Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Piña Colada cake

Piña Colada cake / Bolo Piña Colada

This is the cake I made for my MIL’s birthday; I’d already set up my mind to bake a chocolate cake, but when I called her to ask which flavor she wanted she told me I was being kind enough to bake her the cake, so she would not choose the flavor – I should do that, instead; just what I needed to try a different cake from my favorite layer cake book. :D

I could not find canned pineapple in juice, so I bought it in syrup and adapted the filling. I thought the pineapple jam was delicious and the coconut buttercream almost addictive – but wasn’t all that happy about the cake layers. They tasted good, because of the massive amounts of brown sugar, but the texture was a bit heavy in my opinion. If you’re interested in making the piña colada cake, I suggest the cake layers from this recipe.

Piña Colada cake
adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Brown sugar cake:
3¾ cups (525g) cake flour*
1¾ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2¼ cups (393g) packed light brown sugar
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups (420ml) buttermilk
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cups (160ml) rum (light, amber or dark), to assemble the cake

Pineapple filling:
1 can (560g/20oz) sliced pineapple in syrup
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons water
½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped with the back of a knife

Coconut buttercream:
3 eggs whites
pinch of salt
1 cup (200g) caster sugar
¼ cup (60ml) water
2½ sticks (280g/10oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (160ml) unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup (50g) sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (if desired)
pineapple slice

Start by making the cakes: preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter three 22cm (9in) cake pans, line the base with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the large bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk gently to combine. Add the brown sugar, butter and 1½ 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 ¼ 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.

Now, the pineapple filling: drain the pineapple and discard the syrup. Set aside 1 slice of pineapple (for decoration) and finely chop the other slices. Place in a medium saucepan with the sugar, lime juice and water. Add the vanilla seeds you scraped from the vanilla bean. Warm over a medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the juices have almost completely evaporated and turned jam-like in consistency. Let the filling cool completely before using. Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.

Make the buttercream: put the eggs whites and salt 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, 114°C/238°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. Measure 1 cup of the buttercream and mix with the pineapple filling.

Assembling the cake: place one layer flat side up on a cake stand. Sprinkle a generous 3 tablespoons** rum over the cake. Spread half of the filling over the layer, leaving a small gap around the edge. Add the second layer, sprinkle with more rum and cover with the remaining 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 the sides of the cake with
the shredded coconut and top with the reserved pineapple slice.

* homemade cake flour: 1 cup (140g) all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons corn starch

** I used only 1 tablespoon of rum per cake layer

Serves 14-16 – I made 2/3 of the recipe above and used 20cm (8in) cake pans


Suelle said...

It looks absolutely stunning; it's a shame you felt the cake layers were a bit of a let down.

Sylvia F. said...

Pina colada <3
Cake looks amazing!

RecipeGirl said...

Well, it certainly looks beautiful! Was MIL happy, at least?

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

This is so cute! How fun :).

Anonymous said...

The pineapple and lime juice combi sounds so refreshingly good!

The Urban Baker said...

you are amazing, Patricia! Your creations are gorgeous and your finished product are nothing less than perfect! You are a good DIL! x

Satya said...


Rach said...

I love the texture of the coconut on the side. Gorgeous cake and photos :]

Patty said...

Hello beautiful cake! Thank you for sharing your baking notes - I'm sure it was still very delicious - but we all know you have excellent taste so it's helpful to hear your synopsis. :)

Jennifer said...

Lucky MIL! I love the sounds of this cake, with the yummy filling and coconut buttercream! Great job :)

Priya Suresh said...

Such a beautiful looking cake..looks sooo gorgeous..

Abby said...

All my complementary words are taken above! Stunning, gorgeous, beautiful. I hate that the layers didn't work out as you planned; I've had that happen. Good to know you can switch them out!

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said...

"If you like pina coladas, and gettin' caught in the rain" - sorry, sorry! I just had to :) How sweet are you to bake this for your MIL. Great choice. Very creative. Im alwasy impressed, Patricia :)
Heidi xo

Brilynn said...

That cake looks awesome and now I'm craving a pina colada, love that flavour combo!

Frankie said...

this looks scrumptious!

Bakericious said...

beautiful cake.

Caroline said...

My MIL's birthday is tomorrow and thought of making this for her but she asked for bolo de coco instead. Your cake is so beautiful!

LyB said...

That is such an impressive looking cake, Patricia! The flavor combination sounds wonderful too.

diseño web said...

The picture is making me hungry!

Tati said...

I love the combination pineapple and coconut. And the cake looks amazing. Btw, your pictures make everything look great!!!! I'm a big fan of your blog. Congratulations.

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely picture

Katie said...

I love how you've decorated it - stunning. I've made this exact recipe and my dad said it was his favourite one ever. I'm sure your friend was delighted with it

ChichaJo said...

It looks beautiful! I'm sure your MIL loved it!

Emily said...

What a gorgeous cake!!! I love the idea of pina colada + cake, it definitely has the wow factor. :D

Patricia Scarpin said...

Suelle, thank you!

Fiolunka, thank you for stopping by!

RecipeGirl, she was! :D
Thank you!

Xiaolu, thank you, sweetie!

Crustabakes, they are wonderful together!

Susan, thank you, my dear! I have a good MIL, too! :D

Satya, thank you!

Rach, thank you! I'm a sucker for all things coconut, like many Brazilians. :D

Patty, thank you, my dear! I try to be helpful so others can make birthday cakes at home, too!

Jen, thank you! That buttercream is delicious!

Pryia, thank you!

Abby, you are far too kind, darling! Thank you! The layers from the other recipe are really good, I thought you all should know!

Heiki, I'm glad you did - I did not know that song! :D
You are just too sweet. thank you!

Bri, how about piña colada ice cream? ;)

Frankie, thank you!

Jess, thank you!

Caroline, thank you for stopping by! Hey, bolo de coco is great, too! :D

Lynne, thank you, my dear!

Tati, thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!

Torview..., thank you!

Katie, she was very pleased - thank you! I'm sure the cake you baked for your dad was amazing.

Joey, thank you! She did! :D

Emily, thank you! I was really happy about choosing something different from the traditional flavors.

Sweet Angel Baby Cakes said...

I made these in cupcake form for a recent shower, and they were a HUGE hit. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making it in cake for my book club ladies this week. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, there - I'm so glad to hear the recipe was a hit! Thank YOU for letting me know how it turned out!

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