Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

“Ambrosia Cake”

~ This amazing pineapple angel food cake recipe is so easy to throw together in just moments using pantry staples! It’s the perfect go-to recipe when you’re out of time but still want to create something impressive! Loaded with juicy pineapple, crunchy almonds and toasted coconut … quick and simple, yet so delicious! ~

This Recipe Is:     Make Ahead    Vegetarian  

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

It’s good to know a few magic tricks.

Like when you promised to bring a dessert to the block party or the PTO luncheon or the family picnic … But then your meeting ran late, you’re unexpectedly in charge of the evening’s five-kid soccer carpool, and your daughter just now remembered that she needs help making a giant (working!) papier-mâché volcano for tomorrow! Ughhhhh … have ya been there!?!?!

Yup … if your days are like ours, then you need all the magic tricks you can conjure up.

Well, this recipe is your new best trick!

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Every single ingredient is absolutely happy to wait at-the-ready in your pantry until needed in a moment of crisis. You know … when there’s only 6.3 minutes left to throw something together (and absolutely no time to run to the store!).

Then, a very quick wave of your wand … and magic happens in your oven!

Everyone will think you planned and prepped (and worked and slaved!). And, you? Well, you’ll just smile graciously. And secretly give yourself a huge high-five for being clever enough to present such a stunning cake and help your daughter get that cursed volcano done! Yay, you!

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

This beautiful take on traditional angel food cake is still refreshingly light, but has so much more personality!

Juicy, burstingly-sweet pineapple, plus wonderfully toasty coconut and crunchy almonds. Mmmmmm … seems you just waved your magic wand and ended up on a deliciously tropical island! Doesn’t get much better than that!

So you wanna know how to perform this fabulous sleight-of-hand magic?!?

Well, if you’re a Pinterest fanatic (welcome to the sisterhood, BTW!), then you’ve no doubt seen the angel-food-cake-meets-can-o-fruit “dump cake” recipes that regularly circulate there.

 Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

The easy “crust” layer is so chewy-crunchy-delicious! Simply sprinkle the almonds and oats in the bottom of the baking pan, and then mix in some of the cake batter. Easy-peasy but oh-so-good!

Those Pinterest recipes seem so simple, really – just grab a can of pie filling (but there’s all that added sugar and sometimes other questionable ingredients … booooo) or some canned fruit (better … but watch out for that heavy syrup!), and stir the contents into angel food cake mix.

Pretty much as easy as it gets, right?!? No doubt!

But … we’ve kinda all been there, done that, haven’t we? How about a new, more interesting spin?

And what about the healthy part of all THK equations? Could we amp up the nutrition while still keeping the dessert lightning-fast and ridiculously easy?

Turns out that yes … yes, we could!

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

After the crust layer, just pour the rest of that pineapple-y good batter on top!

We skipped the idea of dumping in some canned pie filling and went straight for fruit in 100% fruit juice … and then we added in EXTRA fruit – a second can. Why? Because fruit’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, it tastes great!

Next, we added almonds and oats to pump up our dessert with some protein and fiber. Best of all, the oats and nuts create a fabulous crunchy-chewy “crust” layer on the bottom of the cake.

Mmmmmmmm … and for a bit more alluring textural interest, we sprinkled the top with coconut, which toasts to a beautiful golden-brown as the cake bakes.

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

A sprinkle of coconut, then off to the oven!

And … presto-chango … ta-da!

For hardly any extra effort, we’ve pumped up dessert into something far more interesting and incredibly more delicious! And it’s also loaded with some really healthy ingredients. (But honestly – nobody is even gonna notice the healthy part … that’s a little magician’s secret!)

Funny enough – this actually ended up being our birthday cake – back on the very day that we celebrated our THK one-year anniversary. Remember that? We posted a round-up of 10 gorgeous, healthier cakes to commemorate our big milestone. But as fate would have it, this was one of the cakes that Shelley actually baked that day.

And as our families celebrated together at a little restaurant that evening, we couldn’t wait to dive into the fresh-baked samples. We all nibbled on some test bites (while we waited for our appetizers … let’s not discuss the nutritional wisdom of eating dessert BEFORE dinner, mmm’kay – chalk it up to birthday insanity!).

Everyone loved it! It was an absolute hit from the beginning!

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut Recipe {www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com}

Our lovely waitress was curious about our celebration, and we happily gave her some of this cake, too. She immediately dubbed it ambrosia cake, and we promised to give her props on the brilliant name when we finally published this recipe. So, Chelsae, this one’s for you! Wherever you are … thanks for being excited about our little birthday party that evening, and for helping us taste-test our cake!

Call it what you will … this delicious cake is pure magic! You’ll love every single bite.

Keep it handy in your bag of tricks, because it’s a save-the-day recipe you’ll use again and again!

THK Signature Gretchen & Shelley cropped

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Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Preparation 10 min. 2017-08-17T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 36-40 min. (plus cooling) 2017-08-17T00:00:00+00:00
Serves About 20-30 pieces     adjust servings


  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted sliced almonds
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 16-ounce box angel food cake mix (see note)
  • 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in 100% juice, undrained
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits in 100% juice, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Sprinkle almonds and oats evenly in the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine angel food cake mix, both cans of pineapple with juice, and almond extract, stirring with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Dollop about 3 cups of batter (this doesn't have to be exact) on top of the nuts and oats, and stir just a bit so that the nuts and oats are caught up in the batter a little and won't fall loosely off the bottom of the cake once baked. This creates a crust layer. Don't overwork the batter at this point, though, or the crust layer will be too dense – just lightly fold in the nuts and oats a bit and spread the mixture evenly back out across the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the rest of the batter to the pan, on top of the crust layer, using a scraper to lightly spread the batter evenly.
  6. Sprinkle coconut on top of the batter and very lightly press the coconut in, just enough so that it will stick to the cake, but not so much that you're deflating the batter.
  7. Bake for about 36-40 minutes, or until coconut and top of cake are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out only very slightly damp but not wet or gloppy. Don't wait until the toothpick comes out totally dry, or your cake might be a bit dry around the edges.


Recipe Notes

Choosing a mix: We’re always careful about which prepackaged ingredients we use in our recipes, and we try to help you spot nutritional pitfalls along the way. Although there are several brands of organic angel food cake mix (Amazon carries a few), we haven't seen any at our local markets, so we know you're likely to end up using a more mainstream national brand, as well. If so, be sure to read the labels to find the ingredient list you like best. There are variations, even in something as simple as angel food cake mix. Be on the lookout for hydrogenated fats in particular. While Duncan Hines, for example, does have a small amount of partially hydrogenated oils in their boxed mix, other brands (including Pillsbury and Betty Crocker) do not.

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Our Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake recipe has been mentioned or featured in:
55 Non-Chocolate Desserts (Just In Case You Gave Up Chocolate For Lent) at Drugstore Divas


Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut — 41 Comments

  1. This looks amazing. I’ve been meaning to try the 2-ingredient version of this cake with just crushed pineapple and angel food cake mix for years but somehow, never got around to it. Now I know why. I was waiting for this one filled with some of my favorite things -coconut, oats and almonds. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Awww … thanks, Martha! You’re so sweet! And really – once you try this, you won’t need to even consider that two-ingredient version! This has so much more personality, with great textures and more flavor (and some healthier ingredients snuck in there, too! 😀 ). So glad you stopped by! ~G&S

  2. I’ve been staring at this for over a week now – shall I try this with a different sorts of cake mix, make my own angel food cake to use here? I can’t decide! But the cake sounds and looks too amazing to pass out on! (I mean pineapple & coconut & healthy too!) You guys are awesome!

    • Thanks, Siv! Maureen commented below that she doesn’t think she can typically find angel food cake mix in Australia. Do you not have it, either? It’s so easy to find here in America! Guess we need to starting making shipments to our friends around the world! This cake is so, so totally worth the global shipping fees! 😀 ~G&S

  3. I think I’d love this even if I had a lot of time. 🙂 I’ll have to import angel food cake mix I think. I’ve never seen it in Australia but I know I can get some. I’m definitely going to go through a lot of effort to make this!

    • Oh, no! Do you guys seriously not have angel food cake mix?!?!? I guess that’s the trade-off for getting to live with the koalas that all Americans think are so adorable! But yes, yes – import it by the case! All the effort you’ll make in getting the mix shipped to you will be well rewarded when you need only a couple of minutes to actually throw this recipe together! Seriously – you’ll be making this recipe all the time! And you know, you’re right about loving this even if you had loads of extra time for baking dessert – when you’re digging in to all the wonderful flavors, it definitely doesn’t feel like a quick-and-easy shortcut recipe. (But haha – you’ll secretly have time to relax with an extra cup of tea!) 😀 ~G&S

    • Oh, guys … it really is! This cake still has that lovely lightness of angel food cake, but yet also the crunchy coconut and that lovely, denser “crust layer”! It’s such a great change-of-pace … total showstopper! 😀 ~G&S

  4. Mmmmm, I love everything about this cake! The whole time I was reading up to the recipe I was thinking how great it sounded, but was terrified at the idea of having to make an angel food cake. While I don’t normally use box mixes, I’m pretty relieved this recipe does! Who has time (or the arm muscle stamina) to whip egg whites for an angel food cake? I just need to get from prep to oven ASAP so I can jump right into this.

    • We are soooo with you! We seriously considered the merits of creating a scratch recipe, but really good angel food cake from scratch is just not a quick proposition. We’re all about finding the happy medium between whole-foods-scratch-recipes and doable (healthified!!) recipes that busy people will actually MAKE! As much as we love scratch baking, too … we’re so with ya on the need to get from prep to oven ASAP (cuz … you know … those papier-mâché volcanos … 😀 )! ~G&S

    • Lol! So you have lived the joy of the last-minute papier-mâché volcano!?!? (Well … or some other time-consuming project requiring all sorts of mommy help, like several trips to the store for random supplies … massive clean-up efforts … and usually some sort of tech support!) Ahhhh – then yes, friend, this cake is for you! 😀 ~G&S

  5. Dessert magic?? Ohmygoodness, count me in!! I doubt it’d make the full 20-30 pieces in my kitchen… I’d end up taste testing half of the cake! 😉 I love how you ladies started incorporating a few vertical photos too; I know how hard that decision was for you. They look just as gorgeous as your horizontal photos — you’re such talented photographers! Already pinned!

    • Aww! Amy … you are so sweet!! We’re not telling how many pieces actually were cut in our kitchen. Well, some of the pieces were kinda tiny. You know … you keep cutting little slivers off … just a little bit more … maybe one more bite …

      Thanks for the feedback on the pics – we’re liking the look! 😀 ~G&S

    • Oh Thalia! We hope you try this! Angel food cake is so light and super airy, it almost melts in your mouth. It’s the perfect backdrop for the crunchy almonds and bursts of sweet pineapple in this recipe. We have a feeling that once you try it, you’ll LOVE it! And maybe this will become your new go-to totally simple dessert recipe! 🙂 Have a great day – and please let us know what you think of the cake! ~G&S

  6. You both outdid yourself with this wonderful cake! You honestly had me at pineapple and coconut! I LOVE that you made this into a much healthier but equally as delicious version! I love the addition of all that amazing delicious fruit! This is definitively a ‘dump’ cake I can’t wait to try 😀 Pinned!

    • This cake will certainly take you to the tropics! We can’t get enough pineapple and coconut either! Or maybe it’s this cake that we can’t get enough of! Lol!! So light and just the right amount of sweetness … and SO simple to make! 😀 Thanks for the pin! ~G&S

    • Yes, Stephanie – it’s so yummy in the summer! But, it also may just be the perfect winter pick-me-up … it’s so tropical and delicious!! Hope you make it soon! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!! ~G&S

    • Thanks, Jess!! Our favorite part of this cake is how totally simple it is to make! So easy to just dump everything together … but it tastes like you spent hours creating this masterpiece! Happy Summer!! 😀 ~G&S

    • Can’t wait for you to try this, Julie! It’s so light that it won’t bog you down all afternoon, and with the added nutrition from the oats and nuts and fruit, it’ll actually keep you more powered up! Perfect afternoon teatime snack! 😀 ~G&S

  7. Wow, very creative…and yes, angel food cake is usually boring, but you manage to make it very attractive. Thanks for the recipe!
    Enjoy the rest of the week 😀

    • This cake totally saves the day!! And … it’s simple enough to make just to have on hand for a sweet treat after dinner – but delicious enough to make for those special occasions! Hope your momma loves this cake! 😀 ~G&S

    • Yes, Abbe! Everything always seem to happen all at once – and of course it all happens when you need a dessert! Well, now those hectic days are slightly better since you can just whip up this easy cake! Best part … it tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen! 🙂 ~G&S

    • Ummm … can you keep a secret?? We MAY have sampled this during the breakfast hours. And it was good. That’s what we do for our readers … we rigorously test our recipes (even dessert for breakfast!) to make sure everything is perfect. Yep … that’s why we were eating this at 9am. Yep. That’s why. Lol! 😀 Have an awesome day! ~G&S

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