Coconut Milk Cake with Haupia Cream and Pineapple

This not-too-sweet Coconut Milk Cake with Haupia Cream and Pineapple is reminiscent of a Pina Colada with its harmonious combination of pineapple and coconut. Haupia is a Hawaiian coconut desert served at luaus, traditionally made with fresh coconut milk and arrowroot to thicken it, then cut into blocks. Yes, there is a lot of coconut milk and coconut cream but no diary or butter. Picture warm days at the beach with the waves rolling in, lounging under a colorful umbrella or going for a swim. A perfect sheet cake to bring to that summer party or BBQ, just keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

Coconut Milk Cake with Haupia Cream and Pineapple

Serves 12. Prep 10 mins,  Bake 30 mins,  Cook 5 mins,  Fridge 2 hours

Ingredients: Cake

1- 14 oz. can coconut milk (cake uses only ¾ cup, divide per recipe with haupia)

1- 18.25 oz. box white cake mix

3 medium eggs

1/3 cup *vegetable (canola) oil

¼ c. water

1 teaspoon coconut extract


Ingredients : Haupia Cream  and Pineapple Topping

1 can -20 oz. unsweetened pineapple chunks in water or juice

1 can -19 oz. coconut cream (no substitutions)

1 can-14 oz. coconut milk plus remainder of the can from cake

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan (I use a dark non-stick but still lightly spray with coconut oil). Mix cake mix, ¾ cup coconut milk, eggs, oil, coconut extract, and water together in a bowl using an electric mixer for 2 minutes on high, scraping down sides as you mix. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes if you are using a dark pan, otherwise follow box directions.  Reduce temp to 325 F and bake for 10 more minutes or until tooth- pick in center comes out clean.

Take out of oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Poke the cake all over with a chopstick. Pour ½ cup of the remaining one cup of your first can of coconut milk over holes in cake. Save the other ½ cup of coconut milk for the haupia.

Haupia Cream:

In a large heavy- bottomed stock pot pour in sugar, salt, cornstarch, 1 cup water, 1 whole can coconut milk, 1 whole can coconut cream, and extract. In a measuring cup pour ½ cup coconut milk remaining from cake and add water to it to make 1 cup, put in pot. Whisk it until coconut cream breaks down. Heat on medium low, careful not to scorch; continue stirring throughout. Use a wooden spoon and when the mixture heavily coats the back of spoon (about 5 mins.), remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.  Drain the pineapple, reserving liquid. Dot the cake with the pineapple chunks. Then use your glass measuring cup to dip in haupia and pour over cake, building a thick layer to top of pan. You will have haupia left over. Pour that in a medium sized glass casserole dish and refrigerate to serve with the cake or you can freeze as a coconut ice to serve with. It will not harden to a firm traditional haupia you can cut. The remaining pineapple juice is also great to serve with the cake to pour over each piece.  Refrigerate cake for several hours to firm the haupia topping. Images By LuxePaths, Kurt Winner


About the Author:

Michelle is a freelance journalist specializing in luxury and experiential travel. Her readers number in the millions through her various online outlets and print magazines. She loves to explore a culture through their culture and food. "Sometimes, " she says , "luxury can be a shack on the beach with a sand floor and a ceiling of stars."

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