Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake

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Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake – four ingredients, one bowl, one spoon and you’re on your way to this delicious cake!

Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake - four ingredients, one bowl, and one spoon makes this light & delicious cake | Persnickety Plates

Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake

Today’s pineapple coconut cake was first made for my Dad’s birthday last week. I have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone wants chocolate+peanut butter errrything, like I do. 

He loves pineapple and coconut so I knew I wanted to put those flavors together.

I originally planned on making a pineapple upside down cake, but decided to go this direction instead. My Dad doesn’t like fussy things and he loves fresh pineapple so this sweet treat was was perfect for him.

Why you’ll love this pineapple coconut cake recipe

  • Easy recipe – Only four ingredients, one bowl, and one spoon are needed.
  • Perfect for family gatherings – Because it makes a 9×13 size, it can feed a group.
  • It’s skinny – It’s low in fat and calories but you’d never know it because it’s one of those great recipes that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor.

The cake batter starts from an angel food cake mix, has crushed pineapple mixed in, and is finished with a coconut topping.

Angel food cake is naturally fat free (the boxed kind, anyway) and you’re not adding that many more calories with the pineapple, brown sugar, and coconut.

Regardless, it’s safe to say it’s far skinnier than most of my desserts.

It’s light and spongy, like angel food cake should be, and the brown sugar and coconut adds a nice sweet “crust” to the top. Even I liked it, and I don’t like pineapple.

Equipment you’ll need to make a Pineapple Cake

  • My favorite mixing bowls – they have a grippy bottom, which makes them hold still while you’re mixing.
  • My favorite silicone spoons – I love using silicone spoons because they’re heat safe (when you need them to be) & they’re easy to clean. A wooden spoon will also work.
  • Baking dish – love that it has a lid for storing leftovers.

Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Angel Food Cake Mix – The “just add water” kind. I used Duncan Hines.
  • Crushed Pineapple – You want the kind that comes in the can with pineapple juice NOT packed in syrup.
  • Brown Sugar – To make a “crust” on the cake.
  • Shredded Coconut – Coconut flakes go on top with the brown sugar to make a bit of a crust on the cake. You could also add toasted coconut if you want to add an additional special touch.
Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake - four ingredients, one bowl, and one spoon makes this light & delicious cake | Persnickety Plates

How to make this Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake

  1. STEP ONE: Prep the batter. To a large mixing bowl, add the cake mix and can of crushed pineapple. Stir it until it’s fully combined – it will be light and airy. Pour batter into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle brown sugar and shredded coconut evenly over the top.
  2. STEP TWO: Bake the cake. In a 350° preheated oven, bake the cake until golden brown and slightly cracked in the center of the cake – 30-35 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and for best results, turn the cake on its side to slightly cool.
  3. STEP THREE: Serve the cake. When ready to serve, run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it and then slice to serve.

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Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake - four ingredients, one bowl, and one spoon makes this light & delicious cake | Persnickety Plates

Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Four ingredients, one bowl, and a spoon and you’re on your way to this Skinny Pineapple Coconut Cake!
4.75 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 servings
Calories 142 kcal


  • 16 ounce angel food cake mix the “just add water” kind – I used Duncan Hines
  • 16 ounce crushed pineapple in juice not in syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons shredded coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a large bowl, add the cake mix and crushed pineapple. With a spoon, stir until fully combined. It will be light & airy.
  • Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Sprinkle on the brown sugar until it evenly coats the top.
  • Sprinkle on the shredded coconut.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and cracked. It will probably be hard to see the cracks because of the brown sugar/coconut topping, but any that you do see, should be dry, not moist.
  • Remove from oven and carefully set the pan on its side to cool.
  • Once cool, run a knife around the edge to loosen it.
  • It will slice best with a serrated knife since it’s so spongy.



Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1gCalories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 2gSodium: 252mgPotassium: 70mgSugar: 25gVitamin A: 15IUVitamin C: 2.8mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 0.2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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  1. Lisa Longley says

    Looks so delicious! I have to do 30 hours of social work CEUs every two years and it makes me cry!!

  2. Carrie R says

    This looks so delicious and I love how simple it is to make- yum! 🙂

  3. Shana Norris says

    This is such a lovely picture. I really love pineapple and coconut together, and this looks so quick and easy. *Pinning now.*

  4. Rachel Willis says

    Love pineapple and coconut! Happy belated birthday and congrats on 33 years Madre and Dad!

  5. Brenda @ Chatting Over Chocolate says

    Sounds like a DELICIOUS combo of flavors!! Thanks for sharing! Happy (belated) Birthday to your dad & anniversary wishes too! 🙂

  6. Jenifer Tong says

    Pina Coloda in cake form? Where have you been all of my life? And so simple! I super glad I found you on Marvelous Monday. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  7. Martha says

    I saw this on Marvelous Mondays and wanted to stop by and say thanks for sharing this! It’s something that I have heard about at various WW meetings for years, but have yet to make it. Have pinned and bookmarked to try soon.

  8. Denise Tornick says

    I love this, it’s like a “healthier” dump cake. 😉 Do you grease the pan before adding the batter?

    • Denise Tornick says

      Thanks Melissa. I’m heading out in the morning to pick up cake mix and pineapple. Yum!

  9. Tammy says

    Do you add water to the cake mix as well, or just the pineapple?

  10. marg says

    with the SKINNY} PINEAPPLE COCONUT CAKE do i also use the eggs, oil, and liquid that is added on the box cake?

    • Melissa Williams says

      You’ll need the “just add water” angel food cake. Duncan Hines is the one I use.

  11. Joelle says

    If I don’t have access to cake mix, what is the best easiest and mixer free cake batter that can replace it?

  12. Debra says

    Hi about skinny pineapple coconut cake. Use angel cake mix it said put some water in it? That my question

    • Melissa Williams says

      You don’t add water. The pineapple juice takes its place.

  13. Diane says

    Can I make the Pineapple Coconut cake in cup cakes?

  14. Deanna Parker says

    “Carefully set the pan on its side to cool”…please explain!

    • Melissa Williams says

      You just lean the pan on its side a bit (prop it up) to cool. You can also flip it over. It helps angel food cake to not collapse.

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