This Pineapple Sunshine Cake is the perfect thing for an Easter Dessert or a tasty treat for a summer picnic. This bright cake is topped with a super light cool whip frosting!
If you’re looking for a fun, light and refreshing cake that will spread happiness to all who consume it, look no further! Okay, that might sound a little bit dramatic…. But seriously, Pineapple Sunshine Cake is just one of these great dishes that can make you feel a little bit better just by LOOKING at it!
I’ve Been Loving Cake Mix Recipes!
If comfort food is supposed to make you happy and content, this Pineapple Sunshine cake is the DEFINITION of comfort food! And, like many of the great comfort food recipes on our website, it really only takes a handful of ingredients. And I’d bet you already have a lot of these ingredients in your kitchen! Lately, I’ve really been into making dessert recipes that start out with a simple box of cake mix. For instance, I’ve made these Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies that are perfect for Valentine’s Day. This Crack Cake recipe is dangerously addictive! And these Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies are tons of fun for a girls Birthday party or any other bright occasion!
I used to think that cake mixes were for…. well… making a cake. But you can also use them as a base for so many other fun desserts. This Pineapple Sunshine Cake Recipe starts off with just a box of simple cake mix! And it doesn’t get much more complicated from there!
What Is A Pineapple Sunshine Cake
This recipe is sometimes called a Crushed Pineapple Cake or a Pineapple Pudding Cake. It usually consists of a cake mix (usually yellow) that is infused with crushed pineapple. Then it’s topped with a light whipped pudding topping, again, infused with pineapple. There are some variations, and I’ve seen this cake topped with a cream cheese/pineapple topping. But we like the nice, light whipped topping.
While this is an easy recipe to make, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a QUICK recipe. There is a lot of “cooling” involved. So, it you are planning to make this for a party, you want to make sure that you have plenty of time to make it early.
I use half of the can of my crushed pineapple to put into my whipped topping. For this recipe, I describe mixing the pineapple in with the topping. This worked for us but you could also keep it to the side and then sprinkle it on top for a slightly different look and feel. Either will work!
How To Store Your Pineapple Sunshine Cake?
This is a chilled dessert that should be kept cold. So make sure you use an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator. We love to use this baking pan because it comes with it’s own lid. So you can just store it right in the pan you baked it in! No worries about Saran Wrap or aluminum foil!
Yes, you can freeze this cake, but I’d do it before putting the whipped topping on. Once you frost this cake, I’m not sure how well freezing would work. Just allow the cake to fully cool, wrap tightly with freezer wrapk or put in a freezer bag and it should be good in y0ur fridge for 3-4 months.
Notes, Tips and Variations
- SERVE CHILLED?– This cake tastes great room temperature or even warmed up a bit. But it really does taste best chilled. So I store mine in the fridge.
- TOPPINGS?– Add some coconut flakes to the top for some extra flavor. Or some nuts, sliced walnuts would be delicious! You could also top with maraschino cherries or mandarin oranges for some more color and fun flavors!
I hope this recipe for Pineapple Sunshine Cake makes your day a little brighter. I’d LOVE to know what you think of the recipe. Please give me your feedback in the comments. Thanks and enjoy!
DO YOU LIKE PINEAPPLE? THEN ALSO CHECK OUT:
- PINEAPPLE PRETZEL SALAD
- PIG PICKIN’ CAKE AKA ORANGE PINEAPPLE CAKE
- LIME JELLO SALAD WITH CRUSHED PINEAPPLE
- PINEAPPLE SOUFFLE
- PINEAPPLE DREAM DESSERT
Pineapple Sunshine Cake
- 1 box 15.25 oz, yellow cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 can 20 oz, crushed pineapple (do not drain)
- 1 small tub 8 oz, whipped topping, thawed
- 1 small package 3.4 oz, instant vanilla pudding
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add cake mix, eggs, oil and half the can of crushed pineapple. Mix well by hand until all items are combined.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, add remaining pineapple, whipped topping and vanilla pudding. Mix well.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Spread onto the top of the cake and serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Refrigerate any leftover cake in an airtight container.
Comments & Reviews
May be a dumb question but do you make the vanilla pudding first or just put the powder into the cool whip?
Just the powder.
ELMER SCOTT says
I have been looking for this recipe for 20 plus years my friends wife use to make this even summer when we would barbarq and I always wanted the recipe but they moved from NAVDA.. AND I am so glad you shared it to all of us it means alot to me it’s a excellent cake and that you from the bottom of my heart. I will cherish it .
Thank you! I am so happy we could bring it back into your life!
Can I make an 8 inch round instead of the 9 by 13
Yes, but you will need to add some cooking time and check for doneness.
Jodie Roberts says
Just made this today and it was very very good!!!
I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Nicole Krause says
What size pan?
9 x 13
Carolyn D. says
This is the Yummiest recipe & my go too recipe anytime I need a quick easy dessert! It is become a quite frequent request favorite from friends & family for gatherings and there are Never any leftovers from a 9×13 pan! Thank you for sharing!!
I am so happy you enjoyed it. Thank you for coming back and sharing!
Heidi Adams says
Delicious! Was a hit!
Can I make it layered?
We haven’t tried that but I don’t see why not!
Made cake as per directions. Baked it 10 minutes longer (5min increments). Cake is delicious. However it sank in the middle even though pick came out clean. Any suggestions to correct this would be very much appreciated. Thanks
Patsy Zaruba says
I had the same problem of sinking in the middle. I mean it worked out okay with the whip icing but didn’t look as nice. Delicious & my neighbors loved it.
Taylor Taylor says
Made this yesterday! Absolutely delicious!
Yay! Glad you enjoyed it!
Can you make this cake ahead of time and freeze it?
We haven’t tried it. But you could probably make the cake ahead of time. I wouldn’t put the whipped topping on until you are ready to serve.
Have made this several times, it’s so easy and definitely so good! Nothing but great feedback from friends and family.
Thank you for sharing. I am glad our easy cake recipe is such a hit with family and friends.
This looks like my moms Peapickers Cake except we put Pistacchio pudding in the cool whip for the topping great little change up and top the cake with maraschino cherries.
That sounds delicious too! Thank you for sharing.
Janice Wollwert says
Thanks for sharing this. I was thinking about using pistachio pudding and wondered if it would work out!!!
Love this cake!
Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Have you tried chopped pecans on top? Do you think it will taste okay with them added?
The Pineapple Sunshine Cake, my mother use to. But she never called it that. And I’ve been wanting to make it for a couple of days now. I thought I would find the recipe in her recipe box. Couldn’t find it, so I looked it up online. My mommy has been gone for almost 7yrs now. I’ve made this cake long ago. But I’m grateful I found the recipe. So thanks very much for sharing it.
Thank you so much for sharing this story. This makes us feel really good.
Good, but the pudding mix remained grainy in the frosting even tho I followed directions.
Hmmm… I’m not sure. We haven’t heard of this happening before.
Did you drain the crushed pineapple? If so, that will do it. The juice mixes in with the pudding to help with the flavor process.
I’m making mine now for Easter tomorrow. Cake is in the oven and topping is in the fridge.
Susan Wilbur says
Making this cake today!!
So far so good I think it will be a hit
Made this for Easter lunch! Easy and Awesome!
Because I needed half the can of pineapple to put in my ham glaze, I ended up making a strawberry poke cake instead of adding the pineapple to the cake mix. However I made the frosting just as described and it came out delicious! Thanks for sharing. Next time I’ll make sure I have enough pineapple to actually go into the cake, lol!
I’ve made this cake for years only I put a can of mandarin oranges in the cake and the whole can of pineapple in the frosting with large cool whip and large vanilla pudding.
Looks yummy. Can’t wait to try it.
Easiest cake I ever made…not so great tasting. The topping was great but next time I will make a scratch cake.
Sorry you didn’t like it. Could you specify what was wrong with it? And yes, we specialize in quick and easy recipes.. We aren’t really a “made from scratch” sorta website.
Cheryl Rizzo says
This cake is outta this world!
Thanks Cheryl. So glad you enjoyed it!
I made this and it was so moist tasted amazing!!! Now making another one for upcoming Indianapolis 500 event I’m sure it will be a hit again.
Thanks for sharing
Yay! Looking at your user name it looks like you live in central Indiana too!
This cake was so moist & delicious I made it last year for Easter and was a hit. Now I’m making it this weekend for the Indy 500 BBQ!!! Thanks for sharing 😁
Yay! Looks like maybe we are BOTH from central Indiana?!?!?!
Are the 4 eggs essential or added for richness. My boxed cake mix calls for 2.
We have just always made it that way. You can try reducing the number of eggs but I don’t know what the result would be.
I didn’t make this yet cause I have a question. Do you use just the pudding mix to make frosting or do you make the pudding first and then mix rest of ingredients for frosting? Thank you.
Just put the pudding mix powder into other ingredients for the topping/frosting.
Nancy Johnston says
I love this cake. I am diebetic so I use sugar free cake mix, sugar free pudding and sugar free cool whip. Still lots of calories but you gotta live a little!
Marlene Aponte Esq. says
Made small holes and dripped a bit pf the can juice in the cake. AMAZING!
Ooooh! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!
I made this all sugar free. I used the instant sugar free cheesecake pudding for the frosting. I couldn’t find the 3.4 size of vanilla or the cheesecake pudding so I used 3 and a half boxes of the one ounce boxes. Thank goodness I had more sliced pineapple in a can to steal the juice from because it was just too thick on the frosting. Great dessert that was easy!
Patsy Zaruba says
Delicious cake. I made some for my neighbors a while back and will make another one tomorrow with my granddaughter and have her do most of the work. She is a picky eater, so my luck, she will not like pineapple. Ha!!
Thank you. I love this recipe. So easy and delicious.
Made this tonight for my sister’s birthday and it was delicious. I’ll be baking another one tomorrow for another birthday. Supper easy to fix. It is definitely a keeper.
Karla Schultz-Lancaster says
Can I use pineapple slices in can or fresh pineapple slice or has to be crushed pineapple?
We haven’t tried it with pineapple slices. Let us know how it works for you.
This was delicious, I put strawberries and blueberries at the top! Had no coconut
Made this twice and loved it. It’s light and refreshing any time of the year. Everyone loved it!
Thanks for sharing!
Glad everyone loved it! Thanks for stopping by!
This cake is so easy and delicious!! We loved it!!
Yay! So glad!
I have a recipe from my late mother in-law that has one additional ingredient.
While the cake is still hot, poke holes all over the top of the cake. I use a wooden spoon handle. Then pour 1 can of condensed milk over it and rest a minute till most of the milk has gone into the cake. Then put the topping on as usual.
This makes it extra moist and creamy.
I’m making it your way right now. It’s for my grandsons birthday tomorrow. He will love it.
Great idea! Thanks!
I added the pudding with cake mix instead 😳 if I added it and not to the cool whip will it still taste ok?
I haven’t tried that before but please let us know how it turned out.
Looks great, but would love to experiment with different displays and/or cake pans.
Have you tried 8 in or 9 in round? If so, is it just varied from the cake box instructions?
I did read some others were having a sinking effect in their final cake. . .
We have not tried that. Let us know how it works out.
I put in the whole 20 oz can of crushed pineapples and juice by accident. Will it be ok?
Patricia Wooten says
This cake is really, really good!! I’m so glad I made it!!!