Homemade Coconut Cake a made from scratch Vanilla Cake with a Creamy Cream Cheese frosting, then decorated with flaked coconut. The perfect Special Occasion Cake.
I love baking and serving cakes, a couple of our favourites are this delicious Carrot Cake and an Easy Yogurt Cake.
My amazing baker cousin first made this for a family/graduation get together at my sister’s. My daughter was graduating from college and my cousin offered to bake the cake.
My daughter put in her request for a Coconut Cake, since coconut is one of her favourite fruits (technically it is called a drupe) and oh my goodness I ate one of the softest most delectable cakes I have ever tasted.
She later told me that the cake recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart, good job Martha.
Janet finally got her wish and came to visit us for a couple of weeks. We add a little get together with friends and so I knew this Coconut Cake would be the perfect Dessert Recipe for my Italian friends
And yup I was right. Two slices later and it was declared a definite winner!
How to make the Best Coconut Cake:
- In a medium bowl at medium speed beat together butter and sugar for about 2 minutes until combined then add eggs and beat, combine well.
- Remember to use room temperature eggs, butter and milk, ingredients at room temperature tend to combine easier and better.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on low until combined. Add milk and vanilla and continue beating until combined.
- Divide batter into 2 greased and floured cake pans. Bake until golden (use toothpick to test for doneness), approximately 30-35 minutes.
- Remove and let cool completely on wire racks, then frost with the Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting.
How to make flat layer cakes:
An easy way to get your cakes flatter on top is to flatten the tops with a little pressure from your palms, do it while the cake is still warm. That way you may not have to cut anything off the top!
Do you use Sweetened or Unsweetened Coconut?
I prefer unsweetened, sweetened coconut will make the cake too sweet.
Can I add Coconut to the batter?
Yes you can add coconut to the batter, I would add from a 1/2 -3/4 cup to the batter, be sure to fold it in gently.
How to Store Coconut Cake:
This Cake should be loosely covered and then stored at room temperature (as long as your house is 70 degrees F or less (21 C), although if you have the cake longer than two days it should be stored in the refrigerator.
In the refrigerator the cake will last up to 5 days.
Can you freeze Coconut Cake?
Coconut Cake can be frozen either frosted or unfrosted. If freezing the cake frosted – place the frosted unwrapped cake on a cookie tray in the freezer. Let it freeze until solid, approximately 4 hours. Then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or freezer bag.
If you wish to freeze the unfrosted cake then wrap the layers separately in plastic wrap then place in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Either way the cake will keep up to 5 months in the freezer.
More Delicious Layer Cakes:
- Chocolate Cake with Mocha Icing
- Strawberries and Cream Vertical Layer Cake
- Homemade Classic Italian Tiramisu Layer Cake
So if you are looking for a special occasion Cake or just because I hope you give this Delicious Coconut Cake Recipe a try. Enjoy!
Coconut Cake Recipe
Homemade Coconut Cake
FOR THE CAKE
- 1/2 cup butter (salted/room temperature) (100 grams)
- 2 cups all purpose flour (or cake/pastry flour) (260 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams)
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup milk (room temperature) (240 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
FOR THE FROSTING
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature) (100 grams)
- 5 ounces whole fat cream cheese (room temperature) (150 grams)
- 5 cups powdered sugar (625 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whole or whipping cream (60 grams)
- 1-2 cups coconut flakes (75-150 grams)
- Pre-heat oven to 350°(180° celsius), lightly grease with butter and flour two 8 or 9 inch (20 - 22 cm) cake pans.
FOR THE CAKE
- In a medium bowl at medium speed beat together butter and sugar for 2 minutes until combined then add eggs and beat, combine well.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. then gradually add flour mixture, beating on low until combined. Add milk and vanilla and continue beating until combined.
- Divide batter into prepared pans. Bake until golden (use toothpick to test for doneness), approximately 30-35 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on wire racks.
FOR THE FROSTING
- In a medium bowl beat together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until creamy approximately 1 minute. Lower speed to medium and add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beat well after each addition. Add salt, cream and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- To frost the cake, place the first layer on a large plate top side down, spread with approximately 1 cup of frosting, place the second cake top side down and frost with remaining frosting.
- Cover cake with coconut flakes. (we did it with small handfuls and packed it lightly against the cake). Enjoy!
Republished from December 7, 2014.
Hi I made your cake today, and the frosting was runny. I followed the recipe word for word, ingredient to ingredient! Why did I do wrong?
Hi Pasberry, If it’s runny just add more icing sugar. I really don’t know what happened it has never been runny for me. Hope that helps.
Please can you give me recipe for size 12 pan and can i add my coconut flakes inside the batter
Hi Grace, I would say to 1 and a half or double the recipe, and yes you can add coconut flakes to the batter, I wouldn’t add more than 3/4 of a cup though. 🙂
Char kellet says
Is there coconut flakes in the cake batter? If not, could you add it?. Thanks!
Hi Char, no there aren’t any coconut flakes in the batter, but you can add some if you wish. I wouldn’t add more than 3/4 cup though. Fold it in after the batter is made.
Patricia Picariello says
I want to cut recipe I half but only have large eggs – what should I do?
Hi Patricia, well the cake calls for 3 large so you could lightly beat 1 egg in a bowl and add half of it plus 1 egg to the recipe, or just add 1 egg and I think it would be fine. Hope that helps.
Mother would make a coconut cake from scratch back when I was little. We would buy a coconut at the grocery store and bring it home. We would use a hammer and screw driver and punch out each oh the holes. We would then turn it over a glas to let the liquid drain. Once that was done we would put the coconut in the hot oven a bake it. Sorry I do not remember the settings. Once the coconut was done we would take it out and let it cool. Once cool we would take a hammer a wack it until the shell came off. We would grate the coconut for later. Mother then made her 2 to 3 layer cake. Before icing she would poke holes in each cake layer and drizzle the coconut liquid. Then she would put the layers together with the icing sprinkling coconut on each layer of icing and the outside icing. You talk about a moist great cake!!
Hi Ann I love this idea, I will have to try it next time. Thank you 🙂
Mary Jo Erickson says
I made this cake for my brother’s birthday since coconut cake is his favorite. Everyone loved it, even those who don’t usually like coconut, myself included! I used my mom’s French buttercream icing (a family favorite) instead of the cream cheese icing. The cake was light and not dry (always my big concern). I’m so glad I used your recipe instead of a box mix. So good that I want to make it again soon. Thanks to you, your baker friend and Martha Stewart!
Hi Mary Jo, thanks so much so glad everyone enjoyed it. Have a great week.
Can you substitute coconut milk for the regular milk?
Hi Kathy, I have never substituted coconut milk for regular milk but I did a search on it and apparently you can do it just fine. Let me know how it turns out. Happy Easter.
Maybe I’m blind, but I cannot see the word coconut milk in the list of ingredients anywhere! Please tell me where you add coconut milk and how much! Thanks! Please change it in the list of ingredients as well.
Hi Ramona but there is no coconut milk in this cake, just regular milk. There are coconut flakes. Hope that helps.
My husband loves anything made with coconut. Made this cake for him. He really liked it but remarked it was border line to sweet. He has the whole cake to eat. Is there anything I can do to it to make it less sweet now and for the next time I make it?
Hi Sandra, what does he find too sweet the frosting or the cake? Once it is baked there really isn’t too much you can do to it. Maybe next time add less sugar (from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup) in the cake. Hope that helps. Let me know.
Diana Roberts says
Please can you tell me is the flour plain or self raising. Thank you
Hi Diana the flour is all purpose. Happy New Year.
I usually have a big Christmas Eve Pary, can I make this cake the day before? Will it still be fresh?
Hi Anna, yes no problem you can make it the day before. Happy New Year.
what mean (1/4 cup half and half ) ????
Hi Manar half and half is just the type of cream, although you can use whole or whipping cream if you want. Hope that helps. 🙂
I have seen icing recipes for coconut cake with cream cheese and some without. Which way do you think is better?
Hi Jill, personally I like it with cream cheese, and I found that this cream cheese icing doesn’t have a strong cream cheese taste like a lot of others. Hope that helps.
I can always count on the best recipes from you! This is a perfect example. I have sadly been without an oven for two months now.(We gad a power surge and our oven was destroyed, and then had to order in a new wall oven -what a long time to wait!) Anyhow, I have been patiently waiting for a BIG baking spree and this week I will be putting this beauty of a cake at the top of my to-do list!
Hi Carol, I thought that only happened to us, we lost our furnace and a tv a couple of years ago. And I can say nothing like a new oven. Have fun and thanks so much. Let me know how it turned out.
Dana Froncek says
Rosemary, this cake is a thing of beauty! I stumbled upon this recipe about a year ago and have made it it 6 times since! My daughter and father are huge coconut fans and this cake is the only one they will eat 🙂 I have a quick question for you: I plan on making this for my annual Christmas Dinner Party and I need to serve 18-20 people. Could this cake work in a 9 x 13 pan? It would be so much easier to slice for that amount of people instead of trying to cut slivers on a round cake! Thank you in advance for any input..It’s greatly appreciated! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Hi Dana, thanks and wow 6 times, actually my husband and my eldest are big coconut lovers and they adore this cake too. Yes it should definitely fit a 9×13 pan. And thank you Merry Christmas to you and yours also. 🙂
I dont have half and half. Do you absolutely need it?
Hi Annie, try it with milk but maybe add it slowly so that you arrive at the correct consistency. Hope that helps. Let me know.