Recipe: Pineapple Surprise Cake With Coconut Whipped Cream

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Tropical Recipe—Now that the chill of old man winter has settled in, I find myself dreaming of the tropics. The warm sunshine on my face and a whimsical drink in my hand with a fancy umbrella, of course. For most of us, a tropical vacation is not on the calendar anytime soon, but the flavors of the tropics can be the next best thing. I've created a fun cake perfect to bring a little sunshine into your life... a Pineapple Surprise Cake!

pineapple surprise cake

This is a new twist on an old classic, the pineapple upside down cake. I've just added a couple of ingredients and left it right-side up. Also, baking it and serving the cake in a jar makes for a really fun presentation.

Pineapple Surprise Cake Recipe


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 slices pineapple
  • 6 maraschino cherries without stems
  • 1 1/3 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut (3/4 cup for the cake and 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg


Turn on oven to 350 degrees and prepare the jars. You will need 6 clean jars. Spray each jar with cooking spray and set aside while you make the cake batter.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add coconut and mix for a few seconds in order for the coconut to be covered with the flour mixture. Add the Crisco and mix for 30 seconds. Add vanilla, cream, and the egg and mix on high for 2 minutes.

Add a pat of butter to the jars and place in the oven. Once the butter is melted add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the jar and mix with the butter.

add butter and brown sugar to the jar

Add a ring of pineapple and a cherry to the bottom of the jar and then fill the jar half way with cake batter.

add pineapple, cherry and cake batter to the jars

Place the jars on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top of the cake is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Now you can make the coconut whipped cream to top off the surprise cake!!

Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Pour cream into a chilled mixing bowl and mix on high for 1 minute. Add coconut extract and slowly add powdered sugar while the mixer is on low. Return the mixer to high until the cream becomes stiff. Keep a close eye on it. If it is over beaten it will become butter.

Prepare your Jars for Presentation

One of the things that makes desserts in jars so appealing is how you can decorate the jar for your guests. For this cake, I just tied a yellow jute ribbon around the jar to dress it up a bit. Then pipe the whipped cream on top with a star tip to give it a little pizzazz.

add a ribbon to the jar and top with the coconut whipped cream

Ahead of time, toast up the 1/4 cup of the sweetened coconut in the oven under the broiler. Keep a close eye on it, it only takes a few minutes. Let cool. When you are ready to serve your cake sprinkle the coconut on top and place a cherry on top and voila, you have a lovely tropical treat to drive away the frozen winter (for a little bit at least!)

whipperberry tropical pineapple cake

What is your favorite way to dress up desserts in a jar?

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