For the cake:
- Basic Vanilla Cake, baked and cooled
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
For the filling:
- 1 1/4 cups chopped dried pineapple
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup cream of coconut
For the frosting and topping:
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup cream of coconut
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
Prepare the cake: Poke holes all over the tops of the 2 cake layers using a toothpick. Brush the cakes with the pineapple juice, letting it soak into the holes; set aside.
Make the filling: Bring the dried pineapple, pineapple juice, cream of coconut and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the dried pineapple is soft and the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then mash with a potato masher to make a chunky jam.
Make the frosting: Beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add the cream of coconut, increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat until thick, 2 to 3 more minutes.
Assemble the cake: Place 1 cake layer on a platter; spread the pineapple filling on top, stopping about 1/2 inch from the edge. Top with the second cake layer and press down gently. Cover the whole cake with the coconut frosting. Top with the toasted coconut and dried pineapple.
Photograph by Levi Brown