Coconut Pineapple Loaf Cake

If there is one thing that reminds me about summer it is the all-famous pineapple. Pineapple souffle, upside-down pineapple cake, pineapple topped pizza, and even pineapple drinks. There’s just something about the tangy sweetness and the tart scent of pineapples which makes everything taste so much better. And the funny part is that I’ve never really been a huge fan of the actual fruit itself, just the flavour that you get when you combine pineapples into almost anything. Upside-down pineapple cake was something I posted up on my blog during the earlier days when I was still experimenting with what I call the ‘blogosphere’, where my amateur blogging and photography skills were still in the trial and error phase. I like to think that I’ve come a long way from that and hopefully someday I can write another post on Upside-Down Pineapple Cake, as it seems to be a summer favourite for a lot of people.

Summer in Sydney is a beautiful season. There’s always a delicious smell of fruits and flowers in the air, and even though the glare of the sun seems a little too much at times, its still a lot better than the dusty extreme heat in Dubai! So as tribute to the beginning of summer I thought it was time to pay respects to summer pineapples again. Also, it was father-in-law’s birthday and Eid on the same day so I baked a Coconut Pineapple Loaf Cake adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipes. I was looking for a different take on the basic butter cake, which I hate baking because it just seems so bland. I really wanted to make something new and I’ve already tried out Coconut Cake. So after an online search I came across this recipe.

I had a few problems with this cake. First of all, it took forever to bake. I think I had to leave it in the oven for more than an hour and a half. But then again, my oven is one of those with the heating element at the bottom so everything takes so much longer to bake than usual because too much heat causes burning at the bottom of the pan. Secondly I doubled quantities of the recipe and baked it in a square 8 x 8 in baking pan. I also forgot to toast the coconut initially, so I didn’t get much of a toasted coconut taste. However, I was still very happy with the result. The coconut goodness is perfectly balanced by the sweet and sourness of the pineapple. I personally thought the cake wasn’t sweet enough so I’ve increased the amount of sugar from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups in the recipe. But feel free to use 1 cup if you prefer a milder sweetness. However, I still think it could be increased up to 1 3/4 cups sugar for better taste. If the top of the cake starts getting too brown while being baked, use aluminium foil to cover the top and continue baking. This will prevent the brown coloring.

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup full-fat yoghurt
1 can (450 grams) pineapple chunks in juice, drained well


1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally, 6 to 10 minutes; set aside. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, and alternately add flour mixture in three parts and yoghurt in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

4. Using a spatula, fold pineapple and 1 cup coconut into batter. Spoon into prepared pan, and sprinkle the top with remaining 1/2 cup coconut. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cake cool in pan. Remove from pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


12 thoughts on “Coconut Pineapple Loaf Cake

  1. That looks so yummy, and today was the perfect sunny day to imagine having that pineapple coconut goodness! Is it quite moist and fluffy, or more dense? I wonder if I could use it as a base for a decorated cake…yum!

  2. I tried Martha stewart’s recipe in a bundt pan- after 1 hour and 15 minutes of baking, the cake was flat. It sunk and was gooey. Does it need more flour? Or less yogurt?

    • I think you might have left too much liquid in the canned pineapple and that has made the cake flat and gooey. Its really important to squeeze and drain out as much of the pineapple syrup/juice as possible. Hopefully this helps!

      • I actually used 2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks instead of the 20 oz can. Is that an equivalent substitution? How much fresh pineapple would you recommend using?

      • That sounds like a fair substitution. Maybe the issue is with baking soda. My recipe is modified to include baking powder as well as baking soda. I’m not sure if that helps to make the cake less flat, but that’s how I’ve always made it and it turns out great everytime!

      • Okay, will try it again. Your cake looks really great! That’s motivating me to try it out once again. Will let you know how it turns out. Thank you for your prompt replies!

  3. Hi Tasmeea,

    You mentioned that when you tried the original recipe it took you over 1.5 hrs to bake the loaf. However, on comparing the original Martha Stewart recipe and your modified recipe, the only differences are the addition of baking powder and increased sugar. You didn’t modify the amount of moisture in the recipe (rather the extra sugar may have added moisture). How did your baking time decrease with only those minor changes?
    Also, she used 20 oz (560 Gm) can and you used a 450 Gm can of pineapples. Does that difference play a role?

    • I’m not sure what you mean – my baking time is about 10-15 minutes more than Martha Stewart’s recipe (mine is about 90 minutes and hers is stated as 65-70 minutes). I’ve already mentioned the reason for this: my oven is slow and I have to bake everything on a slightly lower heat setting.
      As for pineapple, I don’t think there is much of a difference between 450 gm and 540 gm as long as you squeeze out all excess liquid from the pineapple.

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