A summer party dessert, part 2

pineapple sunshine cake

I promised I would tell you about this easy, moist, yellow cake recipe with its lovely hints of the tropics inside called “Pineapple Sunshine Cake.” I made this recipe along with pasta salad from my previous post about the party with the ladies from Bible study.

I — like many people — love searching Yummly. Oh, you’ve never been? Well, here’s the link:

I added the app for Yummly — “Yum” — onto my Kindle, so now when I am too tired to read, but I can’t sleep, I explore all the various cooking and baking options. And I wonder why I am still awake an hour later. Doh!

So — probably not helping my insomnia, but I do find so many great recipes.

I decided on this recipe from blogger, Ashlyn’s “Belle of the Kitchen: Recipes for a Healthier Appetite”:

It was very easy to follow and the ingredients weren’t costly like some recipes. For the cake I needed:

1 box of yellow cake mix
4 eggs
½ cup oil (I used canola oil, but you could use coconut oil, too.)
1 (8 oz) can of crushed pineapple with juice

I had 8 oz pineapple tidbits already and one big can of the crushed pineapple in my pantry. I was worried I wouldn’t have the right amount, according to the recipe, because I am so fastidious when it comes to following recipes. I improvised by taking the tidbits out of 8 oz can and added the crushed as a way to measure out exactly 8 oz.


(I put the pineapple tidbits in smaller containers for a snack or something to pack with hubby’s lunch.)

For the frosting I needed:
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping, thawed (I always buy two of those just in case I need or want more “cloud cover.”)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple again with juice

After I set my oven to 350 degrees, I sprayed a 9×13 pan with PAM’s baking spray.

The recipe doesn’t indicate a need for that, but ever since I started using this when baking, I have had baked goods release more easily from the pan when cutting up slices.

I had the eggs sit out for about 30 minutes to bring them to room temperature. Again, the recipe doesn’t indicate to make sure the eggs and the butter are at room temperature. I just have learned that your cake will come out so much better if I remember this step.

Dawn Perry, a food editor at “Real Simple” magazine, explained that “at room temperature, eggs, butter, and milk bond and form an emulsion that traps air.”

She said that while your cake is baking “the air expands, producing light, airy, evenly baked treats.
Batters made with room temperature ingredients are smooth and evenly incorporated.

“Cold ingredients don’t incorporate evenly to bond, resulting in dense cookies, rock-hard breads, and clumpy cheesecakes. Batters made with cold ingredients won’t come together smoothly.”

My other “trick” is to cracked an egg on the surface of the counter and drop it into a ramekin one at a time before adding it to the bigger bowl of overall mix.

I wish I could tell you who told me this — probably Alton Brown of Food Network –but cracking eggs one at a time in another bowl helps to avoid added shells and bad eggs getting into your beautiful mix. (I know, I know. I might be a bit paranoid.) Also, most recipes recommend adding one egg at a time to make sure they’re all incorporated.

Once cake mix, eggs and oil are married up, I then added the 8 oz can of crushed pineapple and poured the mixture into the pan. I baked the cake for the full 30 minutes, but Ashlyn indicates to bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of the cake came out clean. I have a thermometer in my oven (which I recommend), so I usually check anything 5 minutes before the lowest time to make sure it doesn’t burn

Cooling pineapple sunshine cake

I let the cake cool on the counter for a while, and then put it in my refrigerator to make sure it was really cold.
In a medium bowl and with my spatula, I gently mixed together the whipped topping, vanilla pudding mix, and 1 8 oz can of crushed pineapple to spread over the top.

The finished product: frosted pineapple sunshine cake.

Of course, I did need to make a “baker’s cut” and sample it with David. I mean, I didn’t want to bring this to a party and it not taste good, right?

Two pieces of pineapple sunshine

Yum! This cake recipe, even with pineapple that is usually sweet on its own, was just the right amount of light sweetness for a summer party. I think the ladies enjoyed it.

Jean Cope, our group’s leader, kindly told me she had two pieces. That made me feel great. I think I will have to try this again with another fruit like mandarin oranges. I will post again when I do.


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