Piña Cola-di-da Cake

Picture by Nadine of Nadine Bakes


Last year I baked this coconut and pineapple chiffon (Piña Cola-di-da) cake for a cake competition (hence the “action shot” below). Cake competitions are pretty scarce in the Netherlands, why I do not know. But when I got wind of one relatively closeby, at a food festival, I hád to participate. So I went out to Nadine’s house, who lives near where the festival is held, and together we baked our cakes. The competition was judged by the Dutch Bake Off winner, as well as a Michelin star restaurant chef, a professional baker and a lady with a good palette – I’m not making this up, she was introduced that way. You’re all probably dying to know whether I won – well I didn’t, and neither did Nadine unfortunately. That didn’t spoil any of the fun however. It is just incredible when you get around people who understand what you’re talking about and who are into the same thing as you, whether it’s baking or (in my case) medieval books. This year, I’ll be entering the competition again, I’m not quite sure what I’m going to bake as of yet. I am leaning towards a tart. Yes that is entirely possible and okay, since the Dutch word for cake (“taart”) is also used for pies and tarts!

Picture by Iris Kuipers
Getting the cake to the festival, the festival tent and ultimately the cake table was pretty tricky business. I didn’t have a cake carrier, so I had to use my turn table to present my cake on. It’s when you’re transporting baked goods that you realize how many speed bumps there actually are on Dutch roads. It’s absolutely ridiculous how many there are! Every 10 seconds I had to stop the cake from sliding off the table (well it didn’t actually slide, but it felt that way). Then I had to carry the cake from the car to the festival tent, where not being able to see the ground beneath you didn’t exactly help. And then back to the front of the terrain to display the cake.. I went through a couple of cake lives and thanked my lucky stars it got to the table! This year I’ll be sure to buy a cake carrier beforehand, so it is at least protected from falling on the floor. 


If you have any ideas on what type of cake/tart I should enter with, feel free to share them! I can always use a good bit of inspiration in my (baking) life!Dutchies: check out the festival’s website for information on how to enter

Recipe Piña Cola-di-da Cake


Vanilla Chiffon Cake (by Foodie 19):

7     eggs, separated
2     cups cake flour
 cup caster sugar
¾   cup water
½   cup sunflower oil

1    tablespoon baking powder
2    teaspoons vanilla extract
½   teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
Pineapple Jam (by Martha Stewart):
1 fresh pineapple in chunks
1    cup water
2    cups caster sugar
juice of 2 limes
Rum Syrup (optional, by Cees Holtkamp):
500   grams sugar
170   grams water
75     grams white rum
Coconut Merinue Buttercream (by Brown Eyed Baker):
½   cups caster sugar
6       egg whites
½   cups unsalted butter (340 grams)
1      teaspoon vanilla extract
¼     teaspoon salt⅔     cup coconut milkFilling and outside:

Small can pineapple chunks (you can also use fresh pineapple, then grill the pineapple first!) 
½   cups dessicated or shredded coconut, roasted 
12     Maraschino cherries
1. Prepare the pineapple jam the day before baking the cake. Peal and grate the pineapple until you have 2 cups of grated pineapple. Keep the pineapple juice!
2. Put the water and grated pineapple in a heavy-bottomed pan and leave to cook on medium heat for 35 minutes, until the pineapple has softened. Add the lime juice and the sugar and stir well. Cook until the mixture has thickened significantly, about 45-60 minutes. The jam should have a golden color. Transfer the jam to a jar – you can keep the jam for up to 3 months in the refridgerator.
3. Then prepare the rum syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Keep the sides of the pan clean by using a wet (pastry) brush to brush the sugar crystals away. This is to prevent the crystals from falling back into the syrup. Add the rum once all the sugar has dissolved, take pan off the heat and leave to cool. Transfer to a (food safe) bottle. 
4. Finally! You can bake the chiffon cake! Preheat the oven to 160C/320F. Separate the eggs, make sure there is no egg yolk with the whites at all. Leave the egg whites for 30 minutes to get to room temperature.
5. Mix the cake flour with the baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Mix the oil, egg yolks, vanilla and water in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones until you have a smooth mixture. 
6. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Then fold the egg whites into the batter, a third of the whites at a time. Make sure you don’t see any white specks, although you shouldn’t fold for too long or you’ll lose air.
7.  Line the springform pan with baking paper without greasing the pan. This can be quite tricky, but it’s worth it! You might need an extra pair of hands to keep the baking parchment from curling up while you pour the batter in. Pour batter into the pan. Cut through the batter a few times with a knife to remove any large bubbles. 
8. Put cake into the oven and bake for about 1,5 hour. This seems like a long time, but it’s the only way to get the cake done. Check to see whether the cake is done by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the middle of the cake. The skewer should come out clean. Keep an eye on the cake throughout the bake (although you should not open the oven!). Remove cake from oven once done, and leave to cool upside down (yes, this sounds strange, but it will sink otherwise), for at least an hour.
9. Cut cake into three layers. 
10. Make the meringue buttercream, don’t make it any earlier than this because it has to be made shortly before using. Add the eggwhites and caster sugar to a heatproof bowl and put the bowl onto a pan with boiling water (au bain marie). The bowl should not touch the water. Heat the mixture, stir every now and then for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the sugar has dissolved.
11. Take the bowl off of the pan and pour the mixture into a free-standing electrical mixer and whisk on medium-high setting for 6 to 8 minutes, or until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled. On medium setting, add the butter bit by bit. When all the butter has been added, mix for another 4-5 monutes until it has a satin-y look. Add the vanilla extract, salt and coconut milk and whisk for another couple of minutes.
12. Assemble the cake. Get your bottom layer, sprinkle generously with rum syrup and spread some pineapple jam on (you won’t need the whole batch). Place your second layer onto the bottom one, and sprinkle with rum syrup. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on, and disperse the pineapple pieces evenly over the buttercream. “Seal” the pineapple pieces with another layer of buttercream and place the top cake layer on top. Spoon some of the frosting on top of the cake and use a spatula to spread the frosting on top and the sides of the cake so that the whole cake is well covered. Keep a bit of frosting aside for the rosettes.
13. Cover the sides with the roasted dessicated coconut.
14. Fill a piping bag fit with a large star nozzle (1M Wilton for example) with the remaining butter cream and pipe 12 rosettes on top of the cake. Put a maraschino cherry on each rosette (make sure the cherries are dry!). Finish off by sprinkling some coconut over the top. 


  1. Gerry says:

    What a great competition! I’m not sure yet whether I will enter (on holiday-3/8).
    After the long trip from France, baking and then travel to Drenthe is perhaps a bit much.
    On the other side, my parents and in-law’s live in Assen (30 min. drive to Sleen)…..

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