Hawaiian Wedding Cake


This tasty Hawaiian Wedding Cake is the perfect dessert for a tropical island-themed wedding. With its light and fruity flavors and pretty coconut topping, it brings a taste of the islands to your special day. The crushed pineapple layer gives it wonderful moisture and you don’t need any fancy pastry skills or pans to make this crowd-pleasing cake.

What is Hawaiian Wedding Cake?

Hawaiian Wedding Cake is a 3-layer poke cake made with yellow cake mix, pineapple, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and coconut flakes. It’s lighter and more flavorful than heavy, sugary frosting cakes. And it looks great made in a simple 9×13 cake pan.

Why Use Yellow Cake Mix For This Recipe?

The yellow cake mix gives this cake its nice, basic flavor that pairs perfectly with the tropical pineapple and coconut layers on top. I like to use name brand cake mixes like Pillsbury or Betty Crocker. Their mixes give a light, fluffy texture.

What Kind of Milk Works Best For the Pudding Layer?

I always use 2% or whole milk when making the vanilla pudding for this cake. Using skim or 1% milk won’t thicken the pudding as well. The higher fat content in 2% or whole milk helps the pudding set up nicely.

Should I Soften The Cream Cheese Before Mixing?

Yes, be sure to soften the cream cheese completely before mixing it into the pudding layer. If it’s still cold and hard, it will leave chunks in the pudding. Let it sit out for 30-60 minutes until spreadable.

How Do You Make This Gluten-Free?

You can find gluten-free yellow cake mix and pudding mix to make easy substitutions. Brands like Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Simply Delish and Better Bowls make gluten-free versions. Or try making homemade GF pudding.


  • 1 package (Yellow Cake Mix)
  • 15 ounces (Crushed Pineapple, undrained)
  • 8 ounces (Cream Cheese, softened)
  • 3 ounces (Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix)
  • 2 cups (Milk, 2% or Whole)
  • 12 ounces (Whipped Topping)
  • 1 cup (Sweetened Coconut Flakes)


  1. Bake the cake mix as per the instructions on the package in a 9×13 pan. Let it cool completely.
  2. While the cake is baking, use a mixer or electric beaters to blend the cream cheese, pudding mix, and milk until well mixed and thickened. Refrigerate this pudding mixture; it will continue to thicken as the cake cools.
  3. Once the cake has cooled, use the round handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes evenly across the top.
  4. Spread the crushed pineapple evenly over the cake.
  5. Layer with the pudding mixture.
  6. Cover with whipped topping and sprinkle coconut flakes over the entire cake.
  7. Serve immediately or keep it covered in the fridge until ready to serve.