Oahu Coconut Milk Cake With Haupia Pineapple Cream was inspired by a recent trip back home to Oahu recently. What I loved about exploring the culinary scene is that the food and food sources are being brought back to basics; it’s reflected in the dedication, hard work and doing what is right- not what is easy, by the people and concerns I visited. The fresh flavors of the artisan cheese of the Naked Cow Dairy Farm and Creamery near Wai’anae who milk their animals and produce ethereal butters and cheeses sing to their dedication and hard work.
At Kahumana Farm in Lualualei Valley educating the public and offering their farm produce and local fresh-off-the-boat fish at their organic cafe, in-house farmer’s market, and by feeding the Hawaiian community via local outreach programs -is the right thing to do.
Over on the windward side Paepae O He’eia offers an educational eco-program to pre-schoolers up to kupuna (elders) teaching traditional Hawaiian food systems. Their main project is continuing the fishpond restoration and turning it into a viable food source. Come harvest time they share the fish with all who volunteer and the local families. And that in Hawaiian we call “pono” – the right thing, and they do with hard work, dedication and aloha. Make sure you seek these places out and make reservations and arrangements to learn more when you visit Oahu .
Oahu Coconut Milk Cake With Haupia Pineapple Cream has the sunny summer-fun flavors of a Pina Colada. In Hawaii haupia is served as sweet finish to a luau. Traditionally haupia is made with fresh coconut milk and thickened with arrowroot, set to firm up and cut into squares.
Made with lots of coconut milk, there is no dairy or butter in this recipe. Uses a cake mix, so the only “stove time” is stirring the haupia, which gives you plenty of time to pop it in the fridge and head to the beach for a few hours of lounging and a swim. Add tropical flavor to a BBQ or summer celebration with our original Coconut Milk Cake With Haupia Pineapple Cream; a not-too-sweet treat that even the kids will love.
Here’s The Finished Cake and the Recipe
- 1- 14 oz. can coconut milk (cake uses only ¾ cup, divide per recipe with haupia)
- 1- 18.25 oz. box white cake mix
- 3 medium eggs
- ⅓ cup *vegetable (canola) oil
- ¼ c. water
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- Haupia and Pineapple Topping
- 1 can -19 oz. coconut cream (no substitutions)
- 1 can-14 oz. coconut milk plus remainder of the can from cake
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract
- 1 can -20 oz. unsweetened pineapple chunks in water or juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9x13 pan (I use a dark non-stick but still lightly spray with coconut oil).
- Mix cake mix, ¾ cup coconut milk, eggs, oil, coconut extract, and water together in a bowl using an electric mixer for 2 minutes on high, scraping down sides as you mix.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes if you are using a dark pan, otherwise follow box directions. Reduce temp to 325 F and bake for 10 more minutes or until tooth- pick in center comes out clean.
- Take out of oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Poke the cake all over with a chopstick.
- Pour ½ cup of the remaining one cup of your first can of coconut milk over holes in cake.
- Save the other ½ cup of coconut milk for the haupia.
- Haupia Cream:
- In a large heavy- bottomed stock pot pour in sugar, salt, cornstarch,1 cup water,1 whole can coconut milk, 1 whole can coconut cream, and extract.
- In a measuring cup pour ½ cup coconut milk remaining from cake and add water to it to make 1 cup, put in pot.
- Whisk it until coconut cream breaks down and mixture is smooth..
- Heat on medium low, careful not to scorch; continue stirring while cooking.
- Use a wooden spoon and when the mixture heavily coats the back of spoon (about 5 mins.), remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- Drain the pineapple reserving liquid.
- Dot the cake with the pineapple chunks.
- Use a large glass measuring cup to dip in haupia pot and pour over cake, building a thick layer to top of pan.
- You will have haupia left over.
- Pour leftover haupia in a medium- size glass casserole dish and refrigerate to serve with the cake or you can freeze as a coconut ice to serve with.
- It will not harden to a firm traditional haupia that you can cut.
- (The remaining pineapple juice is also great to pour over each cut serving),
- Refrigerate cake for several hours to harden the haupia topping and keep chilled until serving.
- *NOTE: if you want to substitute whole fat yogurt for the oil in the cake mix, you can; crumb will not be as small and will have more spring to it, but still great.