Hawaiian Guava Cake

4.96 from 129 votes
191 Comments

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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.

Whether you’re craving a taste of the islands or simply want a unique dessert to enjoy, this Guava Cake will won’t disappoint. It’s a sweet, Hawaiian cake that’s perfect for any occasion, and it’s easy to make at home! You just can’t beat the flavors and textures of the spongy cake layered with creamy frosting and sweet guava glaze.

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!

Ingredients to make Hawaiian guava cake.


Guava 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 okay, too.

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 to get that nice pink color.
  • 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!
  • Make it a poke cake by poking holes in the top of the cake with the back of a wooden spoon before frosting and pouring prepared strawberry Jell-O over the top of the cake. Follow our Poke Cake recipe instructions for more details on how to do this.

Tips for Making this Guava Hawaiian Cake

  • Balance Sweetness: Guavas can vary in sweetness, so taste your guava puree or juice and adjust the sugar accordingly in your cake and frosting. You want the cake to be sweet but not overly so.
  • Check for Doneness: Test the cakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs when the cakes are done.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: For the cream cheese frosting layer, be sure to use room temp ingredients to make the frosting nice and smooth.
  • Cool Before Frosting: Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. If you frost while warm, the frosting layers may melt and not set right.
  • Garnish Creatively: Consider decorating your guava cake with additional tropical elements like fresh guava slices, shredded coconut, or even a drizzle of passion fruit sauce.

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 in the baking pan 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 Cakes?

Love this Hawaiian guava cake? Try some of these other cakes inspired by the tropical flavors of the islands!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is guava nectar the same as guava concentrate?

Guava nectar is a sweet and refreshing fruit juice used for beverages and mixed drinks. Guava concentrate, on the other hand, is a thicker, more potent form of guava flavor used in cooking, baking, and as a concentrated ingredient for adding guava essence to various dishes and recipes.

What does guava taste like?

Guava has a distinct flavor profile that’s sweet and slightly tangy, often described as a tropical-citrus blend with notes of pear, strawberry, and a subtle hint of lemon. The taste can vary depending on its ripeness, with fully ripe guavas being even sweeter and more aromatic.

How to Make Guava Cake

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

Hawaiian Guava Cake

4.96 from 129 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 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 12

Video

Equipment

  • 9×13 inch pan
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Sauce pan

Ingredients

  • 1 strawberry cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups guava nectar or guava juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil room temp (liquid)

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.

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 three beautiful 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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4.96 from 129 votes (68 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious. I was skeptical, but this guava cake is better than some I’ve picked up at the grocery stores on island.
    I used guava nectar, cut the sugar by half, and used a white cake mix. A few strawberries blended into the cake mix, added red food coloring.
    The coconut oil is a lovely choice.
    Thank you for a wonderful guava cake recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Love Guava cake but I can only get it in LA, 3 hours away so I decided to make one. Changes I made are, I made it 4 layers with cream in each layer except with 3rd layer I layered with cream and Guava. Loved it! Next time I will layer each layer with both cream and Guava as I had so much Guava left over!

  3. 5 stars
    I made a few adjustments, I used a white cake mix and a box of white Chocolate pudding mix, also added some red velvet flavoring. It was dense and flavorful. I used melted butter instead of oil.
    Turned out so good!

  4. I was raised almost my life in Hawaii and this recipe is the exact yumminess I remember. It’s the first guava cake I’ve made myself and it was delicious! Just as good as Napoleon’s Bakery or any of the local bakeries from home. I was even thinking of using the same recipe and use coconut in place of guava.

  5. 5 stars
    I started with guava fruit so had to guess about quantity of fruit, liquid, and tartness of guava. Cake came out too dense but was delicious with definite guava flavor. Will work on the proportions again.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday for my daughter’s birthday. OMG…I still can’t get over how good this recipe is. We moved back here last year after living in Hawaii for two years and the food is what we miss the most. I’ve been looking for an easy recipe(not a baker by any means)to try as this is one of our family favorites. Let me tell you…We thank you and appreciate you for sharing this recipe. I did use less sugar and vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. It was delicious and we loved it! 🩷

  7. I made this recipe yesterday. It was good, but I thought it was a bit too sweet with the 1/2 cup of sugar in the jelly. Probably would’ve been just fine without it. The juice nectar is already sweet, so it was a bit overpowering and I couldn’t taste as much guava. The strawberry cake box also overpowered the guava juice in the cake itself. Family members in the house said it just tasted like a good strawberry cake. Still delicious though!

  8. Wow!! What a great recipe! Cake was soft and moist with great guava flavor. The cream cheese topping and guava jel added flavor without sugar. Loved that it is not overly sweet. I made it using homegrown pink guava puree. Have a great picture of the cake.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for my daughters office and a few people actually asked if I could bring in my business cards so they could hire me to bake professionally. Thank you so much for sharing your bakery level recipes with the world! So generous!!! And well written too! 😉

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