pineapple topped cake

I can’t believe it’s summer. One of my favorite seasons to spend in Calistoga. Our home is always overflowing with neighbors and family friends. The picnic table is full of empty BBQ dinner plates and strawberry lemonade glasses and the pool’s full of sun-drenched kiddos that are ready for a sugar rush before the sun goes down…

This cake is the best for these kinds of summer get-togethers! It’s a simple recipe with a simple decoration, but it still brings that “WOW!” factor (in both taste and presentation, of course).

recipe: pineapple topped cake

sweet vanilla frosting:

  • 1 lb room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 lb sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp milk


  • Whip butter 2 minutes on medium-high speed
  • Add powdered sugar in parts, continue to whip on medium until combined
  • Add vanilla and milk
  • Beat 4 minutes until well combined
  • May need to add more vanilla or milk, depending on the texture
  • Add a few drops of yellow food coloring until it reaches a pale, pastel shade

chocolate cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ c cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Set oven to 325 degrees with 2 racks. Gather and prepare 2x 6 inch cake cake pans.  
  • To prepare cake pans: butter each cake pan and lightly dust with cake flour.  Tap each pan to remove any extra flour. Line each pan bottom with a round piece of parchment paper cut out to fit the pan. Set aside on a cookie pan/ sheet pan.
  • Sift together dry ingredients flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder.

in mixing bowl with a flat paddle attachment

  • With the mixer on low speed, cream butter and add sugar, beat for 2-3 min until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well for 2-3min and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  • Pour the hot coffee over the chocolate and let melt for a few minutes. Let mixture cool.
  • Add dry ingredients alternating with the hot coffee chocolate mixture and the buttermilk vanilla mixture in thirds.
  • When all has been incorporated, mix well on low speed for 1-2 minutes.
  • Divide batter and pour batter into prepared cake pans.  
  • Tap down each pan to eliminate any air pockets
  • Place each pan on rack in the oven. Bake 50 minutes, rotating at 25 min.  
  • Test for doneness when toothpick comes out clean or cake springs back when touched.
  • Remove from oven and set aside on a cooling rack for 2 hours

frosting the cake:

  • Cut the top layer off the cooled cakes to create even layers for decorating
  • Place 1x 6in cake on a 6 inch cake board and place on your decorating surface
  • Add a layer of frosting to the top of the bottom layer cake then gently add the 2nd 6 inch cake on top of the first layer.
  • Crumb coat the cake by adding a small layer of frosting covering the entire cake.
  • Chill the crumb coat cake for 30 min
  • When the crumb coat cake is cool, you’ll have a smooth, crumb-free foundation for swirls of sweet vanilla frosting. 
  • Add rainbow sprinkles to the sides of the cake. Slice pineapple about 1 inch from the top, being careful to cut an even line. Place on top of the cake and serve!

about kara

Kara’s Cupcakes is the vision of executive pastry chef, Kara Haspel Lind. Kara always had a love for sweets. A graduate of Tante Marie’s Professional Pastry School in San Francisco, her word of mouth cupcake catering business quickly grew to nine busy bakeries. Even now, a busy mom, and nine busy bakeries selling her famous cupcakes, cakes and artisan sweets, Kara can still be found most mornings working in the kitchen with her dedicated pastry staff.

Follow Kara on @KaraKCup

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