Elvis Presley Cake

In the realm of iconic desserts, few recipes manage to blend nostalgia, flavor, and a dash of rock ‘n’ roll quite like the Elvis Presley Cake, affectionately known as the Jailhouse Rock Cake. This dessert is not just a treat for the taste buds but a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, capturing the flamboyant spirit of Elvis and his love for rich, indulgent flavors. Whether you’re a die-hard Elvis fan or simply a dessert aficionado looking for your next sweet adventure, this cake promises to shake up your dessert repertoire with its decadent layers and irresistible taste.


The foundation of this dessert is a simple white cake, but the magic happens with the addition of a few special ingredients:

  • White Cake Mix: The starting point for our culinary masterpiece.
  • Crushed Pineapple (8 oz can, with juice): This adds a moist, tangy zing that elevates the cake to legendary status.
  • Granulated Sugar (1 cup): For sweetening the pineapple mixture to perfection.
  • Vanilla Extract: A split performance, with ½ tsp enhancing the pineapple mixture and another ½ tsp adding a fragrant note to the frosting.
  • Cream Cheese (8 oz package, softened): The cornerstone of the creamy, dreamy frosting.
  • Butter (½ cup, softened): Adds richness to the cream cheese frosting, making it utterly irresistible.
  • Powdered Sugar (3 cups): For a smooth and sweet frosting.
  • Crushed Pecans (3 cups): Bringing a nutty crunch that complements the creamy and fruity flavors.


  1. Bake the Cake: Follow the white cake mix instructions to bake your cake base. After baking, let it cool, then enthusiastically poke holes all over with a wooden spoon’s end.
  2. Pineapple Mixture: Combine the crushed pineapple (juice included), granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract in a saucepan. Boil for a few minutes with occasional stirring. Then, pour this hot mixture over the cooled cake, allowing the liquid to infiltrate the holes, infusing the cake with pineapple goodness.
  3. Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth, then gradually incorporate the powdered sugar and the rest of the vanilla extract. Stir in 2 cups of crushed pecans. Spread this frosting over your pineapple-adorned cake.
  4. Garnish: Add the final touch with the remaining crushed pecans sprinkled over the top.
  5. Chill: Patience is a virtue here. Refrigerate the cake for at least 6 hours, or overnight, to let the flavors marry and deepen.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Once you’ve mastered the art of creating the sensational Elvis Presley Cake, also known as the Jailhouse Rock Cake, you’ll want to ensure it’s served in a way that does justice to its legendary namesake. Furthermore, proper storage is key to maintaining its delightful flavors and textures. Here are essential tips for serving and storing your masterpiece:

Serving Tips:

  • Optimal Serving Temperature: This cake tastes best when slightly chilled or at room temperature. If it has been refrigerated overnight, consider taking it out 30 minutes before serving to let it warm slightly. The flavors are more pronounced when not too cold.
  • Presentation: For a visually stunning presentation, serve the cake on a vintage plate or a rock ‘n’ roll-themed dishware to pay homage to Elvis Presley. You can also decorate the serving table with Elvis memorabilia for added flair.
  • Complementing Beverages: Pair the cake with beverages that complement its rich and sweet profile. Classic choices include coffee, tea, or milk. For a more adult twist, a dessert wine or a smooth bourbon can elevate the tasting experience.

Storage Tips:

  • Refrigeration is Key: Given its cream cheese frosting and moist texture, the Elvis Presley Cake should be stored in the refrigerator. Cover it with a cake dome or loosely with plastic wrap to protect it from absorbing other flavors from the fridge and to keep it moist.
  • Longevity: Properly stored, the cake will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. The flavors will continue to meld and deepen over the first few days, so don’t hesitate to enjoy it as time goes by.
  • Freezing for Later: If you have leftovers or want to save a portion for a later date, this cake freezes well. Cut the cake into portions, wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap, and then in foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Avoiding Sogginess: If your cake seems to be getting too moist from the pineapple juice over time, placing it in a colder part of your refrigerator can help. Additionally, ensure that it’s well-covered but not airtight – a bit of air flow helps maintain the ideal texture.


This Elvis Presley Cake, with its layers of fluffy cake, tangy pineapple, creamy frosting, and crunchy pecans, is more than just a dessert; it’s a culinary homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Perfect for birthday parties, celebrations, or any occasion that calls for a show-stopping cake, it’s sure to have everyone all shook up over its delightful combination of flavors and textures.


Exploring variations of the classic Elvis Presley Cake, or Jailhouse Rock Cake, allows you to tailor this beloved dessert to suit different tastes, dietary restrictions, or simply to add an element of surprise to a well-loved recipe. Each variation maintains the spirit of the original while introducing new flavors or textures. Here are some creative twists on the classic recipe:

1. Gluten-Free Adaptation

For those with gluten sensitivities, substitute the white cake mix with a gluten-free cake mix. Ensure all other ingredients, such as the crushed pineapple and pecans, are processed in a gluten-free facility to avoid cross-contamination.

2. Chocolate Lovers’ Dream

Replace the white cake mix with a chocolate cake mix for a decadent twist. The richness of the chocolate pairs beautifully with the tanginess of the pineapple and the creaminess of the frosting. For an extra chocolatey experience, sprinkle the top with chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips along with the pecans.

3. Banana Flair

Given Elvis’s famous love for peanut butter and banana sandwiches, adding mashed bananas to the cake batter or a layer of sliced bananas between the cake and the pineapple layer pays homage to the King’s favorite flavors. This variation adds moisture and depth to the cake’s flavor profile.

4. Nut-Free Option

For those with nut allergies, omit the pecans from the recipe. You can replace them with a sprinkle of toasted coconut or leave the nuts out entirely. The result is still delicious and caters to those with specific dietary needs.

5. Vegan Version

To make a vegan version of the Elvis Presley Cake, use a vegan white cake mix and substitute the cream cheese and butter in the frosting with vegan alternatives. Agave syrup or a plant-based sweetener can replace granulated sugar, and a flaxseed meal can serve as a binder if needed. Check that the crushed pineapple and other ingredients are vegan-friendly.

6. Boozy Twist

For an adult version of this cake, add a splash of rum or bourbon to the pineapple mixture before boiling. The alcohol will cook off, leaving a subtle but distinct flavor that complements the sweetness of the cake and frosting.

7. Lemon Zest Enhancement

Brighten the cake by adding lemon zest to the frosting for a citrusy tang that cuts through the sweetness and adds a refreshing note. This variation is particularly delightful in the warmer months.

8. Pumpkin Spice Variation

Incorporate a touch of fall by adding pumpkin spice to the cake batter and a tablespoon of pumpkin puree to the cream cheese frosting. This variation gives the classic cake a seasonal twist that’s perfect for holiday gatherings.


1. What is Elvis Presley Cake?

Elvis Presley Cake, also known as Jailhouse Rock Cake, is a dessert inspired by the flavors beloved by Elvis Presley. It typically features a white cake soaked with a sweet pineapple mixture, topped with a rich cream cheese frosting and garnished with crushed pecans.

2. Can I use a different type of cake mix?

Yes, you can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer. While the traditional recipe calls for white cake mix, chocolate, yellow, or even spice cake mixes can be used for a unique twist.

3. Is it necessary to refrigerate the cake?

Yes, due to the cream cheese frosting and the moist nature of the cake from the pineapple mixture, it’s best to refrigerate the Elvis Presley Cake to keep it fresh and maintain its structure.

4. Can I make this cake gluten-free?

Absolutely! Simply substitute the regular white cake mix with your favorite gluten-free cake mix to make a gluten-free version of the Elvis Presley Cake.