Pina Colada Cake (Dairy-Free)

“If you like pina coladas…and getting caught in the rain…”

This song can only mean one thing. Yep, time for a Pina Colada cake! My ideal summer would be spent sitting on a patio in the warm sunshine sipping on a frosty rum-filled pina colada, tropical beach umbrella optional. And this summer drink-inspired dairy-free Pina Colada cake is bursting full of that refreshing flavor.

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A pina colada cake covered in shredded coconut and topped with white frosting swirls and dried candied pineapples.

What Is A Dairy-Free Pina Colada Cake Made Of?

Smooth and fluffy coconut cake layers made with real coconut milk paired with a sweet pineapple filling make up the base flavors of this delicious pina colada cake. Each cake layer is brushed with a dreamy rum and coconut milk soak that screams summer. And last, but certainly not least, the whole cake is covered in a dreamy whipped dairy-free coconut buttercream frosting. It’s everything pina colada and everything delicious!

A slice of pina colada cake laying on a plate. There is white frosting between each cake layer with pineapple filling.

How To Make A Coconut Cake

This cake recipe produces the moistest, tender, velvety coconut cake crumb. The trick to achieving a scrumptious coconut cake is to use full-fat canned coconut milk. No coconut water, no coconut milk in a carton, and no low-fat canned coconut milk. Full-fat here, folks.

Using my go-to vanilla cake recipe, I swapped out the regular dairy-free almond milk for canned coconut milk and added a teaspoon of coconut extract. The coconut extract, while not necessary, really makes the flavor pop.

I baked this cake in four 6-inch round cake layers but it can easily be made into 2 dozen cupcakes or two 8 or 9-inch rounds as well. The baking times will adjust though so keep an eye on them.

A close up short of a cake top covered in shredded cocot and white frosting swirls with dried pineapples on top of each swirl.

Rum And Coconut Milk Soak

No one likes waste and everyone likes rum so why not tackle both convictions at once. Using the remaining canned coconut milk and ¼ cup of rum, I brushed each cooled and leveled cake layer with a healthy splash and allowed it to soak in for a few minutes before stacking the cake layers. Malibu or some kind of pineapple liqueur would also be phenomenal in it. Alcohol-free? No sweat, you can easily skip the booze.

How To Make Pineapple Filling

Pina colada cake would not be complete without a burst of summery fresh pineapple filling. It’s super easy to make as well. Using a cup of crushed pineapple, combine it with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and cook over medium heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. The whole process should only take approximately 5-7 minutes.

Once the pineapple filling thickens, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter until it is fully melted. Pour the filling into a shallow dish or bowl and directly cover the surface with plastic wrap. Let the filling cool for 3 hours or even overnight.

The inside shot of a pina colada layer cake. There is white frosting between each cake layer and pineapple filling.

Best Pina Colada Cake From Scratch

This dairy-free pina colada cake is truly a slice of summer drink-inspired delight. Soft fluffy coconut cake layers brushed with a hint of rum, filled with a fresh pineapple filling, and covered in a sweet coconut buttercream frosting. Each slice is a summer celebration and bursting with pina colada flavor. You’ll be patio-sitting and pina colada-sipping (or should I say snacking) in no time!

A slice of pina colada cake standing on a clear plastic plate and topped with a white frosting swirl and dried pineapple candy.

Looking for some other fresh summer treats? Check these ones out:

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The inside of a pina colada cake that has white frosting between each cake layer and pineapple filling.

Pina Colada Cake (Dairy-Free)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 10 Slices 1x


The tastiest dairy-free Pina Colada cake bursting with fresh coconut and pineapple flavors and a hint of rum. This summer drink-inspired cake is deliciously refreshing and perfect for a special summer treat.



Coconut Cake

  • ¾ cup canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature *can sub liquid egg replacer for vegan
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract *
  • 1 ¾ cup cake flour, sifted *can sub gluten-free 1:1 baking blend
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature

Rum Cake Soak

  • remaining canned coconut milk
  • ¼ cup rum **

Pineapple Filling

  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • ⅛ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free salted butter, room temperature

Coconut Buttercream

  • 2 cups dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum **
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Cake Decor

  • unsweetened shredded coconut, medium
  • dried pineapple chunks


Coconut Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray and parchment line four 6-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the coconut milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer and with the flat beater attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and give it a quick mix together for approximately 1 minute.
  4. In small pieces, slowly add the butter into the dry ingredients and mix on low until it looks like coarse sand.
  5. Slowly pour in approximately half of the liquid mixture and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour the remaining liquid mixture in and mix on medium for another 2 minutes. Scrap the sides of the bowl when necessary.
  7. Divide the cake batter into the four prepared cake pans and bake for approximately 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Allow the cake layers to cool for 10 minutes and then invert them on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Rum Cake Soak

  1. In a small bowl combine the remaining canned coconut milk and rum.
  2. With a pastry brush or spoon, brush or drizzle a little bit of the soak onto each cooled and leveled cake layer. ***

Pineapple Filling

  1. In a small pot over medium heat combine the crushed pineapple, sugar, cornstarch, and salt and mix until fully combined.
  2. Continue to stir the mixture of medium heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. This should take approximately 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the pineapple filling from the heat and mix in the butter until fully melted and smooth.
  4. Pour the filling into a shallow bowl or dish and directly cover the surface with plastic wrap.
  5. Allow to fully cool in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight before using.

Coconut Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 10 minutes.

  2. Add the icing sugar, rum, coconut extract, and salt and mix on low until combined.

  3. Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each fully cooled coconut cake layer with a cake leveler or knife.

  2. Brush or drizzle on the rum soak on top of each leveled cake layer.
  3. Place one leveled layer of cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable and top with approximately 1 cup of coconut buttercream.

  4. Pipe a buttercream border around the edge and fill with approximately ¼ cup of the pineapple filling.
  5. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  6. Cover the cake with another layer of coconut buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.

  7. Decorate the cake as you please. I covered the entire cake with shredded coconut. Using the palm of my hand, I scooped up the shredded coconut and very gently pressed it up against the sides and top of the cake. With a Wilton 1m piping tip, I piped swirls around the top border and placed a dried pineapple chunk on each swirl. Enjoy!


* Coconut extract in the cake is totally optional

** Rum in the soak and buttercream is optional. 

*** You will not use the entire soak. Just enough to wet the top of each cake.

  • Prep Time: 60 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 932
  • Sugar: 87 Grams
  • Sodium: 938 Miligrams
  • Fat: 52 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 33 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 18 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 6 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 101 Grams
  • Fiber: 2 Grams
  • Protein: 6 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 139 Miligrams

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  1. Tried this recipe but in cupcake form and I’m at a loss for words!! The cake texture was so light and fluffy, that pineapple filling was the perfect sweet/salty note to cut some of the sweetness from the coconut buttercream which was simply divine!! If you are a piña colada lover you HAVE to try this recipe!! It’s also extremely simple too!! Seriously speechless!

    1. I can’t tell you how excited I am that you loved this recipe. I’m a huge pina colada fan and am excited that you enjoyed these flavours as well. Thanks, Lindsey!

    1. Perfect summer cake! I don’t mind dairy, so used real butter and……all butter in the buttercream. Yummy! ? The one adjustment I think I’ll make next time is to lessen the amount of salt in the buttercream. It was a bit salty for me.

      1. It sounds so very tasty! Thanks for baking this recipe up Joann and sharing it. And it’s been said that I do love things on the salty side ? I appreciate your feedback!

  2. I got the new Bailey’s pina colada that I’ve seen advertised and it used it on this cake as a soak. It was probably the best cake I’ve ever eaten.

    1. Now that is a brilliant idea Tammy-Lynne. I kinda want to bake this one up again just to try it.

  3. I appreciated the alcohol-free tips. I love pina colada but don’t consume alcohol. It still turned out delicious.

    1. I am so glad you found that helpful. My hope was for everyone to be able to enjoy this scrumptious cake flavour.

  4. Delicious is an understatement. I used regular dairy ingredients and I’ll definitely make this one again.

  5. This recipe caught my attention because, well, pina-colada anything has got to be good! I made it for my own birthday and everyone loved it. So much so, that my daughter-in-law made it for her wedding cake! She did an awesome job and it was beautifully done. When the photographer releases photos, I will try to share.

  6. Can this be converted to Gluten Free and if so what GF flour would you use for cake flour and how much Xanthum Gum?

    1. Yes, it definitely can. I would use a gf cup for cup baking blend. If it already has xanthan gum, you won’t need anymore. If your gf blend does not have xanthan gum add 3/4 tsp.

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