Hawaiian Guava Cake

4.87 from 30 votes
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Guava Cake is a tasty, traditional Hawaiian dessert. It is a guava flavored cake with a whipped cream cheese layer and guava gel glaze. Easy and delicious!

Fresh sliced guava next to a plate with a slice of Hawaiian guava cake.

What is Hawaiian Guava Cake

Guava cake is a classic Hawaiian dessert that was originally created at the famous Dee Lite Bakery in Honolulu. Its popularity grew and now there are many different versions of this guava cake recipe out there. But this one is by far my favorite! When I worked at the bakery in Hawaii we would often make this for catered events and it was always a huge hit. Plus, this recipe is so easy to make, you can have a taste of the islands at home!

Nectar vs. Juice

Guava juice and guava nectar are pretty similar. You can use either one in this recipe. Nectar is a little thicker than guava juice but guava juice still works fine. I was able to find guava concentrate at my local grocery store in the refrigerated juice section. If all you can find is a guava nectar blend (passion-guava, guava strawberry etc.) that is totally ok, too.

Ingredients to make Hawaiian guava cake.

Substitutions and Additions

  • If you don’t have or can’t find strawberry cake mix, you can always use white or yellow cake mix instead. I like the strawberry because it complements the guava flavor but either of those flavors work too.
  • To get that gorgeous pink color, add a few drops of red food coloring to the cake batter and whisk together. 
  • You can also swap out the coconut oil for canola or vegetable oil if you would like as well. I like the faint hint of coconut that the coconut oil gives because it isn’t too overpowering and just gives a little added flavor dimension. 
  • You can also add sliced strawberries to the top for a beautiful garnish. You can’t go wrong with guava and strawberry!

How to Store Guava Cake

In my opinion, this cake tastes especially delicious after it has been refrigerated overnight, I suggest chilling the whole thing overnight before serving. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

Fork slicing into a piece of pink Hawaiian guava cake with multiple slices behind.

Looking for more tasty Hawaiian or Island inspired desserts?

  • Hawaiian Wedding Cake: Hawaiian Wedding Cake starts with a simple cake mix. Add a splash of coconut and pineapple and it becomes a refreshing cake that tastes like a piña colada.
  • Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting: This Coconut Cream Cake is a coconut lovers dream! It is a coconut infused cake, with a rich and creamy coconut cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with even more toasted coconut. You will be in coconut heaven with every bite.
  • Caribbean Coconut Fudge Bars: These Caribbean Coconut Fudge Bars can’t be beat! A soft oatmeal cookie crust with chocolate fudge and gooey coconut topping- an instant favorite!
  • Orange Pineapple Cake: Orange Pineapple cake is a light, fruity cake with an island flair. You will love the delicious whipped creamy topping! Perfect for potlucks and parties!

How To Make Hawaiian Guava Cake

Square slice of Hawaiian guava cake on a plate with two additional plates of cake.

Hawaiian Guava Cake

4.87 from 30 votes
Guava cake is a tasty, traditional Hawaiian dessert. It is a guava flavored cake with a whipped cream cheese layer and guava gel glaze. Easy and delicious!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch pan

Ingredients

For the Cream Cheese Layer:

For the Guava Gel Topping:

  • 2 cups guava nectar or guava juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, mix together cake mix, guava juice, eggs, and coconut oil until well combined. Bake in a 9×13 glass baking dish according to cake mix package directions. 
    Bowl of prepared strawberry cake mix to make Hawaiian guava cake.
  •  In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with hand mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Slowly fold in the Cool Whip and refrigerate until ready to use. 
    Bowl of whipped filling for Hawaiian Guava Cake
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the 2 cups guava juice and sugar to a boil. Make a slurry out of the cornstarch and a small amount of water.  Remove guava juice from heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. 
    Return to heat and bring back to a boil and boil for one minute. Cool in refrigerator.
    Drizzle of the glaze for Hawaiian Guava Cake
  • When cake has cooled, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cake. When cake has cooled, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cake. Glaze the top of the cake with guava gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Spatula spreading whipped filling on prepared cake to make Hawaiian guava cake.
  • Glaze the top of the cake with guava gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Full 9x13 dish of Hawaiian guava cake with the finished pink glaze on top.

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 338mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 1gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 371IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a guava cake recipe. I do have a question on the guava concentrate usage or juice. If you use the concentrate, do you add any sugar. Also, can you use guava paste? If so, do you heat it and add water to become a liquid?

    Thank you,
    Anita

    1. Using concentrate will make the guava flavor come through more. It will just be stronger. You don’t need to add sugar. We have never used the paste before so I don’t know how well it will work. For sake of ease, I usually just stick with guava juice. Hope this helps!

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious!! Everyone in my family loved it! As my daughter said, “the guava layer just takes it over the top!”

  3. 5 stars
    I absolutely LOVE this cake! The first time I had it was when I went to a coffee shop in Pohnpei. I was hooked. Ever since then I have craved for another Guava cake, and so I am SO excited to have found your recipe!! Thank you so much!

  4. I made it and my family loved it. But we have two kinds of guava nectar available in my area. One yellow and the other pink. I bought the yellow. Haha! Just add a dot of red food coloring to make it pink. I bought pink guava nectar this time I’m going to make it again this weekend thanks for the recipe

    1. I haven’t tried making cupcakes with this recipe, so I am not sure! Let us know how it goes if you do try it!

  5. 5 stars
    This guava cake tasted so delicious and really easy to make! Will surely have this again, thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Highly recommended!

  6. 5 stars
    YUMMY! I have long loved guava smoothies but never thought to make it into a cake. This was genius! Tasted so fresh and fruity and perfect for a special occasion.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this cake for my Sunday dessert with my Hawaiian inspired dinner and it was AMAZING!! My husband loved it and said this was a keeper. I will definitely be making this again.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way before, and I worry that the sheet pan wouldn’t allow the cake to rise without spilling over the edge.

    2. This is definitely NOT Big Island guava cake. Strawberry boxed cake base? My entire family is from Hawaii, all of us bring the genuine Big Island Guava cake back to other family members on Maui when we visit The B.I. It is NEVER Strawberry flavored, strawberries are about as authentic and native as Reggae music and Mai Tais , and drinks with paper umbrellas.

  8. 5 stars
    I researched for weeks and found a handful of recipes that looked worthy enough to confuse me. I wish I would have stopped when I found your recipe (it was the first).

    I followed the recipe EXACTLY, I did make sure to find the Guava Nectar with the HIGHEST percentage of JUICE – which was Libby’s – it has 41%. The others had a measly 10-19%.

    The cake was so ono! This was for my son’s birthday cake and now that he’s all grown up at 16 😂 the character cakes from the store no longer impress him. This certainly did!

    Much gratitude and aloha! It’s been 16 months since we’ve been back to visit all of our family. Because of Covid, my 80 year old dad has been fearful of us going back home for visits…(but, still no worries about climbing up a 30 foot ladder to clean off the roof and gutters!)

    1. Hi Lynette- I am so glad to hear you and your son enjoyed this cake! Your son has good taste, especially for a 16 yea old! 😉 I hope you can make it back to Hawaii soon. It will be so nice when all this crazy stuff has passed. Getting back to the islands will be much easier!

  9. 4 stars
    This is a really good cake. I would have liked a stronger guava flavor though.

    I used canola oil instead of coconut oil, but it came out good . My family enjoyed it

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