Coconut Cake Recipe

This coconut cake recipe is easy to follow and produces a delicious and impressive dessert that everyone will love. This cake has a tender crumb, delicate flavor, and beautiful appearance.

Best coconut cake

Made with shredded coconut, butter, sugar, flour, and eggs, this cake is moist and flavorful, with a subtle hint of coconut throughout.

Coconut cake is made with shredded or flaked coconut, butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and sometimes coconut milk. The cake is moist and tender with a light and fluffy crumb.

It has a delicate coconut flavor that is not overpowering, but rather subtle and sweet.

The cake can be layered and filled with frosting made with cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar, and sometimes topped with toasted coconut flakes for added texture and flavor.

Classic coconut cake

Ingredients for Coconut Cake

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Coconut milk or regular milk
  • Shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream (optional, for frosting)
Coconut layer cake

What to serve with Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is a delicious dessert that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various complementary flavors and beverages. Here are some suggestions on what to serve with coconut cake:

Fresh fruit: Serve coconut cake with a side of fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, raspberries, or mango.

The fruity flavors will complement the coconut flavor of the cake and add a refreshing touch to the dessert.

Whipped cream: Serve coconut cake with a dollop of whipped cream on top or on the side.

The light and airy texture of the whipped cream will balance out the rich and dense texture of the cake.

Coffee or tea: Serve coconut cake with a cup of coffee or tea. The warm and comforting beverage will complement the sweet and nutty flavors of the cake.

Ice cream: Serve coconut cake with a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream. The creamy and cool texture of the ice cream will provide a nice contrast to the warm and soft texture of the cake.

Toasted coconut: Sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top of the cake or on the side.

The crispy and nutty flavor of the toasted coconut will add an extra layer of texture and flavor to the cake.

Fluffy Coconut Cake

Occasions to serve Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is an elegant dessert that can be served on many occasions, ranging from casual gatherings to formal events.

Here are some occasions where coconut cake would be a perfect fit:

Birthdays: Coconut cake is a great dessert to celebrate a birthday, especially for those who love coconut.

Weddings: Coconut cake is a popular dessert for weddings, especially those with a tropical or beachy theme.

Holidays: Coconut cake is a perfect dessert for holidays, such as Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. Its light and fluffy texture makes it a refreshing dessert to enjoy after a heavy holiday meal.

Potlucks: Coconut cake is an easy dessert to bring to a potluck or a picnic, as it can be made ahead of time and transported easily.

Brunches: Coconut cake can also be served as a dessert at brunches, especially if the brunch menu features tropical or exotic flavors.

Homemade coconut cake

How to store Coconut Cake

To maintain the freshness and quality of coconut cake, here are some tips on how to store coconut cake:

Room temperature: If the cake will be consumed within a day or two, it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.

Make sure to keep the cake away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Refrigerator: If you need to store the cake for longer than two days, you can store it in the refrigerator.

Place the cake in an airtight container or wrap it with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

Before serving, allow the cake to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Freezer: If you want to store the cake for an extended period, you can freeze it.

Wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container.

The cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. To thaw the cake, place it in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.

Frosting: If the cake is frosted, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. The frosting can melt if left at room temperature for too long.

Overall, coconut cake can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer depending on how long you need to store it.

Coconut Cake FAQs

Can I use fresh coconut instead of shredded coconut in the cake?

Yes, you can use fresh coconut. Grate the flesh of a mature coconut and use it in place of shredded coconut. However, note that the texture and moisture level of fresh coconut may differ, so the cake’s outcome might vary slightly.

Can I use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?

Yes, you can use coconut cream as a substitute for coconut milk. Keep in mind that coconut cream is thicker and richer, so it may affect the texture and richness of the cake.

Can I make the coconut cake in advance?

Yes, coconut cake can be made in advance. You can bake the cake layers a day ahead, allow them to cool completely, and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. The frosting can also be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated. Assemble and frost the cake shortly before serving.

How should I store leftover coconut cake?

Leftover coconut cake should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help maintain its freshness and prevent spoilage. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving to enhance its flavor and texture.

Can I use sweetened shredded coconut instead of unsweetened?

Yes, you can use sweetened shredded coconut if you prefer a slightly sweeter cake. Adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe accordingly to avoid excessive sweetness.

Can I make coconut cake gluten-free?

Yes, you can make a gluten-free coconut cake by using a gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour. Ensure that all other ingredients used are also gluten-free.

Can I add other flavors to the coconut cake?

Yes, you can experiment with adding other flavors to the coconut cake. Some popular options include adding a layer of fruit preserves or filling between the cake layers, incorporating a touch of rum or almond extract for additional flavor, or garnishing the cake with fresh berries.

Coconut Cake Recipe

This coconut cake recipe is easy to follow and has a tender crumb, delicate flavor, and beautiful appearance.


For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut toasted


For the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the coconut milk. Mix until just combined. Stir in the shredded coconut.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until smooth and fluffy.

Note: To toast the coconut, spread the shredded coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Be sure to watch it closely to prevent burning.

With its tropical flair, coconut cake is a dessert that will transport you to a sunny beach vacation.

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