Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

by Shelley and Gretchen · May contain affiliate links

Published Updated July 31, 2021

“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!

And BTW – if you’re having trouble cutting your angel food cake without smushing it, we outline 3 handy techniques in our post How to Cut Angel Food Cake. Hint: our go-to is a simple, sharply serrated bread knife (but there are other options, too, depending on what tools you’ve already got on hand).

Looking for More Magical Dessert Ideas? Check Out Our:

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 36 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes

So easy to throw together in just moments from pantry staples! This pineapple angel food cake recipe is quick and simple, yet so delicious and impressive!

  Make Ahead    Vegetarian  


  • 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 over-mix.
  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.


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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 servings Serving Size: 1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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53 thoughts on “Easy Tropical Angel Food Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut”

  1. I wanted to love this cake…could I have done something wrong? It smelled delicious coming out of the oven…but was very dry and I had to top it with vanilla ice cream to help it go down.
    I baked it for my moms 92nd bday and guess what, she liked it!

    • Hi Patricia! I’m so sorry that it turned out dry for you. That definitely doesn’t sound right, for sure. With so much pineapple and juice in there, the angel food cake should be nice and moist. If I had to guess, I would say that maybe you accidentally grabbed a smaller-sized can (or omitted one of the cans) of pineapple, or that you drained off the juice instead of including it along with the pineapple. My only other thought is that maybe there was a problem with oven time/temp (which might simply be because your oven has fallen out of calibration, which happens more than people realize). I hope some of these suggestions help. And, regardless, I’m so happy to hear that your mom enjoyed it – happy, happy birthday to her! ~Shelley

  2. This recipe looks awesome! Do you beat the cake mix and pineapple together with a hand mixer or do you just fold them together by hand?

    • Hi Karolyn! This cake is so very yummy – I’m excited for you to try it! Don’t use a hand mixer for combining the angel food cake mix with the pineapple and extract. Simply stir them together with a large spoon, just until they’re combined. You don’t want to over-mix them. It’s so easy! Enjoy! 😀 ~Shelley

    • I’m thrilled to hear it, Sara – truly a huge compliment, especially coming from you! It’s such a delicious upgrade from a plain boxed mix, isn’t it?!? Really elevates a classic Angel Food Cake recipe to whole new heights, and much healthier than typical dump cakes, too! So happy you and your family love it! 😀 ~Shelley

    • I’m delighted you enjoyed this recipe enough to add it to your “back pocket go-to” list, Lisalia! It’s perfect when you need a quick but special dessert to share at picnics or potlucks or other last-minute get togethers. So yummy and so darn easy! 😉 ~Shelley

    • Hi there, Beth! You’re always so sweet and so fired up to try my recipes – love that! And speaking of love – I really think you and your fam will LOOOOOVE this Angel Food Cake recipe! 😉 My crew sure does, and it’s been such a hit when I’ve taken it to share, too! Enjoy! ~Shelley


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