This Coconut Cake is made from scratch, and topped with a scrumptious cream cheese frosting that is so addicting. The toasted coconut topping gives it an incredible flavor, making it a dessert to enjoy all year long!
Cookies are usually my dessert of choice, but when I find a cake recipe I love, I really enjoy it! This coconut cake is perfectly moist without being too dense or heavy—kind of like our jello poke cake or key lime cake!
Coconut Cream Cake
If you are looking for a simple, no-fuss coconut cake that is loaded with coconut flavor, you’ve come to the right place. This cake is easy to make, and tastes simply amazing!
With a delicious coconut cream cheese frosting, topped with toasted coconut, this cake is sure to knock it out of the park with ANY coconut lover. The flavors are so amazing and tasty that it may just make a coconut convert out of anyone. 😉
It’s also perfect for summertime! It’s cool and full of summer flavor, making it one of our favorite desserts.
Making homemade coconut cake
This cake is really simple, but don’t be deterred by having to beat the eggs. Don’t worry, I have a few tips!
DRY INGREDIENTS. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
EGG WHITES. Beat egg whites in a glass bowl till stiff peaks form. Set aside. (See tips below for beating egg whites)
WET INGREDIENTS. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, coconut oil, and sugar till creamy. Beat in the cream of coconut, egg yolks and vanilla.
COMBINE. Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Beat till just combined. Gently fold in the stiff egg whites till well incorporated.
BAKE. Pour batter into a well greased 9×13″ cake pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely.
TOPPING. After your cake is cooled and frosted, sprinkle it with toasted coconut. Of course, if you prefer, you can just use regular sweetened coconut flakes. It will still be delicious!
Tips for beating egg whites:
- It works better if the eggs are at room temperature. I usually just place my cold eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- Beat them in a glass or metal bowl for best results.
- Since you don’t want any grease to come in contact with the egg whites, I like to beat them first, then just use the beaters to make the rest of the batter.
- Just fold them into your batter using a large spatula. You want to be gentle, but don’t stress too much.
How to Toast Coconut
One of the ingredients that adds so much flavor is the toasted coconut on top. It’s super easy to make… Just spread your coconut flakes in a cake pan or on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 6-7 minutes making sure to watch it closely and toss often. Once you see the flakes get perfectly brown, pull them out right away. If they cook too long, they can catch on fire!
And in case you’re wondering, you can make them in a frying pan too. Just be sure to cook on low-medium heat stirring the entire time so it toasts evenly. 😉
Tricks, tips, and FAQ
Can I substitute all purpose flour with coconut flour? Unfortunately it is not recommended (sorry gluten free friends). Coconut flour cannot be substituted without making significant changes to the other ingredients to allow for the higher absorbency that coconut flour has.
What is the difference between cream of coconut and coconut cream? There is a difference, so make sure you don’t grab the wrong can at the store.
- Coconut Cream is the cream that rises to the top of coconut milk.
- Cream of Coconut (the ingredient you want) is coconut cream that has been sweetened.
How to store coconut cake:
- Counter: Since our cake uses a cream cheese frosting do not store at room temperature. If the cake is going to be out for longer than a couple hours before or after being served go ahead and stick it in the fridge.
- Fridge: Cover the cake with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Freezer: This cake can be frozen with or without the frosting and coconut topping. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap then again with aluminum foil. Label and store for 4-6 months. Thaw in the fridge.
Can I use different cake pans? Yes, you can easily make round cakes or muffins.
- Two 9” round cakes: bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. IDEA: Add a flavored filling between the 9” round layers. Lemon, Lime, Strawberry, Orange, Pineapple are all great flavors to try.
- Muffins: bake 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
We really hope you enjoy this coconut cake as much as we did!
For even more coconut treats, check out:
- Almond Coconut Cheesecake
- Macaroon Kiss Cookies
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Strawberry Coconut Tres Leches Trifle
- Gooey Coconut Bars
- Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Coconut Cake recipe
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 5 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp cream of coconut (sweetened)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites in a glass bowl till stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, coconut oil, and sugar till creamy. Beat in the cream of coconut, egg yolks and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Beat till just combined.
- Gently fold in the stiff egg whites till well incorporated.
- Pour batter into a well greased 9x13" cake pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or till toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat cream cheese and butter till smooth and creamy.
- Beat in coconut extract, salt, powdered sugar, and enough cream of coconut to make a spreadable consistency.
- Spread frosting over cooled cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut.