Coconut Layer Cake with Pineapple Curd

Makes one 9-inch two-layer cake


2 9-inch coconut cakes
1 cup or more of pineapple curd, chilled
1-2 tablespoons coconut rum (optional)
remaining sweetened cream of coconut (optional)
1/4 cup + 2 cups (or more) sweetened shredded coconut
1 batch meringue frosting

Cake Assembly

Set bottom layer on cake circle.

If desired, add 1-2 tablespoons coconut rum to remaining sweetened coconut cream. Poke cake layer all over with fork, being careful not to go all the way through cake. Gently brush on rum mixture with pastry brush. Allow to soak in for 5 minutes.

Stir a heaping 1/4 cup coconut into chilled pineapple curd.

Pipe frosting around top edge of bottom cake layer. Fill with pineapple curd mixture. Set remaining cake layer (bottom side up) on top. Repeat basting with rum mixture as outlined above, if desired. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Press remaining 2 cups of coconut lightly onto top and sides of cake until covered.

Cake can be stored in a covered container overnight in the fridge. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Coconut Cakes

Makes two 9-inch cakes
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Sweetened cream of coconut (Coco Lòpez) can usually be found in the liquor or drink mixers section of most grocery stores. It’s the same stuff you’d use to make a piña colada. Be sure to stir your Coco Lòpez well before using! It should be a pourable, opaque liquid. If it’s solid you need to stir.


3 cups + 1 tablespoon (13 ounces) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lòpez)*
4 large eggs yolks (whites reserved)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoons coconut extract
1 cup buttermilk

4 (reserved) egg whites
pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally spray two 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat together sugar, butter, and sweetened cream of coconut until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolks (reserve whites), vanilla and coconut extracts. On low speed, mix in dry ingredients then buttermilk until blended. (Batter may look curdled – that’s OK.)

Using a clean bowl and beaters, whip reserved egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peaks. Gently fold into cake batter until just combined.

Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. (Tip: weighing them on a kitchen scale can help you be more precise!) Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cake tops may brown.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run knife around the sides and invert cakes onto greased racks to cool completely.

Pineapple Curd

Adapted from Eating Well
Makes approximately 2 1/4 cups

The curd may seem like it’s not thickening as you whisk over heat, but don’t stop – it thickens very quickly right at the end. For a smoother curd, push through a fine mesh strainer before storing. Press plastic wrap against the top of the curd to prevent a film from forming in the fridge.


6 large egg yolks
3 6-ounce cans pineapple juice, (2 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, whisking constantly, until curd comes to a boil. Continue cooking and stirring for several minutes more until curd thickens enough that a dollop of curd spooned out and dropped back into the pot doesn’t melt back in immediately. Remove from heat and cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Chilled curd thick enough for cake filling should leave holes when spooned out.

Meringue Frosting

Adapted from Cake Journal 
Makes enough to frost a 2-layer 9-inch cake


3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
2 tablspoons cold water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract


Fill medium saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place sugar, egg whites, water and lemon juice in the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and mixture reads 160-170°F on an instant read thermometer.

Remove from heat and attach bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until a glossy white meringue with stiff peaks forms and the bowl no longer feels warm to the touch (about 10-15 minutes). Beat in extracts. Frost immediately.