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Pineapple Coconut Donuts

It's summer, except this summer is unlike any other summer most of us have ever experienced. Vacations in warm locales are basically cancelled. I long to be somewhere sandy, listening to the ocean waves crashing in. While that isn't going to happen any time soon, I can still enjoy a little taste of the tropics with these incredibly easy and delicious pineapple coconut donuts.

You get a double dose of pineapple between the pineapple ring baked into the donut and the vanilla pineapple icing. Take the coconut flavor up a notch by using virgin coconut oil in the batter. Also, though I made these as donuts, you could make this as a cake as well. I would recommend an 8 inch square pan.

Serves: 6 - 8 (depending on your donut pan)

Bake time: 15-17 minutes (when baked at 5400 ft)

What you'll need:

  • One box of Vanilla Coconut Donut Mix (Vanilla Sprinkle mix would work too if you have shredded unsweetened coconut on hand)
  • One 20 ounce can of pineapple slices in juice (not heavy syrup) or two 8 ounce cans (the 8 ounce cans only have 4 slices each and you'll need at least six)*
  • Oil, water, and your favorite butter, per the instructions in the mix box
  • Spray oil
  • Donut pan


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Open the can of pineapple and drain the liquid into a mug or bowl.

3. Proceed with making the icing. For this recipe, you will use one tablespoon of melted butter and one tablespoon PLUS one teaspoon of the pineapple juice from the pineapple rings, in lieu of water. Mix the icing powder (packet #1), melted better, and pineapple juice until smooth, cover and set aside.

4. Next, you will lay down a clean kitchen towel (or paper towels) to dry the pineapple rings. Lay six of the pineapple rings down on the towel in a single layer, cover with the other side of the towel, and gently pressed to remove some of the juice. I move the pineapple rings two or three times and repeat to ensure that they are as dry as possible. Let the pineapple rings rest on towel while you make mix batter.

5. Make the donut mix batter per the direction card in the box. Set aside.

6. Grab your donut pan and using the spray oil, spray the donut wells well. Be sure to spray the stem too. Due to the sugar in the pineapple, sticking can occur if not well sprayed.

7. Gently place a pineapple ring into each donut well.

8. Using a spoon, spoon the donut batter onto to the pineapple rings. Depending on the size of your donut pan, this recipe might yield one to two extra donuts as the pineapple rings take up space in the well, leaving extra batter.

9. Place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. At 15 minutes, lightly poke the top of the donuts. If they spring back, remove. If not, set the timer for another one to two minutes. I normally bake donuts for 15 minutes here is Denver (5400 ft), however, I let these go for a full 17 minutes due to the extra moisture from the pineapple.

10. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack until the pan is cool enough to handle. Once cool enough to handle, gently turn the donuts out and let cool on wire rack, pineapple side up, for at least another 10 minutes.

11. After 10 minutes or more, proceed with icing and topping the donuts (pineapple side up). I like to work one donut at a time to ensure that I add the topping before the icing sets. As a general rule, there is enough icing to use one regular size spoonful on each of the six donuts. There is enough coconut provided to use one good size (adult fingers) pinch of coconut on each of the six donuts.

Note, if using a cooling rack, be sure to put a baking mat or paper towel beneath to catch the drips.

12. These donuts, like a pineapple upside-down cake, have a high moisture content and should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator if not being eaten right away.

*Need some ideas for the leftover pineapple juice?

Pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Blend the frozen cubes into a piña colada or margarita.

Mix the pineapple juice with a can of coconut cream, a tablespoon of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pour into popsicles mold. Freeze and enjoy.

Use the liquid (usually about 5 ounces worth) as a base for a teriyaki marinade or sauce (tons of recipes online!)