Recipe: Pina Colada tray bake with Vita Coco coconut oil frosting

I'm going to be totally honest here and put my hands up and announce...

I have never used coconut oil before.

I know, I know, what planet have I been on?

It's the current craze in everything from cooking to beauty treatments and I'm embarrassed that, as a foodie, I've not experimented with this super food sooner.

Although I haven't been a total hermit and had heard about the health benefits coconut oil brings.

So when I saw that Foodies 100 & Vita Coco were challenging bloggers to get creative in the kitchen and come up with a recipe using coconut oil.

And it really was going to be a challenge having never used it before, but foodies 100 encouraged us to let your imagination run wild to come up with an original, delicious recipe.

Experimenting with food is what I do best so I took the challenge by the horns and went with it 1000%

Now you may have seen, I am slightly obsessed with Pina Colada's at the moment.

So the second I hear anything to do with coconut, that's what I think of.

I think of tropical island paradise.

I think of the sunshine & summer vibes.

I think coconut was made for pineapple like rhubarb was made for custard or toast was made for jam.

They are just the perfect flavour combination.

I made a fairly simple coconut sponge tray bake to start.

Then to add a delicious moistness, I took inspo from my old favourite lemon drizzle cake and drizzled a coconut rum, pineapple & lime mixture over the top of my hot baked cake.

And then on top I used the coconut oil again for a coconut & rum frosting which is so lovely & light.

I love that the use of coconut oil in place of butter meant the frosting was pure brilliant white as opposed to creamy yellow. 

It would be the perfect base to add colour as adding blue colouring to a normal butter cream mixture makes it turn green with its yellowness.

I topped the frosting covered squares with desiccated coconut & dried pineapple pieces which are deliciously sweet & chewy.

And of course, no cocktail would be complete without a maraschino cherry on top!

This recipe uses coconut rum, just like the cocktail does but if you wanted a booze free tray bake you can omit the rum in the recipe entirely or replace with a little pineapple juice for extra summery fruitiness.

My experiment was a success. They taste exactly like a pina colada!

A pure taste of summer.

The cake is so light & the overall flavour is noticeable but subtle with just the right amount of coconut & pineapple with a hint of lime.

The recipe makes 9 large squares or 16 bite size pieces using a 20 x 20cm tin.

Cooking time: 30 mins

For the cake:
160g butter
160g caster sugar
3 eggs
zest of 2 limes
110g plain flour
4 tbsp coconut cream

For the Drizzle:
60ml pineapple juice
4 tsp coconut rum
a squeeze of lime

For the frosting:
100g coconut oil
100g icing sugar
2 tbsp coconut rum

To decorate:
a handful of dried pineapple pieces, desiccated coconut & sliced maraschino cherries (or glacĂ© cherries if you prefer)


1. Preheat the oven to 170c and grease & line a 20x20 cm tin.

2. Cream together the butter & sugar before adding the eggs one at a time.

3. Add the lime zest, flour and baking powder and gently fold until smooth.

Then stir in the coconut cream.

And spoon into your lined tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

4. Whilst the cake is cooking put the drizzle ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil for a few minutes until thickened slightly into a light syrup.

Once the cake has cooked, remove from the oven and poke holes all over with a skewer before gently pouring the drizzle mixture over the top.

It is important to do this when the cake is still hot and in the tin.

Leave to cool fully before cutting into 9 large or 16 small equal squares.

5. To make the frosting, make sure your coconut oil is solid to start. There is no need to refrigerate coconut oil but on very hot days it may have melted slightly so you can pop it into the fridge for 10 minutes to solidify again.

Cream the coconut oil much the same as you would butter, until soft and smooth then add half of the icing sugar. Add the coconut rum and then the remaining icing sugar and stir until smooth.

Spoon a thin layer onto each square. 

6. To decorate, sprinkle each square with desiccated coconut & dried pineapple pieces (I cut mine into smaller pieces) and top with a slice of cherry.

This recipe is an entry into the #Swearbyit challenge with Vita Coco. Find more great coconut oil recipes and tips on using coconut oil at

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