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+ servings
slices of coconut cake on plates

Coconut Cake

This Coconut Cake has a soft texture and the perfect amount of sweetness with coconut shreds added to the batter and used for decoration.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 14 servings
Calories 837 kcal


For the Coconut Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 2 whole egg whites
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded desiccated coconut plus more for decoration

For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup salted butter very soft but not melted
  • 16 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract


For the Coconut Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line your cake pans with parchment paper and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl mix dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt) together. Set aside.
    dry ingredients in a bowl
  • In a liquid measuring cup mix together buttermilk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
    pouring vanilla into a jar of soured milk
  • In another large bowl combine butter, oil, and sugar. One at a time, mix in eggs and egg whites until the mixture becomes fluffy and very light. This should take about 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again to ensure a well-mixed base batter.
    Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding in the flour and buttermilk mixtures. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
    pouring in flour to a bowl
  • Fold in the coconut shreds by hand.
    stirring in coconut shreds to cake batter
  • Evenly divide the cake batter between pans and smooth the tops. Bake 30-40 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. The cake is done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
    pouring coconut cake batter into a cake tin
  • Cool 15-20 minutes in the cake pans before inverting onto cooling racks. Cool completely before decorating.

For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream softened butter and room temperature cream cheese together. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
    bowl with beater covered in cake batter
  • Slowly mix in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Once worked in, increase the mixer speed and whip for about a minute. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl and mix again. You want a completely smooth frosting.
    cream cheese frosting

To Assemble

  • Place one layer down on a cake stand and top with 3/4 to 1 cup of frosting. Push frosting to the edges being sure to spread evenly.
    baked coconut cake with cream cheese frosting on top of it
  • If you are working with more than two layers, continue to stack and frost layers until all layers are stacked up together with frosting between them.
    cream cheese falling from spatula onto second layer of coconut cake
  • With the remaining frosting, frost the outside of the cake. You can use a spatula, an offset spatula, a butterknife, or even the back of a spoon. Start at the top then work your way down.
    roughly frosted coconut cake on a bright green cake stand
  • Once the whole cake is frosted cover with coconut shreds (toasting them is optional). Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
    top of coconut cake with toasted coconut shreds


This Coconut Cake Recipe will make:
  • 1- 9x13 cake (bake for 30-45 minutes)
  • 2- 8 or 9-inch round cakes (30-40 minutes)
  • 24 cupcakes (bake for 18-20 minutes)
Regardless of how you bake this cake recipe, be sure to use lighter-colored baking pans (or glass). Using a darker Teflon will give you darker, crispier edges.


Calories: 837kcalCarbohydrates: 114gProtein: 5gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 497mgPotassium: 131mgFiber: 1gSugar: 95gVitamin A: 1081IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 1mg
Keyword coconut cake
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