5 Ingredient No-Bake Pineapple Cake
Inspiration and thoughts
My mom loves this cake so much. She made something similar to this recipe for me to try and I loved it. I like the lightness of this dessert and pineapple is one of my favorite fruits, especially when it’s mixed into a dessert. I decided to give it a try but simplify the recipe quite a bit while still keeping the basic ingredients.
This cake stays so well in the fridge too. I made this cake for my boyfriend, Eli, once and when he came back from the kitchen with a piece on his plate a week after I made it for him, I was cracking up. He has a big sweet tooth (as do I!), so I wasn’t expecting it to be there still. But, I make so many desserts to test out that I always bring him extras of, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Who ever complained about having a variety of desserts always on hand ready to eat? Not me, and not Eli.
This recipe is also great because it’s not only super easy to whip up, but also because you don’t have to bake anything. Even if it isn’t hot outside, a no-bake cake is always easier.
How it’s made, notes, substitutions
This cake is so easy to make, the hardest part will be waiting for it to be ready to eat while it’s in the fridge! I used an already-made angel food cake loaf from the grocery store to make it easier, but feel free to make one yourself. Cut the angel food cake into small cubes first – I like to cut mine small into about 1/2 inch thick cubes – but if you prefer them bigger that is totally fine. Pop these in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. The freezing makes the bread texture even better when mixed into the rest of the cake, and also speeds up the cake setting after you add the gelatin in later on. Lastly, the bit of freezer time keeps the cubes more intact when you add them back to the rest of the ingredients and have to mix everything together, keeping the cubes from being torn apart so much.
Get a large bowl and add the crushed pineapple, sugar, and cool whip together and mix. Now for the most important part: the gelatin. Get your unflavored gelatin powder and put it in a small bowl. Add the hot water quickly and mix well and continuously until all of the gelatin is dissolved. This is the key here! Completely dissolved. If it isn’t you will get little chunks of gelatin in your cake and it will not taste good. If you’re not sure or chunks do start to form, pop this into the microwave for 10-15 seconds to make sure before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
Add the dissolved gelatin into the large bowl with the other ingredients and mix gently but quickly to make sure everything is well coated. Set this aside for 5-10 minutes just to let the gelatin set into the mixture.
Now you can add back the angel food cake cubes from the freezer, folding them into the mix until everything is coated nicely and evenly. Pour this into your glassware, cover with plastic wrap, and let it set in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I use this 2 quart glass baking dish, which I love and use for this recipe. When time is up, spread the rest of the cool whip on top, pour yourself a nice big piece, and enjoy!
5 Ingredient No-Bake Pineapple Cake
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 packets of unflavored gelatin
- 1 16oz container of cool whip
- 1 angel food cake cut into bite sized pieces
- Put angel food cake pieces in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- Mix the pineapple, half the container of cool whip, and sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add the two packets of unflavored gelatin to a small bowl. Pour the hot water over it and quickly mix very well, making sure it is completely dissolved. If it isn't, you can microwave this for a few seconds to make sure the gelatin has dissolved completely (this is super important!). Quickly add this to the large bowl with your other ingredients and mix well. Let sit for 5-10 minutes as the gelatin forms in the mix.
- Add the angel food pieces from the freezer to the mix, making sure to fold in the cake pieces gently, until all are coated.
- Pour into a 2 or 3 quart glass baking dish (we aren’t baking this so it doesn’t matter too much, but a smaller dish will give a thicker cake and a larger one will give a thinner cake; I prefer thicker!). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Spread the rest of the cool whip onto the top, cut into pieces, and enjoy!