The sweet taste of pineapple pairs beautifully with lemon's tart flavor, and the addition of fresh fruit helps keep the cake moist. Serve a lemon-pineapple cake immediately, and cover and refrigerate the cake promptly. When served this way, pineapple-lemon cake makes a light, refreshing dessert.
You can put pineapple chunks in a lemon cake, but better options include pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple. Pineapple chunks are large enough that they may add too much moisture to the cake. Toss pineapple chunks in a food processor for 5 to 10 seconds to make them smaller if you don't have tidbits or crushed pineapple in your pantry. You can also use a blender, potato masher or even a fork to break down the pineapple into smaller pieces.
To make a lemon cake with bits of pineapple, combine 1 1/2 cups of prepared pineapple bits -- including the juice -- with oil, water and eggs, according to the directions on the cake mix box. Beat the mixture with a hand mixer just for a minute or two; overmixing can toughen the cake batter. Set the timer for the time specified on the box, but be prepared to cook the cake just a bit longer since the extra moisture from the pineapple may cause it to bake slightly slower. You'll know it's done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Dress It Up
Stick with the tropical theme and add coconut, cream of coconut, crushed mandarin orange or even rum extract to the cake as well. Another option is to make a pineapple glaze to pour over the finished cake. Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Add the pineapple to the cake mix, along with the oil and eggs, and bake as normal. Heat the pineapple juice along with some sugar in a saucepan to make a glaze. Poke holes in the baked cake and pour the glaze over it; the glaze runs down into the cake, adding even more moisture and flavor.
Top It Off
For a truly decadent cake, fill a lemon cake baked with pineapple in it with a pineapple filling. Heat 1-cup prepared pineapple bits with orange juice and sugar, just until the sugar dissolves, to form a thick filling. Spread the filling over one round cake layer and top with another round layer. Combine crushed, drained pineapple, coconut and coconut extract with whipped topping for a quick frosting.