Wednesday, October 21, 2020




Coconut is such a versatile flavor and can be used in savory or sweet dishes. This simple, easy, and effortless coconut cake recipe makes a delicious cake from scratch that you can whip in five minutes.


  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (275 g) cake flour, sifted * (scooped and leveled)
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks; 170 g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 and 2/3 cup (330g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (80 g) sweetened grated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 mL) canned coconut milk, at room temperature *

Buttercream with Cream Cheese and Coconut

  • 5 cups (600 g) icing sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract
  • 1 cup (230 g) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 8 ounce (224 g) block of whole cream cheese, softened at room temperature *
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (160 g) sweetened grated coconut


First, preheat the oven to 350 ° F (177 ° C). Grease three 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment paper, then grease parchment paper. The parchment paper helps the cakes to free themselves from the molds.

Prepare the cake: 

whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Put aside.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk, beat butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Stir in the egg whites until blended, then add the sour cream, vanilla extract and coconut extract. Beat until blended. The mixture will look curdled due to the varying textures and the solid butter combination. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and coconut milk. Beat on low speed until blended, then add the grated coconut. Whip everything by hand to make sure there are no lumps of butter at the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be slightly thick.

Pour the batter evenly into the cake pans. Weigh them to ensure accuracy, if desired. Bake for about 21 to 23 minutes or until cakes are cooked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. Let the cakes cool completely in the molds placed on a wire rack. Cakes should be completely cooled before frosting and assembly.

Prepare the icing: 

In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until 'until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the confectionery sugar, coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract and salt with the mixer over low heat. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add more icing sugar if the icing is too thin, more coconut milk if the icing is too thick, or an extra pinch of salt if the icing is too sweet.

Assemble and Decorate: 

Using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer on top of the cakes to create a flat surface. Throw in (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 layer of cake on your cake stand, turntable, or serving plate. Cover top evenly with about 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting. Top with second layer of cake and evenly cover top with about 1 and 1/2 cups of frosting. Top with the third cake layer. Distribute remaining frosting over top and sides. I use and recommend an icing spatula to apply the icing and a bench scraper to smooth the sides. Sprinkle coconut on top of the cake and apply it to the sides. It can get a bit tricky and you can watch me do it in the video tutorial above. See the blog post above on decorating with rose buttercream.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 20 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake to maintain its shape when cutting, even if it is still a fairly moist cake!

Tightly cover leftover cake and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Happy Cooking Time.


Prepare Ahead and Freezing Instructions: Cake layers can be baked, cooled and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be made then covered and refrigerated overnight. When you're ready to decorate, let the frosting sit at room temperature to soften slightly for 15 minutes, then give it another mix with the mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute before frosting the cake. Frosted cakes or cakes that are not thawed can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before decorating / serving.

Cake Flour: For best results, I highly recommend sifted cake flour. Sieve before measuring. You can find cake flour in the baking aisle and I have a lot more recipes that use it. If you can't get your hands on the cake flour, you can make a DIY cake flour substitute. I suggest doing this 3x, then remove 1/2 cup as you need 2 and 1/2 cups in this recipe.

Egg whites: Egg whites (no yolks) are key to the chewy texture of the cake. Here are some recipes that use leftover egg yolks.

Canned Coconut Milk: Canned coconut milk is a cooking ingredient, not a drink. It's generally unsweetened, so make sure you use unsweetened. It is usually found near Thai food items. Do not use refrigerated carton coconut milk. You need a cup for the cake, not the whole box. You use 2 more tablespoons in the frosting. There will be some leftovers in the box.

Sweet Grated Coconut: I recommend using sweet grated coconut. It's moister than unsweetened coconut and it makes a big difference in the texture of the cake. If desired, toss the coconut pieces in a food processor to chop them so that they aren't as long inside and outside the cake. Chopping the coconut is optional.

Cream cheese: Use block cream cheese, not spreadable cream cheese. If you want, you can use this vanilla buttercream instead (without cream cheese). Use canned coconut milk instead of milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract.