into fruit smoothies.

For more delicious dessert ideas featuring canned fruit, including this tropical twist on an iced layer cake, visit

Pineapple Coconut Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes          

Bake time: 35 minutes         

Servings: 12-16

1     can (20 ounces) DOLE Crushed Pineapple, divided

1     box (2-layer) yellow cake mix

1     tablespoon coconut extract

1     package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding

1     cup cold low-fat milk

1     tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

2     cups sweetened flake coconut

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray.

Drain pineapple; reserve juice. Divide crushed pineapple in half; set aside.  

Prepare cake mix according to package directions, replacing water with reserved juice and adding coconut extract; beat two minutes. Fold half of crushed pineapple into cake batter.

Pour cake batter into prepared cake pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Transfer from pan to wire rack; cool completely.  

Stir together instant vanilla pudding and cold milk until smooth, about two minutes; fold in whipped topping. Combine remaining pineapple with mixture.

Place one cake layer on plate; spread pineapple frosting over top. Place second cake layer over top. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining pudding frosting. Garnish with coconut.

Refrigerate for one hour before serving.