Coconut Cake

5 from 2 votes

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Coconut Cake, a delicious dessert that combines the flavor of coconut with the velvety smoothness of cream cheese icing, has become a favorite for many dessert lovers. We’ve added a rich coconut filling layer to the cake that we think you’ll love!

If you love coconut you are bound to love this cake. It is incredibly moist, flavorful and looks beautiful too.

whole decorated easter coconut cake and the coconut shreds make a nest for candy eggs
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How to Make a Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is loved for its delightful blend of flavors and textures. The cake itself, infused with the taste of coconut, offers a light and moist texture that pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy cream cheese icing. The rich coconut layer in the middle of the cake really takes this to the next level.

While coconut cake with cream cheese icing can be enjoyed any time of the year, it is particularly popular during spring and summer months. Its refreshing taste makes it an ideal dessert for warm weather celebrations, such as Easter, Mother’s Day, or garden parties. However, a good cake is a welcome addition to any holiday table or special event throughout the year.

Top view of a coconut easter cake with slices taken out


  • Unsweetened coconut milk canned
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Coconut extract
  • Frosting
  • Cream cheese 
  • Powdered sugar
  • Sweetened shredded coconut
  • Sweetened condensed milk

Keep scrolling to find a full, printable recipe with a detailed ingredient list.

Recipe Instructions

  1. This recipe involves baking a 3-layer coconut cake. The cake pans need to be lined with parchment paper and sprayed with baking spray.
  2. Lemon juice and unsweetened coconut milk need to be combined and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, flour, baking soda, and salt are mixed together.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, butter and sugar are beaten, then egg yolks are added one at a time. Water, coconut milk solids, and coconut extract are mixed in, followed by flour mixture and coconut milk in two sets.
  5. Egg whites are beaten until stiff peaks form and are folded into the batter.
  6. The batter is divided among the pans and baked for 30 minutes.
  7. The cakes need to cool for 5 minutes on wire racks before removing from the pans and cooling completely before frosting.
top view of whole decorated easter coconut cake and the coconut shreds make a nest for candy eggs

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a tender Coconut Cake?

Achieving a tender and moist coconut cake requires attention to a few key factors:
1.Proper measuring: Accurate measurements of ingredients are crucial for a well-balanced cake. Over-measuring flour or sugar can lead to a dry or dense cake, while too little can result in a weak structure.

2.Room temperature ingredients: Ensure that ingredients like butter, eggs, and milk are at room temperature before mixing. This allows for better incorporation and a smoother batter, which results in a more tender cake.

3.Gentle mixing: Over-mixing the batter can cause gluten development, leading to a tough and dense cake. Mix the ingredients gently, just until they are combined, to maintain a tender crumb.

4.Baking time and temperature: Over-baking can dry out the cake, so keep an eye on the oven and test for doneness with a toothpick or cake tester. Baking at the right temperature also ensures that the cake rises evenly and maintains its moisture.

What is the best to way to tell if a cake is done baking?

After the cake has baked for the recommended time, lightly touch the cake and see if it will spring back. If it does, the cake is finished baking.

close up of a slice of coconut easter cake slice

How should I decorate a Coconut Cake?

Here are some simple ideas:

Piped icing: Use a piping bag and a decorative tip to create elegant swirls, rosettes, or borders with the cream cheese icing. This adds a touch of sophistication to the cake without being overly complicated.

Coconut flakes: A classic decoration for coconut cake is a generous sprinkling of coconut flakes over the icing. You can use sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes, depending on your preference. I think they are really pretty when toasted too.

Fresh fruit: Add a burst of color and flavor by garnishing the cake with fresh fruit, such as raspberries, blueberries, or sliced strawberries. This not only enhances the cake’s appearance but also complements the tropical flavor of the coconut.

Edible flowers: For a truly stunning presentation, decorate the cake with edible flowers, such as pansies, violets, or nasturtiums. This adds a touch of natural beauty and makes the cake even more special.

close up of the whole coconut easter cake with slices missing

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whole decorated easter coconut cake and the coconut shreds make a nest for candy eggs
5 from 2 votes

Coconut Cake Recipe

Coconut Cake, a delicious dessert that combines the flavor of coconut with the velvety smoothness of cream cheese icing, has become a favorite for many dessert lovers. We've added a rich coconut filling layer to the cake that we think you'll love!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 12


  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, canned
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, reserve the egg whites
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coconut extract
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup solids from coconut milk, or coconut cream (canned)
  • 4 egg whites


  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut milk, or cream
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • Optional gel food coloring

Coconut filling

  • 2 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • cup sweetened condensed milk
  • cup powdered sugar

For decorating

  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted, (optional for decorating)
  • 1 cup chocolate Easter eggs, (optional for decorating)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of 3, 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the pans with baking spray.
  • In a 1-cup measuring cup, put 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • Fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with the liquid from a can of unsweetened coconut milk. Set the mixture aside.
  • In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set the mixture aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter and 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar together until it’s light and fluffy. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer for this.
  • Add 3 large egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Mix in 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of solids from the canned coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of coconut extract.
  • Add the flour mixture alternatively with 1/2 cup of coconut milk in two sets, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, beat 3 large egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans and spread the top to smooth.
  • Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until the cakes spring back when lightly touched.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes on wire racks and then remove from the pans, remove the parchment paper bottom, and allow them to finish cooling completely before frosting.
  • To make the filling add the coconut, melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar to a bowl and mix well to combine.
  • To make the frosting beat the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, coconut extract, and the salt and beat to incorporate. Add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.
  • Frost the cake as desired and enjoy!
  • We used toasted coconut and candied chocolate eggs to decorate our cake.


  • You can use another frosting for this coconut cake if you’d like. It’s really good with a classic vanilla frosting too.
  • You don’t have to make the coconut filling for this cake either (though it is delicious!). You could just layer additional frosting in between the cake layers (you’ll want to make an additional half batch of frosting if you are going to do this). It would also be good with someone like raspberry jam in the middle.
  • You have a million options for decorating this cake, don’t feel like you have to follow our lead. Do what you like! 


Serving: 1 of 12 servings, Calories: 1139kcal, Carbohydrates: 152g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 59g, Saturated Fat: 40g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 179mg, Sodium: 400mg, Potassium: 252mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 132g, Vitamin A: 1418IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 66mg, Iron: 2mg
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    1. We are updating the plugin that displays the recipe information and are having issues with information getting lost. Thank you for leaving a comment to let me know, it’s so helpful! That recipe has been corrected to include those instructions.