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Hawaiian Wedding Cake

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a slice of Hawaiian wedding cake topped with walnuts, cool whip, and a cherry on a plate
This is one of the best cake recipes for it’s amazing fruity flavors, yet cool and creamy lightness.
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Table of Contents
  1. Hawaiian Wedding Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Hawaiian Wedding Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Hawaiian wedding cake is like a piña colada in cake form with a refreshing cake recipe made with pineapple, banana, and coconut flavors. It starts off with a basic yellow cake mix, then you add a delicious pineapple layer that soaks into the cake itself, and finally, a whipped cream frosting layer.

a slice of Hawaiian wedding cake topped with walnuts, cool whip, and a cherry on a plate

Hawaiian Wedding Cake Ingredients

Hawaiian wedding cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (make according to package instructions which usually includes egg(s), oil, and water)
  • 1 (20-ounce) can of crushed pineapple, not drained
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 3 medium-sized bananas, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding, made according to package directions (usually requires 3 cups cold milk, follow the 5-minute pudding directions)
  • 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

PRO TIP:

Make sure you are buying crushed pineapple rather than pineapple tidbits. The crushed pineapple has just the right amount of liquid whereas the tidbits have too much liquid and may make your cake soggy.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: We used yellow box cake mix in this recipe, but other recipes call for white cake mix, which would work just as well. There are plenty of different flavors of boxed cake mixes you can get in the store, so pick your favorite!

COCONUT: For this recipe, we are calling for shredded coconut. While this is not the same as coconut flakes, you can substitute them for shredded coconut. The flakes are slightly larger but will still work if that is all you have available.

WHIPPED TOPPING: If you would rather make your own whipped cream instead of the whipped cream topping, you are more than welcome to. Try our recipe for homemade whipped cream as a perfect choice.

How To Make This Hawaiian Wedding Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F or according to the box cake mix directions.

STEP TWO: Spray a 9 x 13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray and then bake cake mix as directed.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Mix the egg, oil, and water in your bowl prior to adding your cake’s dry ingredients. This will ensure that you do not overmix your cake batter and makes for a more tender cake.

Hawaiian wedding cake process shot of yellow cake batter in a baking pan

STEP THREE: While the cake is baking, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, heat the pineapple (with liquid) and sugar just until the sugar dissolves.

Hawaiian wedding cake process hot of ingredients being stirred together in a pot

STEP FOUR: When the cake is done baking, remove the baking pan from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.

PRO TIP:

It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.

Hawaiian wedding cake process shot of cake being poked with holes with a wooden spoon

STEP FIVE: Pour the pineapple mixture over the cake. Spread the pineapple mixture evenly over the cake then allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes.

PRO TIP:

When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely.

Hawaiian wedding cake process shot of pineapple mixture poured over yellow cake

STEP SIX: Place banana slices in a single layer over the cooled cake.

Hawaiian wedding cake process shot of banana slices placed over cake

STEP SEVEN: Make the instant pudding as directed and spread it over the bananas.

Hawaiian wedding cake process shot of pudding spread over cake

STEP EIGHT: Spread Cool Whip over pudding mixture.

Hawaiian wedding cake process shot of cake topped with cool whip, chopped walnuts, and coconut flakes

STEP NINE: Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and nuts.

PRO TIP:

To toast your coconut and walnuts, line a small cookie sheet with parchment and put it in a 400°F oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on this so that it does not burn. You can use a dry skillet on medium-high heat to toast the coconut for 3 minutes, pour it into a bowl, place the walnuts in the skillet, then repeat.

You can garnish each slice with an additional squirt of whipped topping and a maraschino cherry.

STEP TEN: Refrigerate assembled cake 1 to 2 hours prior to slicing and serving. This helps the cake set up.

PRO TIP:

If I’m not serving the cake immediately, I tend to wait to put on the garnishes so that they will stay fresh and crunchy and not go stale.

How To Serve

You can serve this sweet pineapple vanilla cake immediately after you’ve finished making it. But, if you don’t plan to serve it until the next day, you should keep it chilled until you are ready to serve it. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top the cake with sweet maraschino cherries.

If you love poke cakes, make sure you also check out our easy recipes for better than sex cake and lemon poke cake.

Storage

I like to keep the garnishes off of the cake if I know I will be storing it. They are easy to add later and it keeps the coconut and walnuts fresh and crunchy!

IN THE FRIDGE: Assuming you have any leftovers, which you very well might not with this delicious cake, you should store the leftovers in the refrigerator. The cake will need to stay chilled to keep it moist and fresh.

IN THE FREEZER: You can also freeze this poke cake recipe. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and then cover with aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Allow the cake to thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Hawaiian wedding cake topped with walnuts in a baking dish

With its light and fruity flavors and delicious refreshing taste, a Hawaiian wedding cake is a perfect dessert for a summer party or even a baby shower or birthday. One bite of this delicious dessert and it’ll have you feeling like you’re on the beach sipping a piña colada. This recipe is easy to throw together and it’s a dessert that everyone can enjoy.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze poke cake?

This easy recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months covered in plastic wrap.

What is a poke cake?

It’s an easy cake that uses a basic box cake that you poke holes into while it’s still hot after baking. The holes are then filled with a liquid or filling — like condensed milk, pureed fruit, chocolate cream, or pudding. It makes a moist and delicious cake.

What do you use to poke holes in poke cake?

The end of a wooden spoon is the best size to poke holes in the cake.

If don’t have a 9×13 inch pan, can I use a larger or smaller rectangular pan?

You can use a different size pan if you need to, just follow the instructions on the back of the cake box for baking times.

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a slice of Hawaiian wedding cake topped with walnuts, cool whip, and a cherry on a plate

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

5 from 4 votes
This is one of the best cake recipes for it’s amazing fruity flavors, yet cool and creamy lightness.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (make according to package instructions usually includes egg(s), oil, and water. I used Betty Crocker brand.)
  • 20 ounces crushed pineapple, not drained
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 medium-sized bananas sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 5.1 ounces vanilla instant pudding, made according to package directions (usually requires 3 cups cold milk. Follow the 5 minute pudding directions.)
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
  • ½ cup sweet shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F or according to box cake mix directions.
  • Spray a 9×13 pan with baker’s spray and then bake the cake mix as directed.
  • While the cake is baking, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, heat the pineapple (with liquid) and sugar just until the sugar dissolves.
  • When the cake is done baking, remove the baking pan from the oven and immediately poke holes all over the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the pineapple mixture over the cake. Spread the pineapple mixture evenly over the cake then allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes.
  • Place banana slices in a single layer over the cooled cake.
  • Make the instant pudding as directed and spread it over the bananas.
  • Spread Cool Whip over the pudding mixture.
  • Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and nuts.
  • Refrigerate assembled cake 1 to 2 hours prior to slicing and serving. This helps the cake set up.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure you are buying crushed pineapple rather than pineapple tidbits. The crushed pineapple has just the right amount of liquid whereas the tidbits have too much liquid and may make your cake soggy.
  • Mix the egg, oil, and water in your bowl prior to adding your cake’s dry ingredients. This will ensure that you do not overmix your cake batter and makes for a more tender cake.
  • It’s best to make the holes in the cake while it is still slightly warm because as it cools, the crust on top of the cake will crumble more easily.
  • When you’re pouring the cream into the holes, tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and make sure the cream fills the holes completely.
  • To toast your coconut and walnuts, line a small cookie sheet with parchment and put it in a 400°F oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on this so that it does not burn. You can use a dry skillet on medium-high heat to toast the coconut for 3 minutes, pour it into a bowl, place the walnuts in the skillet, then repeat.
  • You can garnish each slice with an additional squirt of whipped topping and a maraschino cherry.
  • If I’m not serving the cake immediately, I tend to wait to put on the garnishes so that they will stay fresh and crunchy and not go stale.

Nutrition

Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 242mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Kim says

    5 stars
    This cake is fantastic. It is light and not too sweet. Everyone enjoyed it so much. Will definitely be one of my go too s. I followed the recipe and it came out perfect and easy to make.

  2. Joanne says

    just made this for tomorrow, Question should pineapple be drained? There was a lot of liquid without draining and even after cooking with sugar, I poured the mix into a strainer, spread over the cake and used a little juice over the cake as I don’t want it to be soggy. Thanks I can’t wait to share it with our friends tomorrow.