More desserts with a taste of summer

These desserts are continuing last week's theme by bringing a taste of summer to the table with flavorful desserts.

fruit cake
A cake with fruit brings a taste of summer to any meal. Try this week's pineapple coconut cake recipe or try another variety, such as oranges or peaches.
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Pineapple Coconut Cake

15.25 oz. cake mix – white, vanilla or yellow cake mix will work (1 box needed)

1 cup crushed pineapple – do not drain; spoon from the can into the measuring cup

1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil


3 large eggs, room temperature


15 oz. cream of coconut (sweetened condensed milk may be substituted)

1/2 cup pineapple juice

2 tsp. rum extract (optional)


3.4 oz. instant coconut cream pudding mix (vanilla or french vanilla instant pudding may be substituted)

1 cup whole milk


8 oz. whipped topping

1/2 cup crushed pineapple well drained

2/3 cup toasted coconut for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with square edges with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, crushed pineapple, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds and then increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for another 2 minutes.

Pour into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top so the cake bakes up evenly. Bake for 28 to 33 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Using a fork, gently poke holes all over the cake.

Whisk together the cream of coconut, pineapple juice and rum extract in a medium size bowl. Slowly and carefully pour over the top of the cake, allowing it to fill in the holes and absorb into the cake. Let the cake rest until the liquid is fully absorbed and the cake has completely cooled.

Make the frosting by whisking the pudding mix and milk in a large bowl until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the whipped topping and fold in until no streaks remain. Add the well-drained pineapple and fold into the mixture until evenly combined.


Gently smooth the frosting over the top of the cooled cake with an offset spatula, keeping it as even as possible. Top the cake with toasted coconut (optional).

Strawberry Cobbler

2 lbs. fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided, plus extra for topping

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup whole milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and the lemon juice.

In another bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar with the flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the melted butter.

Grease an 8-by-11-inch baking dish. Pour the batter into the baking dish, and top with strawberries. Do not stir! Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges.

Serve immediately, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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