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Pineapple Buddy Cake

Sweet pineapple cake layers filled with lemon buttercream and decorated with fondant.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Buttercream, Cake Decorating, Cake Recipe, Frosting, vanilla cake
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling/Decorating Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours
Servings 1 3(6-inch) layers or 2(8-inch) layers
Author Katie


Pineapple Cake

  • 3 cups cake flour (or 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour + ¼ cup cornstarch)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large whole eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest

Lemon Gel

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest

Lemon Buttercream

  • 2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon gel recipe (as seen above)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • Lemon yellow gel food coloring

Fondant Decor

  • Fondant (green, black, pink and white)


Fondant Decorations

  1. On a silicone mat, roll out the lime green fondant to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 6-9 large leaves and cut out 6 small leaves. Then insert covered wires into each leaf. Set aside to dry on a parchment-lined baking tray.

  2. Roll black fondant into a 1/8 inch thick piece. Cut into two small circles for the eyes. Then roll a short rope. Cut out two pieces to outline the top of each eye for the eyelashes then cut one small piece for eyelashes for the ends.

  3. Roll out a small piece of pink fondant to 1/8 inch thick, cut out two small circles. Set aside to dry for 1-2 hours.

Pineapple Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Spray three 6-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk and stir together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In the stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar on medium-high for 5 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs, one at a time to the stand mixer bowl and beat on medium until well incorporated.

  5. Turn the mixer on low and add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then add buttermilk and crushed pineapple. Add in the remaining flour mixture and until fully incorporated.

  6. Pour in vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Mix on medium for another 30 seconds then scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  7. Evenly distribute the cake batter among the three cake pans and bake for about 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.

  8. Remove cakes from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks to cool completely — wrap cakes in plastic wrap and place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lemon Gel

  1. In a small saucepot, whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch. Place pot over medium heat for 2-5 minutes to bring to a boil, stir with a rubber spatula constantly to prevent from burning on the bottom.

  2. Add lemon zest to the mixture. The lemon should be opaque and thick. Once thick, remove from the heat and place into the freezer to cool quickly.

Lemon Buttercream

  1. In the stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Turn the mixer to low and add the cold lemon gel, salt, and vanilla.

  3. Next, gradually add powdered sugar, followed by the heavy cream. Add a few drops of lemon yellow gel food coloring to the buttercream. Mix on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  4. Place the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with #844 star tip.

  5. Before using, turn the mixer on low and mix for 2 minutes to push out any air bubbles or use a rubber spatula to push out the air bubbles. (You may need to repeat this step when frosting the outside of the cake).


  1. Remove the cake layers from the freezer and unwrap the cake layers. Next, use a serrated knife to cut off the dome of the cakes to make the layers flat and even.

  2. Add a small amount of buttercream onto the center of the cake board. Layer the chilled pineapple cake, cut side up onto the cake board.

  3. Add a 2/3 cup of lemon buttercream over the cake. Place another cake layer cut side down over the top. Repeat the process for another layer — Crumb coat and freeze for 30 minutes.

  4. Begin to pipe the lemon yellow buttercream around the fondant and continue piping stars all over the cake.

  5. Insert green fondant leaves into the top of the cake. Add eyes, mouth, and pink cheeks to complete this pineapple cake.

  6. Serve cake at room temperature and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Read through all the ingredients and instructions so you can get a better idea of how much time and what you need to make this cake.
  • If you are in a rush for time or you would like to break up the decorating, then make the fondant decorations the day before, so the fondant has plenty of time to dry.  
  • In this cake recipe, you need ½ cup buttermilk; if you don't have any buttermilk on hand, you can easily use ½ cup whole milk mixed with 2 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar to make your own. 
  • You can bake the cake layers ahead of time. Wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze up to one month. 
  • You can make the buttercream a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. Then take them out to come back to room temperature. Make sure the buttercream is at room temperature before re-whipping.
  • A single batch of this cake recipe makes three, 6-inch round cake layers or two 8-inch round cake layers. Double the cake recipe to make enough cake batter for three, 8-inch cake layers.
  • Food coloring gets darker over time, so it's best to gradually add the food coloring, which is best for lighter colors.  
  • Serve cake at room temperature.