Hawaiian Wedding Cake

4.86 from 21 votes
54 Comments

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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.

Close up of Hawaiian Wedding Cake slice.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

This Hawaiian cake is a poke cake using a basic yellow cake mix with three layers on top: a crushed pineapple layer with pineapple juice that seeps into the cake, a creamy pudding layer, and then whipped topping and coconut on top. What I like about the topping on this Hawaiian Wedding Cake is it is not too sweet. It is flavorful and light. It’s a nice change from heavy, sugary frosting. Another great thing about this cake, is it looks pretty in a simple cake pan. No need for layers of cake or specialty pans to make this cake stand out! It is simple and can still feed a crowd using a 9×13 cake pan.

Hawaiian Cake Ingredients

For the cake batter:

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Eggs
  • Oil or butter

For the layers:

  • Crushed pineapple
  • Cream cheese
  • Vanilla pudding mix
  • Milk
  • Whipped cream (homemade or Cool Whip)
  • Coconut flakes or toasted coconut
Ingredients for Hawaiian Wedding Cake


Hawaiian Wedding Cake Recipe Tips

A couple of tips on making this Hawaiian cake. First, when I use pudding and milk in a recipe, I always use 2% or whole milk (using skim milk or 1% milk will not thicken the pudding as well). Second, when using cream cheese in a recipe make sure it is softened. If the cream cheese is not completely softened it will leave clumps in the pudding mixture.

Leave your cream cheese on the counter to soften. Depending on the temperature in your house it can take 30 minutes to an hour. Press on the outside of the package to test if it is completely softened. Another way to soften the cream cheese is to take it out of the package, cut it in cubes, place it in a microwavable bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir well. If it is not completely softened, cook for additional 10 second increments. The cream cheese should not become hot, just softened enough to blend well with the other ingredients. If I am preparing this cake in advance, I will hold off adding the whipped topping and coconut until just before it is served.

Slice of Hawaiian Wedding Cake with fresh cut pineapple.

Gluten-Free Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Good news for those who are Gluten-Free! This Hawaiian cake is easy to make gluten free. The only two suspect ingredients are the yellow cake mix and the vanilla pudding mix. Pillsbury and Betty Crocker both make a gluten-free yellow cake mix and they are available at pretty much every grocery store out there. If they aren’t in your local grocery store, you can also purchase them online.

As of this post, Kraft does not label its Jell-O instant pudding as gluten free. The product itself does not contain gluten as an ingredient, but Kraft does not guarantee that the product has not come in contact with gluten during manufacturing. If this is a concern, there are brands that carry gluten-free instant pudding mixes. Simply Delish and Better Bowls are two brands I have found that carry a gluten-free instant vanilla pudding mix. You can also make your own gluten-free instant pudding mixes. Try this recipe from is Gluten-Free to a Shoestring.

Slice of Hawaiian Wedding Cake held by a serving spatula.

More Refreshing Summer Desserts

Hawaiian Guava Cake: Guava cake is another classic Hawaiian cake 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!

Pink Lemonade Ice Cream Pie: We had this ice cream pie all the time growing up. It is so easy to make and as kids, we LOVED it. We all loved pink lemonade when we were kids (still do) and this was just like Pink Lemonade but in ice cream form and served like pie. WIN. WIN. The sweet and tangy flavors taste just like Summertime – if Summertime had a taste.

Orange Pineapple Cake: This is another refreshing cake recipe, but with more of a citrus twist. It’s perfect for any island-themed summer party. So so easy to make and deliciously refreshing.

Jell-O Poke Cake: This cake is a little bit berry, a little bit citrus. Reminds me of a raspberry lemonade in cake form! Whenever we make this cake for potlucks it ALWAYS gets polished.

How to Make Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Slice of Hawaiian Wedding Cake held by a serving spatula.

Hawaiian Wedding Cake

4.86 from 21 votes
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.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 12

Video

Equipment

  • 9×13 Baking Pan
  • Hand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Wooden Spoon

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bake cake mix according to package directions in a 9×13 pan. Cool completely.
    Yellow cake for Hawaiian Wedding Cake.
  • While cake is baking, mix cream cheese, pudding and milk together in a mixer or with electric beaters until blended well and thickened. Place pudding mixture in refrigerator. It will continue to thicken until cake is cooled.
    Pudding mixture for Hawaiian Wedding Cake.
  • When cake is cooled, poke holes evenly in the top of the cake with the round handle end of a wooden spoon.
    Poked holes in a cake to make Hawaiian Wedding Cake.
  • Spread crushed pineapple evenly over the cake.
    Crushed pineapple on top of a cake for Hawaiian Wedding Cake.
  • Add the pudding mixture.
    Pudding mixture spread on top of Hawaiian Wedding Cake.
  • Spread whipped topping over the pudding mixture and sprinkle entire cake with coconut flakes.
    Coconut on top of a full Hawaiian Wedding Cake.
  • Serve immediately or keep covered and in the fridge until ready to serve.
    Slice of Hawaiian Wedding Cake held by a serving spatula.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 61gProtein: 5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 478mgPotassium: 198mgFiber: 2gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 360IUVitamin C: 3.3mgCalcium: 181mgIron: 1.2mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This was yummy. What I would do next time: 2 cans of pineapple (I used 20 oz and wanted more), and use half the amount of whipped topping. Maybe I would try replacing the milk with pineapple juice too. Would be yummy to taste the tang of the cream cheese more too, perhaps by using more of a pineapple cream cheese frosting. I had excess pudding powder so I dumped it into the cake batter, which makes it more moist. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This looks very similar to a cake I used to make except in mine, I combined the softened cream cheese, pudding mix, and cool whip and frosted the cake with it!

    1. For best results, I would make the cake and the pudding mixture ahead of time, and then assemble it the day you want to serve it!

  3. 5 stars
    I am a diabetic. So I try to cut the carbs and sugar down. I use sugar free cool whip, sugar free vanilla pudding, 2% milk and a sugar free BettyCrocker yellow cake mix. I use coconut oil (which makes the taste that much better) instead of regular oil. You can buy sugar free crushed pineapple, but that would defeat my purpose to cheat! I personally love the taste and am keeping my sugar low. Sooo good!

    1. Wow, that sounds great! So happy that you could make it your own and still enjoy this delicious cake! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Re Hawaiian Wedding Cake:
    Could I also add ginger root to this recipe? I have extra boiled ginger root that I think might add flavor to this cake. What do you think?

    Kaye Matousek
    kmatousek75@gmail.com
    (612) 206-1338

    1. Either way is fine! I like using the 100% juice kind because I think it tastes fresher.

  5. 5 stars
    This cake is a favorite with all my friends and family Everyone requests it wherever I go. I’ve been making this cake for about 15 years and always it gets Rave reviews! In my family we call it our Hawaiian Wiggle cake☺️🌺

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for my husbands birthday because he loves tropical flavors and everyone loved it. Will definitely make this again!

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