Pina Colada Cake

This Pina Colada Cake recipe is a fun and EASY way to take a box of yellow cake mix to the next level. 

The pineapple and cream of coconut whisk you away to somewhere tropical as you savor every delicious bite of this cake!

Square piece of Pineapple Tropical Cake with pina colada flavors with a dark background

Tropical Cake

Pina Colada Cake may be the fastest way to feel like you’re somewhere sunny and 75.  This rich and delicious cake recipe has citrus and creamy coconut flavors added to a yellow cake mix that make it unforgettable!

A box of yellow cake mix is made sweeter with sweetened condensed milk, cream of coconut, crushed pineapple, Cool Whip and coconut flakes.   This combination makes an easy and delightful poke cake that tastes like a Pina Colada in cake form! 

Citrusy and refreshing flavors take us to the Bahamas! So, we also love the fresh tropical flavors in our Glazed Rum Bundt Cake, Orange Cake with Pineapple Icing and Frosting with Coconut and Cream Cheese.

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Another light and tropical dessert recipe we have adds marshmallows to make an old-fashioned Pineapple Marshmallow Dessert.

My mom has made this wonderful cake recipe many times over the years!

Piece of pina colada poke cake on white plate on yellow plaid napkin sitting by turquoise pan of cake

Imagine sitting on the beach on a hot sunny day enjoying a pina colada.   This dessert is non-alcoholic so you can share with your kids and it is quite a value because it can be easily made at home any time of the year.   Most of us have to close our eyes while eating to maximize all the beach feelings, so it’s a pretty economical way to enjoy a little escape from the everyday routine. 

If you’ve been following for long it’s no secret that we love Disney Cruises and their private island Castaway Cay.  So any recipe that takes us there to the Bahamas is a winner! Here are a couple of articles we’ve written about our experiences:  Dos & Don’ts for a Disney Cruise and 3-Day Disney Cruise to the Bahamas.

My mom is a good cook!  Along with her Broccoli Cauliflower Salad and Miniature Cheesecakes this is another quick and easy dessert that she wrote in her personal cookbook years ago. 

Turquoise 9x13 pan with PIna Colada cake covered in cool whip and coconut

Tips for Making Pina Colada Poke Cake

The most difficult part of the recipe for me was finding the cream of coconut at the grocery store.  It is typically in a can or plastic squeezable container near the mixed drink supplies. Next time I’ll just order it here.

Ingredients needed to make pina colada cake from a box mix

Ensure a toothpick tester comes out clean so that cake is finished baking. A lot of ingredients are added, so you need to start with a firm cake.

I like to spread the whipped topping evenly over the top and then pat it with the flat side of a butter knife to make little peaks in the Cool Whip.

Any design or lack of design with the whipped topping will not affect the taste, so don’t stress if it doesn’t look exactly like you’d hope.

Storing in the refrigerator helps keep the cake firmer a little longer.  We do prefer serving at room temperature. 

Give the cake at least an hour to soak up all of the sweet goodness and enjoy within 24 hours for best results.  After a day the cake may become a bit too soggy from all of the added liquid.  For these reasons, I would not recommend freezing the cake. 

Piece of easy tropical cake from a box mix without alcohol

How to Make Pina Colada Cake

Begin by baking a box of classic yellow cake mix as directed in a 9×13 pan.

Once the cake cools, take the small, round end of a wooden spoon and poke about 24 holes in the cake. Space the holes as evenly as possible across the cake so that all of the delicious flavors that will be added can be evenly distributed.

Pour 13 ounces of cream of coconut and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk over the holes.

Holes in Pina Colada Poke Cake with sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut soaking in the white cake

Make sure the can of crushed pineapple is drained very well as the cake already has a lot of liquid. Then spread the crushed pineapple in an even layer across the top of the cake.

Cover the pineapple with whipped topping and sprinkle with coconut.

Can The Cake Be Made Ahead of Time?

This cake can be made ahead of time and frosted just before serving.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut over top of the poke cake. Do NOT frost until ready to serve. Instead cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before enjoying.

Easy Cakes from a Box Mix:

Having so many delicious cake options means we can mix up our desserts which is always a win!

Printable Recipe for Pina Colada Cake

Up close piece of tropical cake with pineapple, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, cool whip and cream of coconut

Pina Colada Cake

Servings 15 people
Author: Jennifer
This recipe is a fun and easy twist on a classic box of yellow cake mix.  If you're looking for a moist and sweet cake you'll love this Pina Colada Cake!
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 box yellow cake mix bake as directed in 9×13 pan
  • 13.5 ounce can of cream of coconut
  • 12 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 container whipped topping
  • 1 cup shredded coconut


  • Prepare the box of yellow cake mix as directed, use 9 x 13-inch pan. 
  • Take the small, round end of a wooden spoon and poke about 24 holes in the cake.  
  • Pour cream of coconut and can of sweetened condensed milk over the holes.
  • Spread well-drained crushed pineapple in an even layer over the top of the cake. 
  • Spread whipped topping across the top and sprinkle with coconut.


Calories: 397kcalCarbohydrates: 71gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 319mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 2gSugar: 56gVitamin A: 91IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally published November 25, 2017 with pictures and explanation updated on February 24, 2020.



    love to cook, can’t wait to get started.

    1. Hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

  2. 5 stars
    This was awesome. I added a mini of rum to the condensed milk and coconut cream for an adult birthday cake. I served it cold like a jello cake. Everyone loved it!

  3. 4 stars
    The cream of coconut is hard to find …. I just left it out and the cake was delicious! You really don’t even need it.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Thanks so much for sharing!

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