Elvis Presley Cake (Jailhouse Rock Cake)


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


The Elvis Presley Cake, also affectionately known as the Jailhouse Rock Cake, is more than just a dessert; it’s a tribute to the legendary rock ‘n’ roll icon, Elvis Presley. This delightful confection combines sweet and tangy flavors, making it a standout among classic American desserts. Its roots are as intriguing as the man it’s named after, offering a taste of nostalgia that transcends generations.

Why is it named after Elvis Presley? The cake’s unique combination of flavors, including the key ingredients of pineapple and cream cheese, echoes the flamboyant and pioneering spirit of Elvis’s music and personality. It’s said that the cake was a favorite of The King himself, making it a fitting homage to his enduring legacy. Discover the rich history of cakes and understand why this particular cake holds a special place in the hearts of Elvis fans and dessert lovers alike. Learn more about Elvis Presley, the inspiration behind the cake.

Why It’s Called Jailhouse Rock Cake

The Jailhouse Rock Cake gets its name from one of Elvis Presley’s most famous songs, “Jailhouse Rock.” This connection not only highlights the cultural impact of Elvis’s music but also the playful and rebellious spirit embodied in both the song and the dessert. The cake is a celebration of Elvis’s contribution to rock ‘n’ roll and his ability to bring joy through his music and now, through this delightful cake. Explore ideas for rock ‘n’ roll themed parties inspired by the energetic and dynamic nature of this cake. Background of Jailhouse Rock, the song.

Exploring the Legacy of Elvis Presley Through Dessert

The Elvis Presley Cake, with its rich flavors and historic namesake, serves not just as a delightful dessert but also as a medium to explore the enduring legacy of Elvis Presley. This dessert transcends the boundaries of traditional baking, embodying the essence of creativity and innovation that Elvis brought to music and popular culture. By indulging in this cake, we’re not just savoring a delicious treat; we’re also connecting with a piece of American music history.

The Connection Between Food and Music

  • Music and food share a profound connection, both evoking strong emotions and memories. The Elvis Presley Cake acts as a bridge between these two worlds, offering a sensory experience that mirrors the joy and nostalgia associated with Elvis’s music.

Celebrating Elvis’s Impact

  • Beyond the cake’s flavors, its name and inspiration celebrate Elvis’s impact on music, fashion, and cultural identity. This cake is a tribute to his timeless appeal and the way he continues to inspire generations.

A Culinary Homage

  • Just as Elvis Presley left an indelible mark on rock ‘n’ roll, the Elvis Presley Cake leaves a lasting impression on those who taste it. It’s a culinary homage to The King’s spirit, encouraging creativity and a dash of rebellion in the kitchen.

Bringing People Together

  • Elvis’s music had the power to bring people together, and in a similar vein, this cake has the ability to unite friends and family over shared memories and melodies. It’s more than a dessert; it’s an experience, a conversation starter, and a reason to gather.

Ingredients Overview

Creating the Elvis Presley Cake starts with gathering the right ingredients. This cake is celebrated for its moist texture and unique flavor profile, achieved through a combination of distinct components. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • White Cake Mix: Serves as the cake’s foundation, offering a light and fluffy texture.
  • Crushed Pineapple with Juice: Injects a tangy sweetness throughout the cake.
  • Granulated Sugar: Works to amplify the pineapple’s sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a layer of depth to the overall flavor profile.
  • Cream Cheese: Essential for crafting a rich and indulgent frosting.
  • Butter: Ensures the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  • Powdered Sugar: Provides the frosting with its signature sweet, silky consistency.
  • Crushed Pecans: Introduces a delightful crunch and nuttiness to the texture.

These ingredients not only promise a delectable treat but also pay homage to Elvis Presley’s vibrant spirit and the exuberant essence of rock ‘n’ roll. Discover how the Elvis Presley Cake complements the landscape of American desserts by exploring the variety of American desserts.

Step-by-Step Baking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Cake: Start by baking a white cake as directed on the package. Once cool, create deep holes across its surface with the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Pineapple Mixture: Simmer the crushed pineapple, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Once boiled and slightly thickened, pour over the cake, allowing it to soak into the holes.
  3. Cream Cheese Frosting: Blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth, then gradually incorporate the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in crushed pecans for added texture.
  4. Assemble: Layer the creamy frosting over the moist, pineapple-infused cake base. Sprinkle with more crushed pecans for a nutty finish.
  5. Chill: Refrigerate the cake overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours, enabling the flavors to fuse and intensify.

Each step in this process is designed to ensure that every slice of the Elvis Presley Cake offers a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, making it a fitting tribute to The King. For enthusiasts interested in the art and science of baking, delving into the chemistry of baking can deepen your appreciation for each ingredient’s role and the transformative process of baking.

Cream Cheese Frosting Preparation

Frosting Ingredients

The crown of the Elvis Presley Cake is its decadent cream cheese frosting. This creamy topping melds perfectly with the moist cake and tangy pineapple, creating a dessert that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious. For the frosting, you’ll need:

  • Cream Cheese: The star of the frosting, offering a rich and creamy texture.
  • Butter: Softened, to ensure a smooth blend with the cream cheese.
  • Powdered Sugar: Provides sweetness and a silky consistency.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a subtle depth of flavor.
  • Crushed Pecans: For garnishing the frosted cake, adding texture and nuttiness.

These ingredients, when combined, create a frosting that’s not just a treat for the taste buds but also a nod to the luxuriousness of Elvis’s era of music. For those exploring cake decorating, consider diving into cake decorating ideas inspired by Elvis Presley Cake for inspiration.

Frosting Preparation Steps

  1. Blend Cream Cheese and Butter: Start by beating the softened cream cheese and butter together until the mixture is creamy and well-integrated.
  2. Incorporate Powdered Sugar: Gradually add powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture. Mix until the frosting becomes smooth and spreadable.
  3. Add Vanilla and Pecans: Stir in the vanilla extract for flavor. Finally, fold in the crushed pecans, reserving some for garnish.
  4. Frost the Cake: Once the cake has thoroughly absorbed the pineapple mixture, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top and sides.
  5. Garnish and Chill: Sprinkle the remaining crushed pecans over the frosted cake for an extra crunch. Refrigerate the cake to set the frosting and flavors.

Creating this frosting is an exercise in simplicity, yielding results that are anything but. The creamy texture and rich flavor perfectly complement the cake’s sweetness, embodying the lavishness of Elvis Presley’s musical legacy. For more insight into the role of cream cheese in baking and its history, the history of cream cheese used in the cake’s frosting offers fascinating reading.

Assembling and Serving

Assembling the Cake

Assembling the Elvis Presley Cake is the final step in creating this delectable masterpiece. Follow these simple steps to ensure your cake layers meld perfectly, offering a symphony of flavors and textures with each bite:

  1. Layer Cake and Pineapple Mixture: After baking and cooling your white cake, ensure the pineapple mixture has been evenly poured and absorbed.
  2. Apply Cream Cheese Frosting: With the cake fully cooled and soaked, lavishly apply the cream cheese frosting over the top and sides.
  3. Garnish with Pecans: For a final touch of elegance and crunch, garnish the frosted cake with a generous sprinkling of crushed pecans.

Serving Suggestions

To serve the Elvis Presley Cake, consider the following tips to enhance the experience:

  • Chill Before Serving: The flavors of this cake intensify when chilled. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.
  • Accompaniments: Serve slices of the cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a side of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgence.
  • Presentation: For a truly memorable presentation, consider using a vintage cake stand or rock ‘n’ roll-themed decorations to nod to Elvis’s era. Explore DIY cake stand ideas for unique presentation options.

Serving this cake is an opportunity to celebrate not just a delicious dessert but also the legacy of Elvis Presley. It’s a cake that promises to be a hit at any gathering, much like the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s music. For additional tips on making the Elvis Presley Cake your own, consider exploring variations and modifications to tailor the recipe to your taste and dietary needs.

Cake Variations

The versatility of the Elvis Presley Cake allows for various modifications, making it adaptable to different occasions and dietary preferences. Here are some ideas to inspire your next baking adventure:

  • Gluten-Free Version: Substitute the white cake mix with a gluten-free alternative and ensure all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.
  • Vegan Adaptation: Use a vegan cake mix, replace the cream cheese and butter with vegan alternatives, and ensure the sugar is vegan-friendly.
  • Cupcake Format: For individual servings perfect for parties, bake the cake batter in cupcake tins and top each with the pineapple mixture and cream cheese frosting.
  • Chocolate Twist: Add a layer of chocolate ganache beneath the cream cheese frosting for a decadent chocolatey flavor that complements the existing tangy and nutty notes.

These variations ensure that the Elvis Presley Cake can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences.

Nutrition Information

Understanding the nutritional aspects of the Elvis Presley Cake is essential for those who enjoy this delicious dessert while maintaining a balanced diet. Below is a general breakdown of the nutritional content per serving, providing insights into what makes up this delightful treat.

Nutritional Breakdown per Serving:

  • Calories: Approximately 515 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 87g, with a significant portion coming from sugars in the pineapple, granulated sugar, and powdered sugar.
  • Proteins: Around 6g, primarily from the cream cheese and pecans.
  • Fats: Totaling about 18g, with saturated fat making up a smaller portion. The fats mainly come from the cream cheese, butter, and pecans.
  • Fiber: About 3g, contributed by the crushed pecans.
  • Sodium: Approximately 145mg, a consideration for those monitoring their salt intake.
  • Sugars: A considerable amount, given the cake’s sweet nature, emphasizing the need for moderation.

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Calcium and Iron: Present in small amounts, contributing to the daily recommended intake.
  • Vitamin A and Vitamin C: Also present in minor quantities, with Vitamin C primarily coming from the pineapple.

Considerations for Dietary Restrictions:

For those with specific dietary needs or health considerations, it’s essential to adapt the recipe accordingly. Substitutions, as previously mentioned, can help tailor the Elvis Presley Cake to fit dietary restrictions while still enjoying this iconic dessert.

A Note on Moderation and Balance:

While the Elvis Presley Cake is a treat full of flavor and history, it’s important to enjoy it in moderation, especially considering its sugar and fat content. Balancing this dessert within a varied and balanced diet ensures you can savor its taste without compromising nutritional goals.

This nutritional overview provides a glimpse into the makeup of the Elvis Presley Cake, helping enthusiasts enjoy this delicious homage to Elvis Presley mindfully.

Dietary Modifications

Making the Elvis Presley Cake accessible to everyone means considering various dietary needs. Here are some modifications to keep in mind:

  • Low-Sugar Option: Reduce the granulated sugar in the pineapple mixture and substitute the powdered sugar in the frosting with a low-glycemic alternative.
  • Nut-Free: Omit the pecans for those with nut allergies or sensitivities, or replace them with a nut-free crunchy element like toasted oats.
  • Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free cream cheese and butter alternatives to make the frosting suitable for those avoiding dairy.

Adapting the recipe to meet these dietary needs ensures that the Elvis Presley Cake remains a crowd-pleaser, aligning with the inclusive spirit of Elvis’s music.


  • Can the Elvis Presley Cake be made ahead of time?
    Yes, it’s recommended to prepare the cake at least a day in advance to allow the flavors to meld.
  • How should the cake be stored?
    Keep the cake refrigerated, covered, to maintain its freshness for up to 5 days.
  • Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned?
    Absolutely. Fresh pineapple can be used, though you may need to adjust the sugar and cooking time to achieve the desired sweetness and consistency.
  • Is there a substitute for pecans?
    Walnuts or almonds can be used as substitutes, or you can omit nuts entirely for a nut-free version.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Elvis Presley Cake (Jailhouse Rock Cake)

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 6 hours to overnight
  • Yield: 12 servings


The Elvis Presley Cake, famously known as the Jailhouse Rock Cake, is a tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. This dessert combines the classic elements of a moist white cake with the tropical sweetness of pineapple, all enveloped in a rich cream cheese frosting speckled with crushed pecans.


White Cake Mix
8 oz can Crushed Pineapple (with juice)
1 cup Granulated Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Extract (for pineapple mixture)
8 oz package Cream Cheese, softened
½ cup Butter, softened
3 cups Powdered Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla Extract (for frosting)
3 cups Crushed Pecans


Bake the Cake: Prepare and bake a white cake according to package directions in your desired cake pan. Once baked, cool the cake and poke holes throughout with the end of a wooden spoon.
Pineapple Mixture: In a saucepan, combine the crushed pineapple (with its juice), 1 cup of granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the hot pineapple mixture over the cooled cake, ensuring it seeps into the holes.
Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, remaining vanilla extract, and 2 cups of crushed pecans, mixing until well combined. Spread this frosting over the pineapple-soaked cake.
Garnish: Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of crushed pecans over the top of the cake.
Chill: For the best flavor, let the cake set overnight in the refrigerator or at least for 6 hours before serving. This allows all the flavors to meld together beautifully.


  • Make Ahead: The flavors of the Elvis Presley Cake intensify when allowed to meld in the refrigerator overnight. For the best taste experience, prepare this cake a day ahead of your event.
  • Serving Size: This recipe is designed to serve approximately 12 people, making it ideal for gatherings. Adjust the quantity accordingly for larger or smaller groups.
  • Storage: Leftover cake should be stored in the refrigerator, covered, to maintain its freshness. It’s best enjoyed within 5 days.
  • Ingredient Substitutions:
    • For a gluten-free version, use a gluten-free cake mix.
    • Vegan alternatives for cream cheese and butter are available for those following a plant-based diet.
    • To reduce sugar content, consider using lower sugar substitutes where possible.
  • Nut Allergy Adaptations: If serving to someone with nut allergies, omit the pecans from the recipe or substitute with a nut-free option like seeds for texture.
  • Decorating Tips: Garnish with additional pecans or even fresh pineapple slices for an extra decorative touch. Explore Elvis-themed decorations for a more thematic presentation.
  • Cupcake Variation: For individual servings, this recipe can be adapted into cupcakes. Adjust baking times accordingly and top each cupcake with the pineapple mixture and frosting.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes (varies by cake mix)
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 515 kcal per serving

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating