Tropical Layer Cake with Mango, Coconut and Pineapple

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 Tropical Layer Cake with Mango, Coconut and Pineapple

Photo: Natalie Levin

Usually when friends come to bake with me, I never know what the outcome of the day will be. I’ve noticed that if we plan too much ahead of time; then somehow things flow less freely and the result is less fun because we’re trying to stick to some idea forcefully. When there is no planning and we just start baking and thinking together about the combinations of flavors; it is precisely then when I enjoy most of our baking date.

This cake was nicknamed Princess Karen’s Cake. When Karen came to bake with me the other day, we didn’t really know what we would make. She arrived, we had a small chat and a cup of coffee, and when we decided to go into the kitchen and start baking. We didn’t really have an idea what was going to come out of this day – cake, cookies, parfait or maybe even cupcakes?

We looked a bit in the pantry and in the fridge, Karen really wanted us to whip up some whipped cream, and that’s how she got her cake. A tropical layer cake with coconut, mango and pineapple. It is made up of two layers of coconut cake which is very moist thanks to the pineapple syrup it’s brushed with after baking. In between lays mascarpone mango cream that make the cake even richer, and white chocolate with coconut and fresh mango cubes for decoration.

This is a really festive and colorful summer cake, a kind of celebration with flavors of Pina Colada. This cake is impressive and fun, sweet and wonderful for special occasions. If you love mango, coconut and pineapple, I have no doubt you will fall in love with it at least like we did!

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 Tropical Layer Cake with Mango, Coconut and Pineapple

Photo: Natalie Levin

 Tropical Layer Cake with Mango, Coconut and Pineapple

Photo: Natalie Levin

Princess Karen Cake – Tropical Layer Cake with Mango, Coconut and Pineapple

  • 22 cm round cake pan

For the coconut cake:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams of ground coconut
  • 10 grams of baking powder

For pineapple and amaretto syrup:

  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 125 ml. water
  • 50 grams of pineapple puree
  • 2 tablespoons amaretto or rum

For mascarpone mango cream:

  • 250 grams of mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
  • 20 grams of powdered sugar
  • 20 grams instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 60 grams of mango puree
  • 250 ml. whipping cream (very cold)

For the whipped cream:

  • 250 ml. whipping cream (very cold)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 grams instant vanilla pudding powder

For white chocolate and coconut barks:

  • 150 grams of white chocolate
  • 20-30 grams of caramelized roasted ground coconut

For decoration:

  • Fresh mango cubes
  • Pistachio halves

Coconut cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius degrees and grease the pan.
  2. Separate the eggs and place the egg whites in an electric mixer bowl.
  3. Beat the egg whites and salt until whitish foam begins to form. Increase the speed of the mixer and add sugar in while whipping quickly.
  4. Keep whipping until white, very airy meringue is obtained.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the yolks and add them into the whipped egg whites gradually, while whipping slowly until a uniform mixture is obtained.
  6. Add flour, coconut and baking powder and gently fold until smooth and airy batter forms.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and straighten the top.
  8. Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes or until it is swollen, golden and stable, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry.
  9. Cool the cake completely with room temperature.
  10. Using a long, serrated bread knife, cut the cake into two equal layers.

Pineapple and Amaretto Syrup:

  1. In a medium pot place sugar, water and pineapple puree and heat on high flame until boiling. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes and turn off the flame.
  2. Cool slightly the syrup at room temperature and add amaretto. Cool completely before assembling the cake.

Mascarpone mango cream (should be made just before assembling the cake):

  1. In a mixer bowl with a whipping attachment, place mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, instant pudding powder and mango puree and whip at medium speed until a uniform creamy mixture is obtained.
  2. Increase the speed of the mixer and add the cold cream in a thin stream while whipping.
  3. Continue whipping at high speed until uniform and stable cream is obtained.
  4. Transfer the cream to a piping bag fitted with a 3 cm. round piping tip.

Assembling the cake:

  1. Place a layer of cake on top of a serving plate and generously brush with syrup.
  2. Drizzle large, tall mounds of mascarpone mango cream.
  3. Place the second layer of cake on top of the cream. brush the second layer of cake with syrup generously.

Whipped cream:

  1. In a mixing bowl whip cream, vanilla and instant pudding until very stable whipped cream is obtained.
  2. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a 2 cm serrated piping tip.
  3. Drizzle dense mounds of whipped cream at the top of the cake.

White chocolate and coconut barks:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over double steam pot.
  2. Transfer the chocolate onto a baking paper and flatten to a rather-thin layer with a spatula.
  3. Sprinkle coconut generously.
  4. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until chocolate hardens completely.
  5. Break the chocolate into asymmetrical pieces.


  1. Place white chocolate and coconut barks at the top of the cream.
  2. Arrange mango cubes and pistachio halves for decoration freely.
  3. Sprinkle a little edible golden glitter powder for decoration.
  • The cake is kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Instead of mango you can use passion fruit or any other tropical fruit you like.
  • Instead of coconut you can use almonds in the same amount.
  • Rum or brandy can be used instead of Amaretto. If you do not want, you can omit the alcohol completely.