Polynesian Refrigerator Cake

Although I seriously doubt this recipe originated in the Polynesian Islands, it is now quite popular with those wonderful people who love pineapple any way it's prepared. This dessert is often served at a Hawaiian Luau or party, and has been a main dessert in our home for many years. It is both easy and absolutely delicious, especially in our warm Florida climate.



  • 1 large angel food cake
  • 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 eggs, room temperature and carefully separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Whipped cream *
  • Coconut (shredded or angel-flake), optional.

*Note: I use 16 oz. heavy whipping cream and 3-5 Tbsp. of 10X Powdered sugar. Whip to standing peaks, and add 1 tsp. vanilla. Whip just a little more to incorporate the vanilla.


Slice or tear cake and arrange on bottom and sides of 13x9x2-inch dish.

Combine gelatin and lemon juice; set aside. Separate egg yolks from egg whites being careful not too get any yolk in the whites. Place egg whites in large mixing bowl and set aside.

In medium saucepan, beat egg yolks until foamy; add half the sugar and the pineapple. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Set aside.


Beat egg whites and salt until almost stiff; gradually add remaining sugar. Fold in warm pineapple mixture.

Spoon over cake. Cover with plastic wrap and chill several hours or overnight. If desired, you may sprinkle on a nice layer of shredded or angel-flake coconut before refrigerating.

When ready to serve, frost with homemade whipped cream and garnish with fresh mint leaves and maraschino cherries (drained and dried on paper toweling).

Note: If you do not want to frost the entire cake with whipping cream, you may choose to add whipped cream to individual servings of cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate any leftovers. (I think this works. I've never managed to have any leftovers).

Servings: 12-15
Time:20 + Minutes Preparation Time
10 Minutes Cooking Time

Source: This recipe is one that our son "found" on one of his Star Wars fan trips. He brought it home and added it to our Family Book of Favorite Recipes about 22 years ago. I can't tell you how many times I've had to share the recipe for lady friends after their husbands tasted it. It seems to be particularly popular with the men people.


By Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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June 29, 20100 found this helpful

We've eaten cake similar to this, but it didn't have coconut in it. I would like it either way, and am happy to see the recipe come through.

Thanks Pookarina.


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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

This sounds easy enough for even me. LOL
It also sounds delicious.

Thank you Pookarina.


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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

This sounds like the most luscious dessert I've ever heard of. I'm betting it is a lovely presentation as well all trimmed out with the cherries and mint leaves. We love pineapple any way it's prepared and especially in a nice cool dessert.


Thank you.


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July 1, 20100 found this helpful

I was looking for a special dessert for a Friday Night Poker Party coming up this weekend. This perfectly fits the bill. Wow! Are you a mind-reader?
Thank you so much.


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July 2, 20100 found this helpful

LOL I'm trying to figure out a way to put this in my lunchbox without all my co-workers knowing what I have. They have to see and taste everything I take for lunch.

It sure sounds good, Pookarina.
Thank you.


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