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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.
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
- Oil or butter
For the layers:
- Crushed pineapple
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla pudding mix
- Whipped cream (homemade or Cool Whip)
- Coconut flakes or toasted coconut
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.
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.
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
Hawaiian Wedding Cake
- 9×13 Baking Pan
- Hand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Wooden Spoon
- Bake cake mix according to package directions in a 9×13 pan. Cool completely.
- 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.
- When cake is cooled, poke holes evenly in the top of the cake with the round handle end of a wooden spoon.
- Spread crushed pineapple evenly over the cake.
- Add the pudding mixture.
- Spread whipped topping over the pudding mixture and sprinkle entire cake with coconut flakes.
- Serve immediately or keep covered and in the fridge until ready to serve.
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