cold fusion – pineapple-coconut stack cake

cold fusion – pineapple-coconut stack cake

This cake is the culmination of a few ideas that co-mingled in the most opportune way. It all started with something called the Tennessee Stack Cake that I’ve read about a while ago. The fact that it’s made with layers of cookies–not cake–intrigued me.

The Tennessee Stack Cake is built from a layer of cookies then a layer of apple sauce-like filling repeated five or six times.  The cookies absorb the moisture, softened, and transform into ultra-thin cake layers.

I adore that there’s an equal ratio of cake to filling, but what do you do if you’re not in the mood for apples but something a bit more vibrant?

On a completely separate track, I was working on the The Boy’s Club‘s assignment to make a margarita for May. I decided to use pineapple and ginger for the cocktail, partially to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and partially for self-indulgence. I’ve loved pineapple since I was a kid–and ginger, well, you’ve heard enough of my passion for it in just about any form. The flavor combination is a perfect.

So, there I was finishing up the margarita post, when it dawned on me that I could apply the basis of the recipe to the stack cake. Pineapple replaces the apples, and ginger supplies a touch of heat. Coconut milk highlights the tropical undertone.

I’m filing this Pineapple-Coconut Stack Cake experiment under My Favorite Recipes. Cold fusion does work.


Pineapple-Coconut Stack Cake


Pineapple-Coconut Filling
  • 3 pound frozen pineapple chunks
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Cake Layers
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces)/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • Cake Layers
  • Pineapple-Coconut Filling
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


Pineapple-Coconut Filling

1. Combine pineapple, ginger, sugars, cinnamon and salt in a 12-inch skillet; cook on high-heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue the cook until pineapple are softened and caramelized. Add rum and coconut milk to deglazed. Stir until liquid are absorbed, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool completely, about 1 hour, before use. Filling can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to five days.

1. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350℉. Line 2 baking sheets with silpat or spray them with cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. In a large measuring cup, whisk coconut milk, lemon juice, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as necessary. Add one-third of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add half of coconut milk mixture and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl as necessary and repeat with half of remaining flour mixture, remaining coconut milk mixture, and remaining flour mixture. Give bowl a final scrape. (Dough will be thick.)

3. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Working with 2 portions at a time, roll each out into 7-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 6-inch bottom of a tart pan or cake pan as template, trim away excess dough to form two perfectly round 6-inch discs. Stack each disc between wax paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather scraps of dough to roll out additional discs, you should be able to get 10 discs in total.

4. Transfer 2-3 discs to each prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating and switching baking sheets halfway through baking time. Transfer discs to rack and cool completely, at least 1 hour. Repeat with remaining discs. (Layers can be wrapped tightly in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)


1. Place 1 layer on serving plate and spread with filling. repeat and top with final layer, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until layers soften, at least 24 hours or up to 2 days. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

adapted from Cook’s Country