Those of you who know me in real life would probably guess that my favorite drink is a margarita. And, yes, I am definitely pro-margarita (on the rocks, no salt). But my actual favorite drink is (and has been since elementary school, sans alcohol of course) a piña colada. I mean, come on. Pineapple and coconut together are magic.
So, you could probably guess that I had a piña colada or two when we went to Hawaii in July. But I also discovered something new: the lava flow. It’s a piña colada with a swirl of strawberry purée. Delicious and pretty.
Awesome, right? That one is from my recent trip to Florida. I thought the flavor combo would make a great cake — and be perfect for National Bundt Day.
I learned that today is National Bundt Day from Mary the Food Librarian, the queen of bundts. She has baked 30 days of bundts to commemorate National Bundt Day for the past three years. That is a lot of cake, y’all.
For the lava flow bundt, I did a piña colada cake with a swirl of strawberry purée. Then — partly because the strawberry ribbon darkens up in the oven — I drizzled some more strawberry (and a pineapple-coconut glaze) over the cooled cake.
I didn’t put any rum in this cake because I had planned to give it to someone with kids, but you could do a rum glaze over the top instead of the pineapple-coconut if you’d like.
You can do the strawberry swirl however you want, but make sure it isn’t still frozen or the cake won’t bake evenly. I put about half of the cake batter in the pan, then drizzled in some of the strawberry and swirled it with a butter knife, then put the rest of the batter in and did the strawberry again. If you want the strawberry to be more obvious on the top and outsides of the cake, you might want to put a little in the greased pan before you put any cake batter in.
This cake is really moist and tropical. The glaze and the strawberry will soak into the cake no matter what you do (which makes it even more moist, but less pretty), so it’s best to serve and eat most of it right away if possible.
On a semi-related note: If you’ve never had/made piña coladas with cream of coconut and pineapple juice or fresh pineapple (as opposed to a mix), you should really try one. It’s really easy, plus you get to control how much rum you include.
Happy Bundt Day!
Lava flow cake (Recipe adapted from a coconut cake recipe in the 1964 edition of the Joy of Cooking)
2 cups hulled strawberries (frozen are fine, but be sure to thaw them)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, separated
3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk (plus a little more for the glaze)
1 teaspoon vanilla
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained (reserve some of the juice for the glaze)
3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut
1/2 cup to 1 cup powdered/confectioners sugar
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, then gradually add the sugar and beat until well combined and light. Beat the three egg yolks with a fork, then add to the butter-sugar mixture and mix to combine.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Stir the vanilla into 3/4 cup coconut milk.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and coconut milk mixture to the butter mixture, beating after each addition until smooth.
Add flake coconut and crushed pineapple to batter and mix until distributed.
In a small clean bowl (using clean beaters), beat the egg whites until they hold soft to medium peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter.
If the strawberry puree is still icy, defrost it in the microwave. Grease a bundt pan, making sure to really spray or butter the whole inside.
Pour some of the cake batter into the cake pan, then pour in some strawberry puree and use a cake knife to swirl it around. Add the rest of the cake batter and more strawberry puree (save some for drizzling over the top after the cake is baked) and swirl again. Make sure some of the strawberry is on the outside ring of the cake so it’s visible when the cake is baked.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center (a part equidistant from the sides of the pan) comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the pan, then carefully invert onto a cake plate.
Stir 1 teaspoon coconut milk and 1 teaspoon pineapple juice into 1/2 cup powdered sugar to make glaze. Add more coconut milk or more powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake, then drizzle leftover strawberry puree on top. Serve immediately.