Coconut Cake

You’ll have pure coconut delight from this coconut cake topped with creamy coconut frosting and shredded coconut. It’s creamy and light with the most delicious flavor!

It’s moist, fluffy, and soft, with the perfect amount of coconut flavor all topped with mounds of sweet shredded coconut. Try topping with fresh berries and Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or pairing with Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream!

A slice of coconut cake on a white plate

Light and Refreshing Flavor

Coconut is such a perfect flavor for the warmer months. It is refreshing and sweet, but not overpowering. I could eat coconut in almost any dessert!

I wanted to make a sweet treat and was hankering for something baked. Sometimes you just want a good piece of cake, you know?! 

This coconut cake has a moist sponge and a deliciously creamy frosting. Make it even more refreshing by pairing it with some fresh berries. Yum!

Coconut cake batter in a mixing bowl

How to Make Coconut Cake

BATTER. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (set aside). Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. Beat for 2 minutes on medium until creamy. Add sugar and beat on medium speed for two minutes or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and coconut extract. Mix until combined.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whip egg whites in a medium mixing bowl until stiff peaks form (set aside). Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternate adding the coconut milk and sour cream. Mix just until combined. Gently fold in egg whites until no streaks remain.

BAKE. Pour batter into prepared 9×13 baking pan and spread into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before frosting. 

The Coconut Frosting

BEAT. Beat butter on medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract, coconut milk, and salt. Beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes.

FROST. Using an offset spatula or a knife, spread onto cooled cake in an even layer. Top with coconut flakes.

Easy coconut cake in a metal cake pan

Recipe Tips + FAQ

Recipe Tips:

  • Make sure to use sweetened coconut flakes for added sweetness rather than the typical unsweetened flakes. 
  • Using room temperature ingredients allows for better and easier mixing and incorporating of ingredients.

Cake flour vs normal flour? The protein content in cake flour is lower than that of all purpose flour, this is important because less protein = less gluten formed. When less gluten is formed, the less chewy the baked good will be, meaning it will be fluffy and light.

Can it be made as cupcakes? Put batter in a lined cupcake tin (filling each liner about 2/3 full). Bake for around 18 minutes at 350 degrees, keeping an eye on them to make sure that you don’t over bake them.

Can you make it multiple layers? Yes you can! Make multiple cakes and layer them with delicious frosting or a fruit filling. 

Close up of coconut cake recipe topped with frosting and shredded coconut

Making Ahead and Storing

Can you make it ahead of time? This can be made ahead of time, up to 3 days, as long as it is stored properly.

To FREEZE, wrap unfrosted cake layers in foil and plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 4 months. Thaw the frozen cake for 2-3 hours before consuming.

STORE in the fridge for about a week. Cover it in foil and plastic wrap to keep it fresh. 

Slice of coconut cake on a plate

For more cake recipes, check out:

 

Coconut Cake Recipe

You'll have pure coconut delight from this coconut cake topped with creamy coconut frosting and shredded coconut. It's creamy and light with the most delicious flavor!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 12
Calories: 771kcal
Author: Kristi Ritchey
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Ingredients

For the Cake
  • 3 c cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c butter - soften
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 3 eggs - separated
  • 1 c unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 c sour cream
For the Frosting
  • 1 c butter - softened
  • 4 1/2 c powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/3 c coconut milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 c coconut flakes - for the top

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, lightly spray a 9x13 inch pan with baking spray or lightly butter and flour the pan, set side.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, add butter. With mixing speed on medium, beat for 2 minutes until creamy. Add sugar and beat on medium speed for two minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla extract and coconut extract, mix to combined.
  • Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternate adding the coconut milk and sour cream, mix just until combined.
  • Gently fold in egg whites until no streaks remain.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer.
  • Place in the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before frosting.
Frosting
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy.
  • With mixing speed on low, gradually add the powdered sugar then add vanilla extract, coconut extract, coconut milk, and salt. Beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes. Using an offset spatula or a knife, spread onto cooled cake in an even layer. Top with coconut flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 771kcal | Carbohydrates: 95g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 441mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 70g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg