A Birthday Party & A Hawaiian Wedding Cake


I got the recipe for this cake 27 years ago at a wedding shower — a 24 hour sleep over kind of wedding shower in the rural Pennsylvania lake community I lived in at the time.  I hardly knew the bride to be, but she was best friends with my best friend, and I got invited.

Mid way through the night, the mother-in-law-to-be pulled out a cream cheese frosted sheet cake she called Hawaiian Wedding Cake.  I don’t even like cake, but something about this cake made me fall in love.  It was sweet in a tropical kind of way, with the juiciness of pineapple, the chewiness of coconut, and the surprise crunch of walnuts in every bite.

This cake is a one bowl wonder and a good option if you don’t have a lot of time.  It’s the cake I turn to again and again for special occasions, so this weekend, I brought out the now yellowed, handwritten recipe and baked it for my “daughter’s” thirtieth birthday party.


I don’t have any children of my own, but 17 years ago, when I moved to Dallas, my partner had two children, and I became a stepmom.  The relationship didn’t last, but we are all still close as family, and those two kids are like my own.

Saturday night we hosted a “Champagne & Chicken Wings” party complete with Rotel and Velveeta cheese dip, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in cans, and costumes.  The cake and the party were a huge success.

Whether you need a quick cake for a birthday party, a dinner party, or a wedding shower, this is one of the easiest and most delicious cakes you’ll ever make.  And people will think you’ve spent all kinds of time making something that didn’t come from a box mix.


Hawaiian Wedding Cake

Please Note:  

While researching this recipes I found a lot of variations – some have less sugar, some less baking soda, and some use cake mixes or different kinds of nuts.  I have no idea where the mother-in-law-to-be from that long ago wedding shower got this recipe, and I didn’t see another recipe with these exact measurements.  The cream cheese icing showed up over and over again during my search.

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 – 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with the juice

1 cup coconut

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda


Making the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Cream the sugar and eggs together.


Add the pineapple, coconut, vanilla, and walnuts.  Mix until blended.


Add the flour and baking soda and stir until all dry ingredients are incorporated.


Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9 inch pans.  Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes.


They are done when they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Allow the cakes to cool completely before sliding a knife around the edge and flipping them over to remove them from their pans.  You may need to hit the bottom of the pan to jolt the cake out of there or they may slide right out.  I usually have to bang around a bit.


Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

2 sticks butter at room temperature

16 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted

1 -15 ounce can crushed pineapple drained


Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.  Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until smooth.


Frost the top of the first cake, then spread the drained pineapple on top of the frosting.


Place the second cake on top of the first and frost the rest of the cake.

Keeping this Cake Simple:

Instead of using the two round cake pans, use only a 13X9 inch cake pan and cut the frosting recipe in half and skip the second 15 ounce can of crushed pineapple.  Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.


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About Lisa Orwig

I'm a homegrown cook sharing recipes and other great stuff about food from all over the world.
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