We thought we’d already found the summer cake to end all summer cakes, but this pineapple sunshine cake just snuck right into our hearts and bellies and stole the show. It’s not a showboat, and doesn’t look like the best, grandest cake out there, but once you take the first bite, you realize it’s hiding in plain sight and it’s actually the yummiest cake out there, perfectly light and moist and amazing for summer. You could easily dress this cake up with some pineapple chunks arranged on top, but we figure, why mess with what isn’t broken – this is great just as is!
Let’s start with our cake. It’s from-scratch, super easy and delivers big time with the flavor. It starts out as a pretty dry batter, with wet and dry ingredients mixed together…but then you throw in the 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple and that pulls the whole, glorious thing together, ensuring a moist cake that’s never dry, plus delicious little bits of pineapple that keep us coming back for more. (Really, there’s no trying to restrain yourself with this recipe, it’s totally addictive.)
Once our cake is cooked, we mix up a cream cheese-buttercream hybrid frosting. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and has just the right amount of tang to balance out the fresh sweetness of the cake. A little goes a long way here, folks. You don’t need a crazy amount of frosting to cover up this cake, you just need a light layer to tie everything together. Trust us, for a dessert that feeds a crowd, that’s sweet,but still refreshing, this is the dessert we want to eat when it’s hot out. Pro tip: pop it in the fridge on those extra stifling days and chill it down to make it even more refreshing. Yummmm.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 10×15-inch baking sheet or jelly roll pan with butter or non-stick spray.
In a large bowl or mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, then beat in crushed pineapple, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
Pour batter into greased baking sheet, then place in oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside.
While cake is in oven, beat together room temperature cream cheese and butter until whipped and fluffy, then gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
Fold in crushed pineapple until incorporated, then smooth over cake.
Place cake in refrigerator, or let set until cooled.