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Fresh coconut and pineapple are the secret to this one pan Coconut Cake with Caramelized Pineapple, Rum and Lime Syrup
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5 from 2 votes

Coconut Cake with Caramelized Pineapple, Rum and Lime Syrup

Riffing on the classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake, this Coconut Cake with Caramelized Pineapple, Rum and Lime Syrup is rich, moist and a more grown up version of the classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 464kcal


For the Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ¾ cup freshly grated coconut

For the Caramelized Pineapple, Rum and Lime Syrup

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns lightly smashed
  • 11 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons lime zest
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • ½ cup dark rum


For the Cake:

  • Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 inch springform pan and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, combine the sugar, milk, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla, ½ cup coconut and coconut extract. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted comes out clean. 
  • Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. 
  • Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  • Spread the remaining coconut on a parchment lined sheet pan. toast in the oven for about 6 - 10 minutes or until the coconut is light brown. Set aside.

Pineapple, Rum and Lime Syrup

  • Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan combine ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar, sichuan peppercorns, lime juice and half the lime zest.
  • Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened a bit, about 3 - 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and let steep.
  • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Peel and core the pineapple and cut into 1 inch chunks.
  • Place the  pineapple on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with the sechuan syrup, tossing to coat the pineapple. 
  • Roast the pineapple for approximately 20 minutes, stirring halfway.
  • While the pineapple is roasting, make the rum lime syrup.
  • In the same saucepan you made the sichuan syrup, add ½ cup water, remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, remaining lime zest and vanilla seeds. 
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool.  When cool, stir in the rum. 
  • To Serve: Slice the cake into 8 pieces and top with some of the caramelized pineapple. Drizzle some of the lime and rum syrup over and garnish with toasted coconut. 


  • To shred fresh coconut: I found that the best way to shred fresh coconut was in a mini food processor. Add about 5 - 6 slices of coconut and pulse to grind until desired consistency is reached. One 8 oz. package yields approximately 1 ½ cups shredded coconut. 
  • You may have some rum and lime syrup left over! Use it to make a delicious cocktail. Just add 1 - 2 oz. of syrup to a tall glass. Fill with ice and top with sparking water. Garnish with lime and mint and enjoy! 


Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 55.8mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 1.9mg