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Guava cake with pink buttercream frosting

Updated: Tue, 21 May, 2024

Hawaiian guava cake with pink buttercream, both made from concentrated, cooked down guava juice. The cake is light, made with egg whites. Guava is like a wonderful cross between strawberry and passion fruit. And the cake is very, very pink.

guava cake

Very, very pink

Hawaiian guava cake caught my eye in NY Times Cooking newsletter, possibly because it was very pink. But I was also certainly intrigued by anything Hawaiian, my preconceptions being: don’t they only eat, like, FLOWERS and drink piña colada?

Also intriguing was the guava fruit, about which I had a quick scuffle with The Weather Man on whether we have ever seen/bought/tried it or not. I was right (what else is new?), since it doesn’t live on the shelves and stalls we get our supplies from. He was thinking of mango, papaya – heaven knows, maybe even pineapple.

hawaiian guava cake with buttercream frosting

What to substitute for guava concentrate?

Once I established neither fresh fruit nor the guava concentrate was available in my neck of woods, it became a challenge.

Following the tips supplied in the NYT recipe, I bought guava juice drink. ‘Juice drink’ is that peculiar beverage that pretends to be healthy but admits it can’t be called just ‘juice’ because it’s made from concentrate and has a whack of sugar and preservatives added.

That didn’t bother me: after all having been baked in the cake, even fresh guava wouldn’t remain raw and healthy.

The key thing is to cook the juice down to make it usable, which also disappointingly dulls the vibrant pink colour somewhat.

reducing guava juice

Guava is truly an exotic fruit

Fresh guava must be pretty gorgeous fresh as it smells like passion fruit and tastes like strawberry: I can’t imagine a lovelier fruity combination.

I don’t know if they make their cakes with fresh guava in Hawaii but even the cooked down ‘juice drink’ imparts a fantastic flavour. The colour, not so much, hence the help of food colouring but obviously you can leave the cake pale and natural.

So what is the whole thing like? A little squishy but very light, moister than angel food cake but lighter than sponge. Soft, tender, and wonderfully fragrant with guava. Aloha!

hawaiian cake with guava buttercream

How to make guava cake batter

It would seem a completely ordinary start to a cake: creaming butter and sugar. But to that we add egg whites only, plus the addition of oil makes for a very tender and moist crumb – and that’s regardless of the milk and reduced guava juice.

guava cake batter

Apparently the guava concentrate is enough to give the crumb the lovely pink colour. I have to resort to food colouring, but the flavour from the reduced juice is delightful.

I like to bake it in a square tin but it can just as well be baked in a round one, 23cm/9 inch.

baking guava cake

The frosting

The frosting in my version is a deviation from the original recipe, but just lovely. Buttercream fluffed up with the guava concentrated juice, plus a few drops of the food colouring I can’t resist.

Cream cheese frosting may well be more traditional (eh? Philadelphia cream cheese? authentically Hawaiian? I don’t know about that) but it’s so common it’s really a bit boring, and buttercream looks more luscious over the cake.

icing guava cake

More colourful cake recipes

Matcha (green tea) sponge cake with lemon and bay leaf scented whipped cream frosting. It’s a beautiful dessert, beautifully simple to make (but nobody will believe you how easy it is).

Red velvet cake recipe decorated with dried cake crumbs. Red velvet cake is either a red, bright red or red-brown colour obtained by adding beetroot or food colouring to the cake mix. My red velvet cake is frosted with a cream cheese, mascarpone and whipped cream mix.

Caribbean Christmas black cake with rum soaked fruit and burnt sugar flavour. It is the Jamaican or Trinidad cousin of British Christmas cake and it stands tall in comparison!

More egg white based cake recipes

Angel food cake is light as air, fatless and egg yolk-less. Egg whites whipped to a cloud, with only a whisper of flour and no baking powder, it bakes in a special tin with a chimney, or an ungreased ring tin. Best decorated with cream and berries!

Cherry cream dacquoise is an exquisite gateau which is far easier to make than you’d think. Almond meringue dacquoise layers filled with fresh cream and homemade candied cherries – a riff on black forest gateau.

King Oscar II cake is also known as Swedish almond tart. It's an almond macaron style cake filled with almond buttercream, easy to make and absolutely delightful.

guava flavoured cake with pink guava buttercream

Guava cake with pink buttercream frosting

Servings: 16Time: 2 hours


  • For the cake:
  • 1 litre (4 cups) carton of guava juice (or 160ml or 23 cup guava concentrate)
  • 213g (134 cups) plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 76g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 120g (12 cup) caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites (120g or 12 cup)
  • 40ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 160ml (23 cup) whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 drops of red food colouring (optional)
  • For the frosting:
  • 100g (9 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 140g (1 cup plus 1 tbsp) icing sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40ml (3 tbsp) reduced guava juice, from above
  • 2 drops of red food colouring (optional)


1. To reduce the guava juice, bring it to the boil in a large saucepan and boil rapidly over high heat until it reduces by half, about 40 minutes. Leave it to cool, then measure out the 160ml/23 cup for the cake and 40ml/3 tbsp for the frosting.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line a square 23cm/9 inch tin with parchment. Stir the flour with the baking powder and salt.

3. In a large bowl or the bowl of the standing mixer beat the butter with sugar until fluffy. Add the egg whites, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for 3-4 minutes until well combined, smooth and creamy. Beat in the oil.

4. Stir the milk and reduced guava juice in a jug, add the food colouring if using. On medium speed, add the flour mix and the liquid ingredients to the butter mix in three or four additions. Continue beating for a minute until smooth.

5. Pour the cake batter to the prepared tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Remove cake from the tin but leave it in the parchment and cool completely on a wire rack.

7. To make the frosting, melt the butter in a small pan. Pour it into a bowl with icing sugar and salt, and stir to combine. The butter will look like it’s separated and the sugar will look curdled but that’s okay.

8. Using a handheld mixer or a standing mixer with the paddle attachment beat the frosting at high speed for about 5 minutes until smooth and starts to look like buttercream. Beat in the vanilla, lower the speed and slowly add the concentrated guava juice with the red food colouring, if using.

9. Spoon the frosting over the cooled cake and smooth with a palette knife.

Originally published: Thu, 27 June, 2019

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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