About This Guava Cake
This vibrant pink guava cake is a fun and unique sheet cake recipe! It is made with a moist and flavorful guava sponge cake, that is then topped with a tangy, creamy, light-as-air guava cream cheese frosting! The best part?
The recipe makes an extra fruity and flavorful guava cake since it uses guava puree in both the cake AND frosting.
This authentic Hawaiian dessert recipe is adapted from Hawaiian food blogger and cookbook author, Alana Kysar of Fix Feast Flair. Learn more below!
@hummingbirdhigh 💖 all pink everything cake 💖#bakingrecipe #bakingtiktok #hawaiianfood ♬ Aloha Oe – Hawaiian Music Group
Why You Should Make The Recipe
Here are all the reasons to make this vibrant pink guava cake:
This guava cake recipe is based on a famous Hawaiian dessert from Dee Lite Bakery, a popular but now shuttered Hawaiian bakery.
Guava cake was first invented in the 1960s by Herbert Matsuba. He was the owner of Dee Lite Bakery in Honolulu, and wished to incorporate more Hawaiian flavors into the bakery’s offerings. The guava chiffon cake was one of his first attempts at doing so. It proved to be so popular that he later added a passion fruit chiffon cake to the menu, as well as a rainbow cake that combines guava, passion fruit, and lime.
Herbert later sold Dee Lite Bakery to Saint-Germain Bakery in 1990. And after a strong run, both bakeries unfortunately closed in 2018. But you can replicate the famous cake at home with this guava cake recipe!
This recipe makes an authentic Hawaiian dessert.
I adapted the recipe from my friend, Alana Kysar. She is a food blogger known for her Hawaiian recipes. Her first cookbook, Aloha Kitchen, came out in 2019 and was critically acclaimed for its wide breadth of Hawaiian recipes. I previously made her recipes for Hawaiian Sweet Bread Rolls and Passion Fruit Malasadas (Hawaiian Donuts). Both were a smash hit!
I was especially excited to make her recipe for guava cake because it has the gold stamp of approval from The New York Times. They published this recipe in their Cooking section!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make this tropical guava cake, here’s everything you need:
Shopping List For Guava Cake Recipe
- cake flour
- baking powder
- kosher salt
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- large eggs
- canola oil
- whole milk
- pure vanilla extract
- guava puree
- pink OR red food coloring
- heavy cream
- cream cheese
And let’s talk about some key ingredients and their potential substitutions:
You need 2 ½ cups cake flour to make the guava cake.
Cake Flour versus All-Purpose Flour
In the grocery store, you’ll likely find an aisle of more flour varieties than you would have thought existed: all-purpose, bread, cake, pastry, and many more. These varieties are defined by their protein percentages.
Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour. As a result, using cake flour in a cake recipe results in a cake with a softer and more tender crumb.
If you need a brand recommendation, my favorite cake flour is Swans Down Cake Flour.
Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour in this guava cake recipe?
Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Why? The recipe makes a chiffon cake, which is denser than traditional cakes. It also contains more liquid (in the form of guava puree) than what’s typically found in other cake recipes. All that extra liquid gives the cake its wonderful, fruity flavor.
I worry if you use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, your guava cake might turn out too dense and gummy!
But if you insist, note that swapping out the cake flour for all-purpose is not a 1:1 substitution. You can learn more in this Food52 article.
You need 1 cup guava puree to make the cake, plus another ½ cup to make the frosting.
What is guava puree?
Guava puree is literally just guava fruit that has been pureed and strained of its seeds. Some brands puree the skin of the fruit as well as the flesh; others puree the entire thing. A good quality brand does not add any other fruits, sugar, or juice to the guava puree.
Where do you buy guava puree?
Truthfully, guava puree can be hard to find. I found my guava puree (Goya Guava Fruit Pulp) in the frozen fruit aisle of a Mexican supermarket in Portland (El Campesino, for you fellow Portlanders!). If you live in a city with a large Hispanic population, definitely check out their fruits and frozen fruits section!
You can also purchase guava puree online on Amazon, but you’ll need to do some digging to find a kind without any added sugars or flavors. I know many French pastry schools use this kind by Les Vergers Boiron. Let me warn you now though—it’s way pricier than the Goya Guava Fruit Pulp than I used!
Help! I can’t find guava puree. What should I use instead?
According to The New York Times version of this recipe, you can use 100% pink or white guava juice/concentrate like Ceres Guava Juice. Avoid juices that contain any added sugar so the cake does not become overly sweet.
And if you go this route, The New York Times recommends reducing the juice before using in this recipe. Boil two liters of juice over high heat until it’s reduced by half, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely before using.
How To Make Guava Cake
Here are the basic steps to make this guava cake from scratch:
First, make the guava cake and cool it.
- Prep the ingredients for the guava cake. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
When making this cake, it’s important that all your ingredients are at the temperature listed in the recipe. Otherwise, they’ll have trouble combining together. If using frozen guava puree, thaw it accordingly!
- Make the guava cake. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
- Bake the guava cake. (Bake Time: 25 to 30 minutes)
- Cool the guava cake. (Cool Time: 1 to 2 hours)
It’s especially important that the guava cake is cooled completely before frosting. If you frost the cake while it’s still warm, it will melt the frosting!
Next, make the guava cream cheese frosting and assemble the cake.
- Prep the ingredients for the guava cream cheese frosting. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
Again, make sure all your ingredients are at the temperature listed in the recipe. If the cream cheese or guava puree is too cold, the frosting will turn out lumpy!
- Make the guava cream cheese frosting. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
- Assemble the guava cake. (Work Time: 5 minutes)
Troubleshooting and FAQ
FAQ: Baking Equipment and Tools Needed To Make Guava Cake
Can I use a handheld electric mixer instead of a stand mixer?
Yes! If you don’t own a stand mixer, you can still make this recipe with a handheld electric mixer. Just follow the instructions to mix everything—the only difference is that you may need to add a couple of minutes to my mixing times below. A handheld electric mixer isn’t as powerful as a stand mixer, and usually requires 1 to 2 minutes of extra mixing to get the same results.
I don’t own a 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Can I make this as a layer cake instead?
Yes! If you want to make this recipe as a layer cake, you have two options. You can bake the batter in two 8-inch OR 9-inch round cake pans to make a 2-layer cake. Follow the recipe instructions to make the batter, then divide it in half between the two cake pans.
If you’re baking the batter in 8-inch cake pans, Bake Time will stay the same at 25 minutes. But if you’re baking the batter in 9-inch cake pans, I would start checking for doneness earlier at 20 minutes.
FAQ: Troubleshooting Unexpected Results
Help! My guava cream cheese frosting was so loose and runny. What did I do wrong?
Uh oh! There are a couple reasons why your cream cheese frosting turned out too runny:
- You didn’t whip the cream to stiff peaks. It’s especially important to whip the cream to the texture described in the recipe. Why? You’ll be adding it to a fairly runny base with lots of guava puree. Be sure to check out the recipe tips on how to check the consistency of your whipped cream.
- The cake was left out at room temperature too long. In the recipe below, I instruct you to serve the cake immediately after frosting OR refrigerate for a couple of hours to help set the frosting. If you don’t refrigerate the cake, the frosting will get too warm and start to get runny!
FAQ: How To Store The Guava Cake
How To Store Guava Cake
f serving and storing for later, refrigerate for at least 2 hours to keep the frosting cool and fluffy. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.The cake will keep, loosely covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze guava cake?
Yes, you can freeze the guava cake for frosting later.
Follow the recipe instructions to make and bake the guava cake. However, don’t make the frosting! Instead, cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, tightly wrap the cake, still in its sheet pan, in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, thaw at room temperature for 5 t0 10 minutes while you prep and make the frosting. Doing so will prevent condensation from the cake from bleeding through the frosting. Follow the recipe instructions to assemble and decorate the cake.
Best Recipe Tips
Tips To Make This Recipe Fit In Your Schedule
- If you don’t have time to bake the cake, make the frosting, and assemble and decorate it all in one day, no worries! What I recommend instead is baking the cake a day ahead, and then making the frosting and assembling the entire cake the next day.
The cake will keep well tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, just on your countertop (there’s no need to refrigerate the baked cake).Then, whenever you’re ready to serve the cake, make the frosting and assemble everything right before serving!
Tips About The Recipe’s Techniques
- You’ll notice that the recipe instructs you to whip the whipped cream to “stiff peaks”. The best way to determine this texture is to do a test with the whisk attachment. Dip the tip of the whisk into the cream, remove it, and quickly turn it upside down.
If the cream is too soft, it will slide off the whisk, and you’ll need to keep whisking. If the cream has a cloud-like structure but with peaks that lose their shape, you’re at the “soft peaks” stage. Continue whisking, then test again. If, the next time you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks hold, you’re at the “stiff peaks” stage.
More Unique Sheet Cake Recipes
- Bailey’s Tres Leches Cake
- Coffee Tres Leches Cake
- Eggnog Cake
- Strawberry Yellow Sheet Cake
- Texas Sheet Cake Recipe For 9 x 13 Inch Pan
Guava Cake Recipe
For the Guava Cake
- 2 ½ cups (10 ounces or 284 grams) cake flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (8.5 ounces or 241 grams) guava puree, at room temperature
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 drops pink OR red food coloring
- 1 ¼ cups (8.75 ounces or 248 grams) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (2 ounces or 57 grams) canola oil
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
For the Guava Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 (8-ounce) box cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 to 2 drops pink OR red food coloring
- pinch of kosher salt
- ½ cup (4.25 ounces or 120 grams) guava puree, at room temperature
- sprinkles, for garnish
- First, make the guava cake. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray an 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the parchment, too.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the guava, milk, vanilla, and food coloring.
- Cream the butter, sugar, and oil, then add the egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and oil. Beat on medium until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg whites in 3 additions, adding the next addition only after the previous one has been fully incorporated and scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients. With the mixer still on low, add the the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the wet ingredients in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
- Assemble the cake for baking. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use an offset spatula to smooth its top if necessary.
- Bake the cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. When done, the top of the cake should bounce back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before frosting.
- Once the cake is cool, make the guava cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.Transfer the whipped cream to a medium bowl.
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, food coloring, and salt for the frosting, then add the guava puree. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, food coloring and salt in the stand mixer bowl (there's no need to clean the bowl!). Beat on medium-low until soft and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.Reduce the mixer to low and add the guava puree in 4 additions, adding the next addition only after the previous one has been fully incorporated and scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Once incorporated, scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on medium-high until the frosting is creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Fold the whipped cream into the frosting. Scoop half of the whipped cream over the frosting and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining whipped cream and fold them in until just combined. At this point, it will be a very light and fluffy frosting.
- Assemble the guava sheet cake. Use an offset spatula to cover the top of the cake with the frosting completely. Garnish with sprinkles.
- Serve and store. Serve immediately at room temperature. If serving and storing for later, refrigerate for at least 2 hours to keep the frosting cool and fluffy. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.The cake will keep, loosely covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you don’t have time to bake the cake, make the frosting, and assemble and decorate it all in one day, no worries! What I recommend instead is baking the cake a day ahead, and then making the frosting and assembling the entire cake the next day. The cake will keep well tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, just on your countertop (there’s no need to refrigerate the baked cake).Then, whenever you’re ready to serve the cake, make the frosting and assemble everything right before serving!
- You’ll notice that the recipe instructs you to whip the whipped cream to “stiff peaks”. The best way to determine this texture is to do a test with the whisk attachment. Dip the tip of the whisk into the cream, remove it, and quickly turn it upside down. If the cream is too soft, it will slide off the whisk, and you’ll need to keep whisking. If the cream has a cloud-like structure but with peaks that lose their shape, you’re at the “soft peaks” stage. Continue whisking, then test again. If, the next time you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks hold, you’re at the “stiff peaks” stage.
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