It’s my biiiiiirthdayyyy, and even better, I’m just about to leave to going skiing in France for a week, yay! So I decided to make myself an early birthday cake.
So this year I am 23, twenty-three! How did that happen! WHEN did that happen more importantly. The last year has gone so fast, and I’ll say the couple of years have been real hard but the past year has been great and was the fresh start I need – finishing University and starting a new completely new chapter, getting to live one of my childhood dreams and getting over to Canada and travelling to lots of great new places like Turkey and Armenia, meeting some amazing new friends and being able to share an exciting year full of new experiences with a truly amazing person, and what an amazing way to spend the my year into being 23, on the slopes, for a week!
So why a beach themed cake that looks like its suited to a 3 year old and not a 23 year old?
Growing up, I used to always spend my birthdays in a place called Southend! I know, Southend….. But I loved it growing up, the seaside was my most favourite place to be, I loved the sand in my toes, running away from my cousins who used to fearlessly pick up crabs, winning my millions on the 2 pence machines and then spending the evenings going on the rides until the theme park closed for the night, then walking back to train station and picking up our bags of chips on the way for the ride home to keep us going, and then inevitably falling asleep on the train and being carried home – though that didn’t last long, after a while I was too old and large to be carried!
With so many changes over the last few years with growing up and family traditions changing, me moving away for University and then work, I wanted to create something that reminded me of my favourite things when growing up, the things that has me outrageously excited for so weeks and months.
During primary school, whenever we returned from the summer, Easter and May holidays, without fail, I would write a story about Southend, I was borderline obsessed, my mum and teachers thought I had issues, I couldn’t live without going to Southend a ridiculous amount of times throughout the year. I remember being taken to other beaches, and I mean, they were alright, but they were not my darling beloved Southend, I wasn’t impressed, an odd child, I think is fair to say.
So this is my Pina Colada birthday cake – flavours associated with hot summers and refreshing fruits. Now, rum, hmmmm rum, it is my favourite and also my weakness! So add a dash of Malibu or rum to the coconut buttercream for an added zing / sustain ones need for rum, or simply omit it for an alcohol-free cake.
Pina Colada Cake
A tropical cake full of pineapple and coconut with a little helping of rum for the adults!
- 370 g caster sugar
- 300 g crushed pineapple
- 320 g plain flour sifted
- 150 ml butter melted
- 180 ml sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, bean or paste
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 0.75 tsp baking soda
- 75 g dessicated coconut
- 225 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 550 g icing sugar sifted
- 2 tbsp rum optional
- blue food colouring few drops
Pina Colada Cake
Line your cake tins with baking parchment and then preheat the oven to 190C / 170C fan / gas mark 5 / 375F
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on a medium speed until pale and thickened - about 2-3 minutes
Reduce the speed to low and then add in the melted butter/oil and vanilla
Once the butter and vanilla are incorporated add the sour cream and crushed pineapple
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda and the salt, and then add this to the wet mixture gradually, folding in until fully combined and smooth with no lumps
Pour the batter into the cake tins - if going for uniform size layers try to divide this as evenly as possible
Bake until the cakes are a golden brown and a skewer comes out clean - about 35-40 minutes if making cakes and 2o minutes if making cupcakes
When ready, remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15-30 minutes, then remove on to a cooling rack to cool
Place the butter in a bowl and using an electric whisk beat until pale and fluffy (~ 3 minutes)
Stop mixing and place the icing sugar into the bowl, and using a fork loosely mash the icing sugar into the butter, once loosely combined, whisk the butter and icing sugar together until you reach a smooth consistency
Beat the desiccated coconut and rum (optional) into the mix
Apply a crumb coat to the cakes when they're cooled, cut and ready for icing
Pineapple Cake Adapted from Tidy Mom
For this cake I made one 8-inch cake and one 6-inch cake. You can also make with this recipe, 24 cupcakes, a three layer 6-inch cake or a two layer 8/9-inch cake.
The sand on this cake is banana cake, which was from left-overs I had from my Banana & Passion Fruit Cake just crumbled up and added really nicely to exotic taste and feel of this cake!
Adjust the amounts above for how much cake you need to cover - this covered 2 cakes (8-inch and 6-inch) fine for me. If you have any leftover's you can always freeze it until next time (freeze for up to 3 months, something new I learnt whilst making this cake, which is a relief! No more icing waste!)