Grilled Pound Cake With Rum-Scented Grilled Pineapple 6.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Smoke Signals May 20, 2015

This dessert provides a wow factor with little effort. Sure, you could buy a pound cake, but this light and moist version is easy to make and vastly better than anything store-bought. Brown sugar and rum give the pineapple a Caribbean flavor.

The original recipe calls for grilling the cake on only one side; in testing, we grilled it on both sides to firm it up.

Make Ahead: The pound cake must be made a day in advance to give it ample time to chill and firm up. The pineapple needs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (and up to several hours). The pineapple and cake can be grilled earlier in the day and served at room temperature.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 15 tablespoons (just shy of 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into twelve 3-to-4-inch pieces (about 12 ounces total)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dark rum (optional)
  • 1 cup whipped cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and shake the pan until evenly coated; tap out and discard any excess flour.

Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla bean scrapings in a liquid measuring cup.

Combine the cake flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat at low speed just until blended. Add the remaining 14 tablespoons of butter and half of the egg mixture; beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are wet and almost fully incorporated. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Increase the speed to medium-high; beat for 30 seconds, then gradually add the remaining egg mixture, beating just long enough to form a batter that is lightened and creamy.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan; bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Transfer to the wire rack to cool completely (at least 45 minutes), then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

At least an hour before serving, combine the pineapple pieces, light brown sugar, black pepper and the rum, if using, in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Seal and gently massage to blend the marinade ingredients and coat the fruit. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to several hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the grill for direct heat or preheat a gas grill to medium (375 to 400 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; once the coals are ready, distribute them evenly in the cooking area. For a medium fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 6 to 7 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Remove the pineapple from the bag; discard the marinade. Place the pieces directly over the fire and grill for 4 to 6 minutes, uncovered, turning them frequently, until grill marks appear and the fruit's juices start to bubble. Transfer to a platter.

Unwrap the chilled cake. Trim off the ends (reserving them for another use, or a snack), then cut the cake into 6 thick slices. Place the slices over the fire and grill until toasted, about 2 minutes per side (see headnote).

Place each cake slice on its own plate; top each one with 2 grilled pineapple pieces and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Serve right away.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Recipe adapted by Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin, from "Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro,” by David Guas (Oxmoor House, 2015).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at