Tropicake

"Rich buttermilk, coconut & almond cake with a fresh pineapple filling, finished with a cream cheese buttercream & grated coconut"

Ingredients

Cake

3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons salt

1.5 cups whole buttermilk, room temp

1/2 cup whole milk, room temp

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp

¼ cup good quality olive oil

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons pure, vanilla extract

5 large eggs, room temp

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (break apart any clumps)

3/4 cup almond slivers

2-9 inch, non-stick cake pans

Parchment paper

Cardboard, cake round

Pineapple Filling

3 cups chopped, fresh pineapple

1 cup pineapple juice

3/4 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt 

1 lemon

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Slurry

2 tablespoons pineapple juice or water

1.5 tablespoons cornstarch

Cream Cheese Buttercream 

12 ounces, cream cheese, room temp

12 tablespoons salted butter, room temp

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp

1.5 pounds confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon pure, vanilla extract

½ teaspoon coconut extract

Sweetened coconut flakes

Candied/dried pineapple chunks

Directions

Cake

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl to combine.  Mix the buttermilk and milk together in a separate bowl and set aside.  

Using a stand mixer, paddle attachment, (or hand mixer) cream the butter, olive oil and sugar on medium speed until smooth & fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Scrape the sides, add the vanilla, and then add the eggs one at a time.

 

Alternate adding dry ingredients and wet ingredients starting with the dry ingredients and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix until smooth. About 30 seconds.  Don't over-mix or cake can become dense.   Scrape the sides and bottom. add the coconut and almonds and fold in.  

Line the bottom of pans with parchment paper, butter the sides, divide the batter between the two pans and smooth out the tops. Bake in center of oven preheated 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until tester comes out clean.  Let cool and then remove cakes while still warm.  Let cakes cool completely.  Cakes can be made 1 day ahead and kept in gallon ziplock bags.  

Pineapple Filling

Add the chopped pineapple, pineapple juice, sugar and salt to a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high temp. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring often.  Whisk the 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice and the cornstarch in a small bowl and add to the pineapple, to thicken the sauce.  If sauce isn't thickened, continue cooking.  Remove from the heat,  zest the lemon into the sauce, add 2 teaspoons juice from the lemon, 1 tablespoon of butter and stir. Add a pinch of salt if needed to balance the sweetness.  Pour into a bowl to cool.  If filling seems to thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time to thin out.  

Cream Cheese Buttercream

Using paddle attachment on your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape the sides, then gradually add the confectioners sugar, followed with the vanilla and coconut extracts.  Scrape the sides and beat until smooth.  

 

Assembly

If you do not have a cake turntable, to ice the cake, place the cake on a flat plate or pedestal plate. 

If needed, using a long serrated knife, shave the tops of the cakes to make them flat.  

Place one cake on the cardboard round, place on turntable or plate and slice the cake in half widthwise. Remove the top half and spread half of the pineapple filling on top of the bottom layer.  Place the top half back on and spread a layer of frosting on top.  Place the second cake on top, slice in half widthwise and set the top half aside.  Spread the other half of filling on top and then place the top half back on.  Crumb coat the cake with the icing and place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining icing.

 

Slice the candied pineapple into thin pieces and arrange on the top edges of cake, spacing them evenly. Fill in the top with sweetened coconut and then press sweetened coconut into the sides of cake.  I arranged the pineapple and coconut, so it would have a sun pattern.  Be creative.