My mom told me about this cake that she and my sister fell in love with at the Tommy Bahama's Restaurant where they live on Maui. Last year, for my mom's birthday she requested and paid a profesh baker friend of hers to make this cake. BUT, it turned out to be a dud. :(
Not only was the cake nothing like the restaurant's version, but it wasn't even that good for what it was, and apparently burned on the bottom. oopsy! :(
Just hearing this story made me feel a personal injustice, and an immediate super-challenge was launched. "I was going to make this cake RIGHT!"
Yet, to my surprise, the challenge turned out to be an easy one. By God's graces and favor, with just FIVE minutes online, I found the actual recipe for the cake here Tommy Bahama's Pina Colada Cake along with other yummy recipes they have published Tommy Bahama's Recipes and was already special ordering the key ingredients on my sixth minute into the challenge.
BTW, their food is really good! This is not a plug for Tommy Bahama's restaurant but, they do have some pretty good food there. If you ever run into one of their locations, go ahead and give them a chance. :) I know of one on Maui in Lahaina and one in Palm Springs near Indian Wells.
Anyway, so, I find their exact recipe *which is very simple* and THEN, on top of that they tell you in the recipe what brand of cake mix and the exact website and item # to order the white chocolate mousse mix for the whipped cream filling. I ordered two cans around $5.00 each. One single can of mix could probably make three cakes. Below are my exact notes about the steps I went through.
I am telling you, THIS CAKE IS REALLY GOOOOOD! It passed the test of mom-authenticity and even BETTER everyone I make this cake for says it's beyond amazing. You can make it yourself. It's A perfect light and fluffy bliss cake and would go very well with a margarita or mai tai I am sure. :)
Well... if you don't like pina coladas... or getting caught in the rain...then, maybe this is not the cake for you. You kinda have to like coconut and pineapple. Although, now that I think about it you could do any flavors with this recipe since it's a white cake and white chocolate whipped cream filling.
Just a side note: My recipe notes are quite detailed but you can make this process as simple or complex and gourmet as you feel comfortable. Drop the extra steps or ingredients if you want, the key is white cake, whipped cream frosting, fruit layer, coconut rum/or other and toasted coconut or whatever to garnish. It's good fresh, but I also think the more the cake sits and simmers the better.
Ingredients I used
1 box moist white cake mix (substitute 3 parts coconut milk, 1 part water for the water called in box instructions)
1 can coconut MILK
3 egg whites (as it calls for on the box)
Veggie oil ( as it calls for on the box)
1-2 cups Parrot Bay Rum coconut rum (original recipe from Tommy calls for Golden Rum which you could use too)
1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, very well drained
Shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
THE RECIPE and STEPS
-Toast 2 cups of coconut in a large frying pan on medium heat. Constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until golden brown. Then transfer coconut to a cookie sheet lined with a paper towel to let cool. Funnel into a baggie and set aside.
-Open the can of crushed pineapple and drain an much liquid as you can. Place in a bowl, cover and set aside in fridge.
-Grease 2-8 or 9 inch cake pans really well. (I've done round and square)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Combine the bag of cake mix, 3 egg whites, 1 tbs vanilla, 1/3 cup veggie oil, 1 cup coconut milk, and 1/4 cup water. Start to beat slow then mix well for 2 minutes.
or make as directed on you cake mix box.
-Pour batter into cake pans and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and when you touch the top with your finger-it springs back. Let cake cool. Try not to over bake.
-Let cool, cover and place in the freezer. You can even make the cake a night before. It's much easier this way.
-When ready to assemble cake(perhaps the next day), torte each cake into to layers yielding 4 layers total (I did 3 though because I was worried it would be too high, heavy, a topsy-turvey)
You can try to do the math on this one. The mousse directions on the can said use 1/2 gallon of whipping cream for the whole can but you don't want to use the whole can.
-Whip1/2 cup and 2 Tbs White chocolate mousse powder with 1/4 cup coconut milk, then add 1 pint whipping cream and whisk on high until you have stiff peaks.
-Add some vanilla extract Mix well.
Cover, and set aside in fridge until you are ready to assemble cake.
-Take cooled or frozen cake and cute your layer horizontally.
-Then, stack all cut layers together and trim the sides of crust.
-Place plastic wrap in between layers and set aside (in freezer again if needed) until ready to assemble.
On the fancy cake plate of your choice..with a doilie perhaps...
-Place first layer of cake down and using a pastry brush, brush on the coconut rum or sprinkle on.
-Spread a layer of the white chocolate mousse about 1/2 inch or so.
-Lightly cover mousse layer with crushed pineapple pieces
-Repeat steps ending with a flat surface cake layer facing up. Brush top with rum.
-Frost whole cake with white chocolate mousse and sprinkle top and sides with toasted coconut.
Sprinkle the coconut just before serving because if the coconut is on the cake and sitting in the fridge, the coconut will loose it crunchy-ness.
If you're really ambitious you could take your discarded pineapple juice and make a nice creamy pineapple sorbet to serve with the cake.