Coconut Cake


Last week I posted my favorite chocolate cake recipe and I this week I decided why not keep a good thing going – and make more cake? So, today I’m sharing my favorite coconut cake recipe with you. Luckily this one didn’t take as many attempts as the chocolate cake to get it just where I wanted.

Coconut Cake | Cooking Classy

This coconut cake is elegant and sophisticated yet very traditional and simplistic. It’s like the cake you remember your grandmother serving at family parties growing up. I love a good old fashioned recipe. The classics are often the best.

This has probably got to be the softest cake I’ve ever made. It is incredibly moist (because we all hate a dry cake right?) and it is layered with sweet, natural coconut flavor with every bite, which is complimented perfectly by the light tang of the cream cheese in the frosting.  Good luck saying your only going to have a thin slice. Not gonna happen with this cake :). Enjoy!

Coconut Cake | Cooking Classy

Coconut Cake | Cooking Classy


Coconut Cake

4.67 from 9 votes


  • 3 cups (360g) cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (396g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups well shaken canned coconut milk , at room temperature*
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites , at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 12 oz . cream cheese , nearly at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 5 cups (596g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut


  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-inch round cake pans and line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper, butter parchment paper and set pans aside.
  3. Sift cake flour into a large mixing bowl, then add baking powder and salt and whisk mixture for 20 seconds. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together granulated sugar, butter and canola oil on medium speed until well combined. Add in egg yolks one at a time and mix until combined after each addition (reserve 2 egg whites), then mix in coconut and vanilla extracts. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, alternating with 1/2 of the coconut milk and mixing just until combined after each addition (if you don't have the paddle attachment that scrapes the sides of the bowl, stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom occasionally).
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip 6 egg whites with cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold 1/3 of the egg whites into cake batter at a time and fold just combined after each addition (don't over-mix and deflate egg whites). Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Spread batter into an even layer and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 19 - 22 minutes. Allow to cool in cake pan 5 - 10 minutes then run a knife along edges of cakes and invert each onto a wire rack to cool. Cool completely the cut tops to even as needed.
  5. Frost top of one layer, add another layer and frost then top with last layer and frost top and sides. Place cake stand over a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle cake evenly with shredded coconut (pressing gently on sides to adhere. I just did it over a rimmed baking sheet for easier clean up - not a must). Store in an airtight container in refrigerator (let rest at room temp until no longer cold before serving).
  6. For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter with cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix in coconut extract. Add powdered sugar and whip on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Chill as needed if frosting seems runny (slightly runny is fine, once you get it frosted the coconut will help it stay in place).
  8. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: The cake is so pretty and I saw the pics on pinterest before I saw your post and just knew they were yours! That one, with the cake un-cut, it just looks so fluffy and fuzzy, like I want to snuggle up with it :) February 28, 2014 at 3:00am Reply

  • Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe: This cake looks like a little pillowy piece of heaven!

    xo, Elisa February 28, 2014 at 4:53am Reply

  • Kelli: This looks deliciously divine. I look forward to making this. I’m thoroughly enjoying your recipes and have sung your praises! February 28, 2014 at 7:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kelli! March 4, 2014 at 12:06am Reply

      • shikha: What its mean canoli oil? January 1, 2015 at 11:54pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: You can replace it with vegetable oil. January 29, 2015 at 9:14pm Reply

      • Zana: hi Jaclyn! This cake looks amazing. Is it possible to add white chocolate to the recipe and if so what would be the amount? Thank you so much! March 22, 2015 at 7:10am Reply

        • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it because it would likely alter the consistency and structure of the cake. April 15, 2015 at 10:24pm Reply

      • Katrina: Hi, I’m from over the pond in the UK and our cup measurements are different to yours. Could I be w pain and ask for the cup measurements in grand please? Thank you so much! ! I really can’t wait to try it! X December 3, 2015 at 3:22am Reply

        • Katrina: Lol! Auto correct!!! That’s in grams please! 😂 December 3, 2015 at 3:23am Reply

          • Angela little: I would be gratefull for this conversion too x May 2, 2017 at 3:44pm

  • Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks: I’ve been dying for weeks to make a coconut cake and this one looks like coconut perfection! February 28, 2014 at 11:27am Reply

  • Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron: Your cakes are absolute perfection – they are gorgeous! Soft + moist cakes are my favorite! February 28, 2014 at 11:39am Reply

  • Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg: Your cake looks so moist and soft and billowy and I want a piece. Gorgeous! February 28, 2014 at 11:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Norma! February 28, 2014 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): So gorgeous, I love the coconut cream cheese frosting! February 28, 2014 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura! February 28, 2014 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Coconut cake is my favorite dessert of all time! This beauty has me wanting to get in the kitchen right now! February 28, 2014 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Joyce: Oh, Jaclyn, You’re killing me): Coconut cake is my absolute favorite and this one looks like the one that my mom made many, many years ago. I’ve got to find a reason to make this just so I can have a piece.
    I wonder if anyone at the office has a birthday coming up… hmmm February 28, 2014 at 5:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just celebrate the weekend :). I hope you do try it soon Joyce! February 28, 2014 at 8:16pm Reply

  • Gail Johnson Draper: Looks fabulous! Do you think the batter would work out for cupcakes? And about how long would you suggest to bake them? February 28, 2014 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It might, they probably won’t be very domed – my cakes came out pretty even on top. If you try let me know how they turn out :). February 28, 2014 at 8:15pm Reply

    • Julia: Jaclyn is right. I made cupcakes and they came out flat. It didn’t matter because the icing made them just fine. Delicious recipe btw. June 2, 2017 at 10:16am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: GORGEOUS cake! I could devour the ENTIRE cake right now! March 1, 2014 at 12:18am Reply

  • lisa: This sounds a bit odd I know but I was nervous about making this cake. I am used to using recipes I find through my ‘trusted’ places. Martha, Paula, southern living etc. “the usuals” I guess I would say. this cake though is by far one of the best cakes I have ever made. without a doubt. now I cant wait to explore everything you have to offer. Thank you!!!! If I could give you a blue ribbon for this I would! March 1, 2014 at 7:48pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear that Lisa!! I totally know what you mean about trusted sources :). I hope mine can become one for you too I’m really picky about what I will post so hopefully you’ll like everything! March 1, 2014 at 10:26pm Reply

  • marilyn: This cake was heaven on a plate. So soft and moist and flavorful that I ate a ginormous piece all by myself. Everyone should make this cake & the world would be a better place:-) March 1, 2014 at 9:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Marilyn :)!! Thanks for leaving a comment! March 1, 2014 at 10:23pm Reply

  • Cindy Brooks: This looks so yummy! I think I’ll make one this week. Thanks for all your hard work. March 1, 2014 at 11:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your appreciation Cindy :)! I hope you love this cake! March 2, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: Coconut cake is my favorite, and this one looks so sinfully delicious!! Pinning for sure :) March 2, 2014 at 3:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for sharing Rachel! March 2, 2014 at 11:54am Reply

  • Beverly Powell: The recipe calls for coconut milk, is this the cream of coconut in the can or the refrigerated coconut milk in the dairy section? I wasn’t sure because in the recipe it is referenced as ‘canned coconut milk’. Thanks. March 2, 2014 at 9:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s not cream of coconut or the coconut milk beverage in the dairy section – that’s why I put canned coconut milk because I was hoping it would erase some of the confusion as there are so many variations :). It’s this here:
      It comes in many different brands just don’t buy lite. March 2, 2014 at 4:38pm Reply

      • Elissa: Do you use the unsweetened coconut milk? July 12, 2017 at 9:00pm Reply

        • Jaclyn: Yes it is unsweetened for this recipe, and as far as I know any other unless it list “sweetened.” I could be wrong though :). I hope you get a chance to try this cake soon, it’s one of my favs! July 12, 2017 at 11:17pm Reply

  • Uenavil: Hi there, is ur coconut fresh or the one in packs? March 2, 2014 at 3:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I used the shredded sweetened coconut you can find in the bakery section of the grocery store. March 2, 2014 at 4:39pm Reply

  • Shari Kelley: This would be perfect for Easter! It looks so pretty and moist. March 5, 2014 at 8:47pm Reply

  • Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion: I would totally faceplant into this cake. I love this. I actually have a few b-days coming up.. this will be making an appearance. March 7, 2014 at 5:19am Reply

  • Denise: Hi, I’d love to make this but there’s only two of us. Do you think I could half the recipe and make it 2 layer? Or could you suggest how I could make it 2 layer? Thanks so much!! March 10, 2014 at 7:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would be fine, they layers would just be a bit thinner. You’ll probably just need to reduce the baking time a bit. I hope the two of you love it Denise! March 10, 2014 at 10:45pm Reply

  • Marci: Do you think this cake would freeze well? I usually make a cake a few days ahead of time and freeze it, then decorate it the day of the party. March 19, 2014 at 5:50am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I always tell people personally I don’t like baked goods to be frozen but if you do that should work just fine (it might have a little to do with the fact that I also have a never ending supply of fresh around my house so it’s made me a bit too picky :). March 23, 2014 at 6:23pm Reply

  • Chloe Fitzgerald: Hello – has anyone tried to freeze the cake (without icing of course)? Or do you think the cake would still be good if I baked on Wednesday night – then Iced on Saturday for a party Saturday night? I just don’t have enough time to bake on Saturday :( March 23, 2014 at 4:49pm Reply

  • Liz: I found your blog on pinterest and I love it. I’ve pinned so many recipes to try! I love coconut and can’t wait to try this cake. I have a question. In the ingredient list is says 4 egg whites and then in the instructions it says to whip 6 egg whites. Which amount is it? Thank you! March 26, 2014 at 2:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The other two come from the whole eggs listed. I hope you love this cake Liz! I’m so happy to hear you love my blog, thanks for letting me know! March 31, 2014 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Liz: By the way I’ve made your coconut granola numerous times now…I love it!! March 26, 2014 at 2:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you do! March 31, 2014 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Hannah: Do you think this would still taste good if I used gluten free cake flour? Or do you have a favorite cake recipe for someone’s bday that would still taste good gluten free? My friend wants me to make their cake and I guess whenever their mom tries to make anything it isn’t edible. Thanks! March 31, 2014 at 10:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that should work fine, you may need to add a little more liquid just check the packaging label on the flour and it might say. April 4, 2014 at 10:15pm Reply

  • jen: Just made this cake, I made it as a 2 layer 10 inch cake and it came out perfectly. So light and fluffy and great flavor. I ended up cook the cakes for 26 mins. Thanks for the great recipe April 2, 2014 at 6:23am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Jen! I’m so glad you liked this cake! April 2, 2014 at 11:57am Reply

  • Shekinah: This cake came out great! The complement from my Mom and sis was it tasted like a church lady cake from back in The day. This was a top honor because we all know church ladies made fantastic cakes from scratch! We’re going to try this cake as a lemon cake replacing the coconut with lemon. Unless you have a great lemon cake to post. At this point i trust any recipe you suggest. April 4, 2014 at 7:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad they approved Shekinah :)! Thanks for your comment! April 15, 2014 at 8:59pm Reply

  • Nanci Hughes: I love your website and will make this cake this week. All of your presentation is excellent. Thanks, Nanci April 19, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thank Nanci! I hope you love this cake! April 21, 2014 at 11:05pm Reply

  • Nikki: Hi Jaclyn! I just found your website on pinterest while searching for a good coconut cake recipe. I tried your cake today and I have good news and bad news. First, let me say that I am new to baking:-) Ok, so the good news: flavor and texture were great! Bad news: my layers were so thin (guess they didn’t rise properly). I followed directions carefully. The only part I struggled with was the egg whites part. First, I beat the egg whites for what seemed like an eternity and they never formed stiff peaks so I settled for ruffles. Do you think that’s the issue? Also, I’m wondering if I didn’t beat them in properly (you warned of deflating). Could this prevent the cake from rising properly? It just seems like it should have risen despite that. I definitely used the right flower and didn’t forget baking powder or anything else. I’m determined to get this right so I’d appreciate any guidance you might offer. Thanks for your recipes and blog! April 27, 2014 at 4:08pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it is likely the eggs not being whipped to peaks. They help the cake rise and also hold when properly whipped. It can be a number of things, not entirely clean bowl/beaters even a little bit of left behind oil can prevent eggs from whipping properly, a tiny bit of egg yolk that made it’s way in can also prevent it. And other problem can be high humidity, I just try to avoid recipes that require beating egg whites to stiffness on really humid days. Hopefully next time it will work out perfect for you though, sorry that happened! May 12, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

    • Deborah Murray: I also made this recipe, I followed all instuctions very carefully and even cleaned the bowl and beaters with lemon juice before beating the egg whites. I felt that the egg whites were perfect; stiff peaks but not dry and I folded them in slowly. I made cupcakes and they rose beautifully in the oven and the toothpick came out clean and then they deflated significantly. With the next batch I cooked them longer (I thought perhaps I did not cool them properly) but they did the same thing. Any further thoughts on what went wrong? Despite this the cupcakes are moist and soft and I would try the recipe again…the “deflated” cupcakes just look so small though lol! February 25, 2016 at 8:02am Reply

    • Bre’a: Did you put in the 1/8 tsp of CoT? I almost misread this step. It took a few minutes before peaks formed and I just knew this would be the part of the process I’d surly fail. December 27, 2016 at 5:48pm Reply

  • Ruthie: I just came across your site few days ago. I made this cake last Sunday and it was superb. It was a good way to end a good Sunday evening. A friend of mine had a slice yesterday and she called to ask if I could make it again. I’ll be trying other recipes from your site. Thanks. Ruthie from Finland. April 29, 2014 at 4:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear that Ruthie! Thanks for letting me know :)! April 29, 2014 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Pricilla: Hi, I see that you use canola oil can I replace it for something else. In holland we cant get canola oil? May 2, 2014 at 2:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Vegetable oil should work just the same. I hope you love it :)! May 3, 2014 at 12:30am Reply

  • Victoria Preston: I found my way here through Gordon’s website. I made this cake yesterday and took it to a party last night. I cook and bake a lot in general, and have always received praises on my food. However, I have never received more compliments in one sitting than I did last night about this cake. So glad to have found you and really looking forward to trying out more recipes! May 4, 2014 at 5:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe Victoria and that it got lots of compliments – well done :)! Thanks for your feedback! May 19, 2014 at 10:17pm Reply

  • Terri: I’m assuming I could do this as a sheet cake as well? Looks and sounds delicious May 11, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I think that should work just fine. May 19, 2014 at 10:39pm Reply

  • Sharron: Hi! Sounds delicious – just want to pse check – the powdered sugar in die frosting – is that the same as castor or icing sugar – I’m from South African and have never seen powdered sugar here – do you perhaps know? Thanks a million, can’t wait to try it! May 16, 2014 at 6:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes powdered sugar is the same as castor or icing sugar. I hope you love this cake Sharron! May 30, 2014 at 6:19pm Reply

  • Joie: I have been looking for a recipe that copies the Coconut Pineapple cake baked by Bonnie Ruth’s Cafe Trottoir et Patisserie in Allen, Texas. This cake looks similar to theirs. Do you know if pineapple could be added to this recipe? May 18, 2014 at 6:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Maybe, sorry I just can’t say for sure without trying it out. It is a fairly delicate cake so I don’t know if the pineapple would kind of just sink to the bottom? May 19, 2014 at 10:05pm Reply

      • Joie: Thank you for the feedback regarding pineapple. May 20, 2014 at 7:34am Reply

  • Salsera77: Dear Jaclyn, here in France they don’t sell cream of tartar and where I places my last order at the American Supermarket, they were out of stock. How can I substitute it? I tried to google, but ended up with so many different answers that I wanted to ask the expert :-)… Thanks a lot May 20, 2014 at 7:30am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would try replacing it with 1/4 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. I hope you love this cake!! June 4, 2014 at 9:24am Reply

  • Angie: Does this cake need to be refrigerated or will it be ok left out a few days? (I doubt it takes long to be eaten) May 24, 2014 at 9:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would recommend refrigerating it, mostly because of the cream cheese frosting. June 22, 2014 at 10:32pm Reply

  • shar: could I use a 9×13 pan! May 26, 2014 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Probably but you might want to cut the recipe bake a little. May 26, 2014 at 8:19pm Reply

  • Amy Stiner: Can I substitute the canola oil with coconut oil to give add a bit more coconut flavor? June 6, 2014 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It might work but honestly I don’t have much experience using coconut oil in cakes so I cant say for sure? June 25, 2014 at 11:57pm Reply

  • Andra: Jaclyn – this cake is baking right now and smells divine. Can’t wait to try it out!
    Question: Should the cake be kept in the fridge? I plan to serve the cake tomorrow afternoon. I’m baking it this evening. Should I frost it tonight and keep it in the fridge overnight, or frost it tomorrow morning? June 14, 2014 at 6:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: What I would do is leave the cake layers out at room temp and frost the next day. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container once they’ve cooled. I hope you love it Andra! June 14, 2014 at 6:22pm Reply

      • Cynthia: Hi Jaclyn,

        I’m new to baking and would love to make this for my birthday next week. However, I do not have an electric stand mixer. Do you think a good ol hand mixer will work? July 21, 2016 at 10:42am Reply

  • Rhonda: Hi Jackson, just made your cake last night it was quite good although I wasn’t sure if I was to use all of the 6 egg yolks in the cake. Also the texture of the cake was a bit like a pound cake is this the correct texture? Thanks for the recipe! June 16, 2014 at 5:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: No, sorry you are only supposed to use the 2 egg yolks (coming from the whole eggs listed in the recipe). If you did use all 6 that is probably why it was more dense like a pound cake. Hope that answers your question! June 16, 2014 at 9:20am Reply

      • Rhonda: Sorry Jaclyn for the name misspelling these phones always correcting what you type it’s a pain sometimes. Lol thanks for your response however I did only use the 2 egg yolks don’t get me wrong my husband and I loved the cake I guess I just had a different texture in mind. Oh I just thought maybe it’s because I did not use or have cake flour but I used a recipe to turn your flour into cake flour by removing 2 Tbs of flour for every cup and replacing with cornstarch, this may have been the difference! June 16, 2014 at 9:52am Reply

        • Jaclyn: Yes I definitely recommend using the real thing, I can never get the same texture with the cake flour substitute. Also, just be sure not to over-mix the batter. Hope that helps :)! June 16, 2014 at 1:09pm Reply

  • Rhonda: Sorry Jaclyn, these new phones always correcting what you type hence the name Jackson! Lol June 16, 2014 at 5:37am Reply

  • Salsera77: Dear Jaclyn… I made the cake replacing the cream of tartar with lemon juice as you suggested- it worked perfectly fine !! It was my colleague at work who is a big coconut fan who bugged me for month to bake this cake for our team and they loved it!!! thank you so much!! June 19, 2014 at 7:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it worked :)! Thanks for your comment!! June 22, 2014 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Lisa Thakkar: I want to make this cake for a coconut lover’s birthday – but I have a question. Where do you use the coconut milk? It’s in the ingredient list, but I don’t see it in the directions – just a direction to combine the flour mixture and the coconut milk mixture. Help! June 20, 2014 at 11:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I said coconut milk “mixture” and I’m sure that’s where it threw you off. It’s not a mixture just the coconut milk :). Thanks for pointing that out. I hope you love it! June 20, 2014 at 11:31am Reply

  • Lara: This cake ROCKS!!!!!!!! If you are a coconut lover you will most certainly love this cake, the texture specially is insanely moist and I won’t touch a cake unless its super moist. I halved the recipe and made 1 cake in an 8 inch pan 3 inch height. It took 32 min to bake.

    I also made another cake using the same recipe, substituting the coconut milk for buttermilk and the coconut extract for vanilla extract. It makes a brilliant vanilla cake. July 10, 2014 at 3:40am Reply

  • June: Just made this cake as I could not find my own recipe. If coconut cake is not your passion, don’t bother because it is a little fussy. But, if you are like me and very picky about my coconut cake, it is a winner. Could cut back in the amount of icing as I had at least a cup left over and it was very thick on the cake. July 13, 2014 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Ty: I will trying this cake this weekend. My mother love everything coconut !!!! #anticipation July 24, 2014 at 8:33pm Reply

  • Sam: Found this recipe via a heartwrenching google search for a great (but not ridiculously difficult) coconut cake recipe, and I just want to say that I’m so glad I settled on this recipe. It’s awesome! One of the best cakes I’ve ever had. I just wanted to comment here because I know when I’m looking through blog recipes, I want references from people who’ve actually made the cake.
    I only made tiny adjustments: I forgot to get coconut extract so I used 1tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract in the cake, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in the frosting. (I liked that the coconut flavor this way was very light.) I also used only 8oz cream cheese, and I toasted the coconut flakes, which gave it a crunch that I liked a lot. I’m sure it would still be superbly tasty had I followed the directions to a T, though! August 19, 2014 at 7:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe Sam! Thanks for your review! August 19, 2014 at 10:20pm Reply

  • Kasey: This cake looks divine! My daughter has asked for a coconut cake for her birthday, and this is the one! We live above 6000 feet. Do you have any suggestions to adjust for high altitude? Thanks! August 20, 2014 at 12:26pm Reply

  • Kasey: I am planning on making this cake for my daughter’s birthday. We live at a high altitude. Do you have any suggestions on adjusting this recipe? Thanks, it looks delicious! August 21, 2014 at 11:32pm Reply

  • leilani: Jaclyn: I was asked to make a two layer coconut cake, they requested that it be a little bit smaller than a half sheet. Would my layers come out thinner if I didn’t double the recipe for each layer?? August 22, 2014 at 5:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think if you are only doing two layers and it’s a bit smaller than a half sheet you should probably be okay. I hope everyone loves it! August 23, 2014 at 1:09pm Reply

  • Anne Marie: Hi Jaclyn,
    This cake looks delicious, I will de·finitively make it! Just one question, could I replace the ‘cream of tartar’ with baking soda or baking powder? If yes, would it be the same amount?
    Reason is that in the Netherlands ‘cream of tartar’ is difficult to come by…
    Thanks! September 1, 2014 at 2:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would substitute the cream of tartar with 1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice. I hope you love the cake Anne Marie! September 22, 2014 at 9:27pm Reply

  • Eloise: Just wanted to let you know I baked this cake today for my sister’s 33rd birthday, and apparently it’s the best cake I’ve ever produced! I actually made it into a 5 7″ layer cake and in between the icing and the coconut I added a coating of jam. Everyone loved it so much that there’s hardly a crumb left!
    Thank you for the lovely recipe and for your wonderful blog. September 12, 2014 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear everyone loved it :)! Thanks for you comment and compliment Eloise! September 13, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

  • Kim: I made this cake for a dinner/social. It was a hit. People talked about it for two days and I have several request to make it again! Thanks for this great recipe! September 17, 2014 at 2:22pm Reply

  • matea: what is tartar? September 23, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Lily: I have never been able to make a cake so soft, fluffy & taste like a coconut cake, like this one…thank you for sharing this recipe….I’ve made coconut cakes before, but I think I’ve found one to keep!!!! Thank you. October 7, 2014 at 4:52pm Reply

  • Debbie: My family always had lemon filling between layers. Going to make hav;t had one since mom passed it was always my Birthday cake. Thanks for the memoies. October 7, 2014 at 7:26pm Reply

  • DOLORES: Yes, even without trying this exact recipe I knew it was a winner. It’s based on the 1-2-3-4 butter cake. I have tried hundreds of cake recipes…and Flo Braker agrees there is nothing better than the 1-2-3-4 cake. Subbing 2 of the eggs for egg whites and using part oil for the butter are really good swaps for this cake but still makes it a 1-2-3-4 cake. Thanks for reminding of this cake. And your photos are just luscious! October 15, 2014 at 6:34am Reply

  • DOLORES: Actually i believe i did make this exact recipe and it got raves…just can’t recall where i found it. A pineapple filling between layers is also delicious! October 15, 2014 at 6:37am Reply

  • matea: hello. i saw your recipe on pintrst and my fiance loves coconut stuff. so i went out and bought all the ingredients and plan to make it friday oct 17. but then i reread the list for ingredient and realized i bought coconut milk in a carton instead on in a can. im not sure ill have time to go out and search for the canned one. is there ANY way i can use the one i have? October 15, 2014 at 11:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The one in the carton is much different than the one in a can, it has a much lower fat content and it’s not as thick and rich. I’d definitely recommend getting the full fat canned kind to ensure you end up with a moist and tender cake. October 16, 2014 at 1:08am Reply

  • Mary: Do only two egg yolks go in the batter? Do I discard the other 4 yolks to be used at another time? October 20, 2014 at 12:28pm Reply

  • Precious: Hello, I stumble across this Awesome cake yesterday and would love to try it for Thanksgiving. I just a question conerning the eggs. In the actual cake is there only 2 eggs yolks and then you add the 4 eggs whites at the end of the process?
    I posted a question on your blog yesterday I guess it was deleted.
    thank you November 14, 2014 at 6:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you’ll only need two yolks, sorry sometimes it takes me a while to respond to comments. I hope you love this cake! November 14, 2014 at 7:02pm Reply

  • Jennifer: This recipe is absolutely delicious! I will defiantly make it again. One tip…don’t try and substitute margerine for butter. The recipe tastes sooo much better with butter. It makes a big difference. November 14, 2014 at 9:00pm Reply

  • Jennifer: This recipe is delicious and I will defiantly make it again! One tip…don’t substitute
    Margarine for butter in this recipe. It taste so much better with butter. November 14, 2014 at 9:05pm Reply

  • autumn: Amazing!!! I made this tonight Took forever (2.5 hours) because iI don’t have a stand mixer, but wow. Worth every minute. Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to my family eenjoying it on thanksgiving. November 25, 2014 at 8:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it and found it to be worth the effort :)! Happy Thanksgiving! November 26, 2014 at 9:51am Reply

  • Jules: I noticed an asterik by the “canned coconut milk at room temp” listed in the ingredients, but never saw an explanation. Did I miss something?
    Is this the same thing as cream of coconut that some use as a drink mixer? Thanks. November 26, 2014 at 11:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: No this is different, it’s just the canned coconut milk you can find in the asian section of most grocery stores. sometimes it’s but the other canned milks too. November 27, 2014 at 12:10am Reply

  • Claire: We’re having friends over for dinner tomorrow and I would love to make this! I just bought a large bag of unsweetened shredded coconut, would that be ok here? Should I compensate with more sugar in the icing or do you think it would be sweet enough? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this! December 4, 2014 at 8:43am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it should be okay because the frosting is really sweet. You could always just use a little less for topping too. I hope everyone loves it! December 4, 2014 at 10:24am Reply

  • Molly: This cake was AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe…I have shared it with all of my friends…it’s definitely the perfect coconut cake! :) December 30, 2014 at 8:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for sharing so glad you liked it! January 20, 2015 at 10:46pm Reply

  • Becky: I’m making this right now for New Years Day dessert. I can’t wait to eat it! January 1, 2015 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Stephanie: All I can say is my 15 year search is OVER January 7, 2015 at 10:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it Stephanie :)! January 15, 2015 at 9:15pm Reply

  • alaa: I have question if I tried to make it as a cupcake will it work? January 9, 2015 at 3:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that should be fine. January 15, 2015 at 9:10pm Reply

  • Janey: THE BEST cake I have ever had. I always take my time on a new recipe and it took a while but was well worth it. I used fresh coconut. So rich you only need a small slice. Thank you so much. January 10, 2015 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Christine Grant: Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!!! I’ve made it three times in the past month and everyone has fell in LOVE with this cake. This recipe has turned friends of mine who hated coconut into coconut lovers :) January 12, 2015 at 9:23am Reply

  • Lori: This cake is AMAZING! I made it for Christmas eve and what a special treat. I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. The only thing I did different was to bake in two pans and divide each into two layers so it was a four layer cake instead of 3. January 13, 2015 at 7:20pm Reply

  • Viridiana: Thank you, I made cupcakes instead of a cake and they were a huge hit. Definetly a keeper!! One batch made 32 cupcakes, 350 degrees for 20 minutes. January 29, 2015 at 11:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the info! January 29, 2015 at 8:53pm Reply

  • Paloma: hi! I found your recipe on pinterest and I made it for my bday, it was a hit! Thanks for sharing. I’m from México :) January 30, 2015 at 12:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was a hit! I hope you had a wonderful birthday Paloma! February 5, 2015 at 6:23pm Reply

  • Tamoura: Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone has had any success freezing this cake (in separate layers before frosting it, of course).
    I have successfully frozen other cakes in layers by wrapping in layers of plastic wrap and aluminium foil. I only want to freeze it for a month maximum.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks February 3, 2015 at 2:21pm Reply

  • emma: Im just wondering how long this cake keeps for February 4, 2015 at 2:13pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Probably three days in the refrigerator. February 4, 2015 at 9:32pm Reply

      • emma: Thank you , im making it now for a friend’s birthday , looking forward to having a slice February 7, 2015 at 1:30pm Reply

        • Emma: The cake was a hit, I was so chuffed with it, it’s the first time I used cake flour and love it had to order it and the coconut on line as you don’t get it in the north or scotland. I did find the icing a bit runny but that always happens when I make cream cheese frosting any advice ? Also I’m wondering if you have a plain version of this cake as I would love to make vanilla birthday cake this light and
          moist. February 9, 2015 at 12:46pm Reply

          • Jaclyn: For the frosting I recommend chilling it a bit before you begin spreading on the cake, also cutting back a little on the sugar and adding a little more butter can help. I don’t yet have a plain vanilla cake but I do need to post one in the near future! February 23, 2015 at 6:25pm

          • lily: I’m not sure if you all know that you can make your own Cake Flour….instead of buying it…it’s pretty easy.
            For every cup of AP Flour, replace 2 Tabsp of AP Flour with CornStarch/CornFlour & sift at least 3 times. February 23, 2015 at 7:19pm

  • stephanie: HI, We don’t eat Gmo’s do you think I could substitute with coconut oil? Perhaps in the liquid state?

    Was wanting to make it for dessert tonight, it is valentines day and we are snowed in… think it may need a strawberry sauce… i put up a ton this past summer. February 14, 2015 at 8:57am Reply

  • lily: Emma & Jaclyn, for a Vanilla cake, all you have to do is substitute the coconut milk & flavouring with whole milk & Vanilla Extract. February 23, 2015 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Melissa: Do you have to refrigerate the cake because of the icing? Thank you! March 5, 2015 at 3:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s probably best because of the cream cheese. March 29, 2015 at 12:27am Reply

  • Sia: Hi,

    What is cake flour?
    I am hoping to make this Gluten Free, would you know if I can just use GF flour?
    Many Thanks – cake looks awesome! March 6, 2015 at 11:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I don’t think there is a gluten free cake flour but a gluten free flour blend would probably be the best option. I’m just not sure what the conversions are. I know gluten free baking can be tricky, it may require more liquid to be added and so forth. It may have a recommendation on the package of flour. April 4, 2015 at 3:56pm Reply

  • Rachel Osborn: Best. Cake. Ever. Good quality coconut makes all the difference! Mine was from Azure Standard. Labor intensive cake but so worth it! March 10, 2015 at 2:48pm Reply

  • yazzyb242 .: Hi could I add some fresh grated coconut to the cake batter? March 16, 2015 at 2:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be just fine. I would suggest grinding it up in a food processor though for a better texture. April 7, 2015 at 10:52pm Reply

  • YASMIN: I think this is the best cake I have ever made really moist and tasteful this will be my go to recipe for birthday cake. Thank you for sharing this recipe. This is my first time on your site am looking forward to trying out more of your recipe. March 17, 2015 at 8:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked the recipe and I hope you love many more here! Thanks for your comment Yasmin! March 18, 2015 at 5:58pm Reply

  • Erica: I looove this cake! I was wondering how it would work as cupcakes? Particularly mini cupcakes. I want everyone I know to try this, and cupcakes are more manageable at gatherings. March 20, 2015 at 9:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think it should work just fine as mini cupcakes I haven’t tested yet but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I’m glad you love the cake! April 20, 2015 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Pat: I just made this cake. Followed the recipe exactly and it did not rise. Used King Arthur cake flour,
    new can of baking powder, etc. really disappointed since the cake was for my husband’s birthday. March 22, 2015 at 5:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I’m not sure what would have happened without being there. So sorry that happened! April 15, 2015 at 10:24pm Reply

  • Jdub Jay: Thanks for a delicious recipe. I’ve been looking for a great coconut cake to make my father in law for years. Last night, I made it for his 75th birthday and it blew everyone away. The delicate texture is devine and the frosting has just the right amount of tang.

    I have a feeling I’ll be baking it again very soon! Next time I’ll make 4 layers. March 29, 2015 at 8:15am Reply

  • Nadine: Hi, I made this tonight for my daughter-in-laws birthday and it was amazing! Everyone loved it and I will be making this often! My 6 year old granddaughter helped make it for her Auntie’s birthday and she loved helping! I did use buttermilk like someone mentioned above instead of the coconut cream/coconut milk and it was amazing! I also did the vanilla extract instead of coconut but found it lacked a little something in taste so I added 1/8 tsp. of coconut extract and it popped the flavors of the vanilla without overpowering the taste of the batter! People could not say what they liked more, the cake or the frosting! Overall, it was awesome and will always make this from here on! Loved it!
    However, I wrote and asked a question about the use of lemon juice or vinegar instead of cream of tarter and never got an answer but I would really like to know— you answered this question two times but with different measurements — 1/2 tsp. & 1/4 tsp. I’m not sure which one is accurate for using to substitute the cream of tarter with??? Please respond to this. Thanks! April 1, 2015 at 1:22am Reply

  • Nadine: Oops! I also baked this is a baking pan instead of cake pans. I did not have 3 pans and I needed this to feed 18 people with larger portions. So, I parchment lined a casserole pan and poured all the batter in it and baked at 325 for 45-55 minutes or until done when the toothpick came out clean. It was a light golden color and looked amazing. When cooled, I lifted it out and placed it on a cookie rack to finish cooling. I cut it in half and filled it. I then iced the rest and I toasted unsweetened coconut flakes and pressed it on only the sides. It was just the right amount of coconut. I placed the whole thing in the refrigerator to set up and then took it out and served about 1 1/2 hours later. Perfectly scrumptious cake! :-) April 1, 2015 at 1:37am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad it turned out that way :)! Thanks for your feedback, happy to hear it was enjoyed! April 4, 2015 at 4:03pm Reply

  • Jen: Can’t wait to make this cake later today! Question- can I use cream of coconut instead of canned coconut milk? Will that work? Wondering if it will give the cake more of a coconut flavor? Just wondering. If u can help me that would be great! Thx! April 2, 2015 at 5:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it because they have added sweeteners and more fat which would alter the structure of the cake. April 27, 2015 at 10:29pm Reply

  • Mary Ann: Truly the best coconut cake I have tried. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. April 2, 2015 at 10:19am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it Mary Ann! Thanks for your review! April 3, 2015 at 10:21am Reply

  • Mary: Hi! I want to try out this great recipe, but, I was wondering, could I make this without all the coconut flavoring??? The reasons are this, I have neither coconut extract or coconut milk, and would love to find this to be my go to vanilla cake recipe. Maybe I could switch the coconut milk out with regular milk, and just add a little more vanilla. Let me know what you think.
    ~Mary April 3, 2015 at 4:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You should be fine to omit the coconut extract then I’d up the vanilla to 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. And you should be fine to use regular milk blended with a few tbsp cream to equal the same amount of the coconut milk. April 4, 2015 at 3:07pm Reply

  • Kelli: Thanks for this yummy recipe! I made it for Easter yesterday and it was a hit. Everyone was raving about how good it was. I will definitely be making it again soon. April 6, 2015 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Diana Brodeur: I absolutely love this cake! I make it for my dad’s birthday and he loved it as well. I wanted to make some cupcakes with this recipe but only want about 12 cupcakes. Will half of this recipe work well?

    Thanks so much! April 9, 2015 at 11:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry for the very late response but yes this should work okay to half and make into cupcakes. May 17, 2015 at 10:29am Reply

  • Mary: Hi Jaclyn,
    It looks so yummy, getting ready to make this cake for the weekend. I have a question. Is the shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened?
    Thanks April 13, 2015 at 9:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry for the late response it’s sweetened. May 8, 2015 at 11:28pm Reply

  • Cindy Allwell: This cake was phenomenal! Every year for close to two decades I make my best friend a coconut cake for her birthday. It is her favorite cake. And every year I bake a different cake because I have yet to be satisfied with a recipe that I’ve tried. I’m not going to stop looking! It is moist, light, incredibly flavorful……it has no flaws. The only change I made was to the frosting. I put in 2 tsp of extract instead of 1 and cut down 1 cup of powdered sugar. April 19, 2015 at 5:44pm Reply

    • Cindy Allwell: It should read I’m going to stop looking April 19, 2015 at 5:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear it Cindy!! April 20, 2015 at 12:03pm Reply

  • liz n.: Made this today for my birthday (yes, I make my own cakes, because it’s my excuse to experiment!!), and OH MY GOD!!

    This is, hands-down, not exaggerating, absolutely the best coconut cake I’ve ever made. I am tossing the Maida Heatter recipe I’ve used for years and keeping this one forever. Thank you, you cake-recipe genius, you! April 21, 2015 at 10:51pm Reply

    • June: I agree wholeheartedly. I bake my own birthday cake as I am fussy about what I like and will waste calories on. This was the best! April 30, 2015 at 9:25pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a review June! Glad you liked it! April 30, 2015 at 9:40pm Reply

  • Queen: I love the recipe from a glance. I should be making this cake sooner than later. I have a question though, is it okay to use dessicated coconut instead of the shredded sweetened coconut you used. May 8, 2015 at 2:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe because it may alter the texture a bit. For a topping it would be fine though. June 6, 2015 at 11:31pm Reply

  • Kristin: This cake was amazing! I made it for mother’s day and it was the best cake I have ever made. EVER! I actually completely forgot to add the cream of tartar with the egg whites, but it didn’t seem to effect the cake at all since it was still super light and fluffy. And the frosting was just unbelievable! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! May 10, 2015 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Anne: Cake looks good but wouldn’t pass as old fashion here in the south. Sea foam icing or seven min. icing is what we use. You should try it. ;) May 25, 2015 at 5:16pm Reply

  • Emelyn: Could you use coconut or olive oil in place of the canola oil? :) May 26, 2015 at 6:47am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I know olive oil would be okay but it would add flavor – so I’d go with extra light. Not sure about coconut oil, I’ve baked with it but never cakes. June 20, 2015 at 10:40pm Reply

  • Cindy: I have made this cake twice. First as a three layer then as a sheet cake. I don’t recommend the sheet cake. It was too much batter for the pan and the time and temp were all wrong. After I did some adjusting, it turned out good. The recipe is very time consuming, so be prepared.
    In all I enjoyed the cake very much, but it didn’t scream coconut flavor. It’s beautiful and moist and my family loved it! May 26, 2015 at 8:50am Reply

  • Jen: Can I bake this in a 9×13 without any changes to the recipe and baking times? May 29, 2015 at 12:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I believe someone mentioned in a comment above that is what they did? I haven’t tested ti myself though. May 29, 2015 at 10:59am Reply

    • lisa: I am wondering how this worked for you? I would rather make it in a 9×13 than as a layer cake. June 26, 2015 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Jacqui: I make a similar cake and will try using coconut milk the next time. Yours sounds yummy. May 29, 2015 at 3:31pm Reply

  • amira: Hey i have question, what if you dont have crean of tartar, ? Can i use something else instead if cream of tartar June 4, 2015 at 3:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could use 1/2 tsp white vinegar instead. Hope you love it! June 4, 2015 at 6:08pm Reply

  • Jackie: I made the cake and it was the best coconut cake I’ve ever had. Do you know if I can make it in a 14 inch pan. I know I’ll need to double or triple it but I was wondering if you’ve ever done this. June 10, 2015 at 6:52pm Reply

  • Kelli: Wow Jaclyn! Found this on pinterest and it has been repinned a ton of times! It is the most delicious cake I have made and a definite favorite of guests. Thank you so much! June 19, 2015 at 2:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your review Kelli! Glad everyone liked it! June 20, 2015 at 10:19pm Reply

  • aubrey: Every recipe that i have made on your website has turned out so perfect and yummy! This coconut cake is divine and I have made it 4 times now. SO yummy. Thanks so much for your awesome recipes!! June 21, 2015 at 10:05am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you’ve liked the recipes Aubrey! Thanks so much for letting me know :)! June 22, 2015 at 10:02pm Reply

  • Marianna: My sister made this cake when I was visiting. All I can say is WOW! I like coconut cake, but I absolutely LOVED this cake. It is amazing!!! June 30, 2015 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So great to hear Marianna and thank you for the kind review! July 7, 2015 at 11:19am Reply

  • Bri Rickard: This is easily the best cake I’ve ever made/eaten! Do yourself a favor and only make it when there is a big crowd to help eat it all- I had half a cake left over and had three pieces in one day!! I did substitute coconut oil (in liquid state) and it was perfection! Thank you for this recipe! July 12, 2015 at 12:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Bri! Sounds good with coconut oil too! August 30, 2015 at 3:25pm Reply

  • Pavithra Pavithra: My oven heats only till 250degrees. Can I still bake the cake? Will there be any change in the recipe? July 24, 2015 at 10:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Is it 250 degrees Celsius because this is Fahrenheit? If not I wouldn’t recommend it it won’t rise properly. July 25, 2015 at 10:32am Reply

      • Pavithra Pavithra: Thanks for the response. Is your recipe in Farenheight? Please let me know. I have a Celsius oven. Ok July 26, 2015 at 12:10am Reply

        • Jaclyn: Yes the recipe is listed in Fahrenheit. July 26, 2015 at 12:42am Reply

    • Lily: I’ve made this cake many times now for friends & family & I incorporated strawberries into the filling & decorations & everyone loved it & it’s my go-to cake for a lot of occasions…
      Than you Jaclyn. July 25, 2015 at 11:57am Reply

  • Kelly: OMG!!!! Thank you so much!! I lovedddddddd this recipe!!!!! I tried it today and wow!!!! It was so amazing! very moist and great texture. Loved it. Thank you!!!! August 12, 2015 at 6:08pm Reply

  • Kim Osteen-Petreshock: The photo definitely brings back memories of my grandmother. I’m pinning it! :) August 25, 2015 at 11:34pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear that Kim! Thanks for pinning! August 26, 2015 at 5:39pm Reply

  • CeeCee: Jaclyn, made this awesome cake last night, OMG OMG OMG!!! This is the best Coconut cake ever!!! Thank you so much, I can’t wait to share with my neighbor & friends at work. Delicious, moist, & simple to make. Those looking for a coconut cake to make, this is definitely the go to recipe. August 30, 2015 at 5:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you think it’s the best coconut cake ever CeeCee :)! Thanks for your review! August 30, 2015 at 3:19pm Reply

  • Rebekah: I made this twice last week… once for my office and once for a friend’s birthday. Both times it received rave reviews! This was my first attempt at coconut cake, and I’m so glad I used your recipe. :) I’ll be coming to your website more often. Thanks Jaclyn! August 31, 2015 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Naisha: I’ve made this 3 times! It’s been a hit every time! This time I made them into cupcakes and topped with toasted coconut, my new obsession! Thank you for sharing this recipe! October 16, 2015 at 9:00pm Reply

    • Denise: This is my favourite cake recipe and would love to try as cupcakes. For those who made it into cupcakes, how long did you bake them for and did you make any revisions? Thanks!! October 19, 2015 at 4:02pm Reply

      • Naisha: I made no revisions just put them in paper liners and baked about 15-17 minutes. They turned out beautifully! October 20, 2015 at 10:55am Reply

  • Karen: Looks amazing! Unfortunately I’m allergic to cream cheese. Do you have another recipe for icing that doesn’t include it? October 25, 2015 at 11:38am Reply

  • Ash: My cousin and I made this yesterday and it is seriously the best cake ever, the instructions were a little confusing at some points but it is definitely worth the time and effort, it is so moist. Thanks for the recipe :) October 29, 2015 at 6:29am Reply

  • Yasmeen: Hey! this cake looks amazing! I was planning on making it tmrw but I had a few questions first if you don’t mind. Can I use all-purpopse flour instead of cake flour? and would I have to make any adjustments if I made it 2 layers instead of 3? Thank you so miuch! November 10, 2015 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Yasmeen: Hey! This cake looks amazing! I had a few questions if you dont mind. Can i use all purpose flour instead of cake flour? also, if I made this cake into 2 layers is there anything I would have to differently?

    Thank you! I love your website! November 12, 2015 at 8:59pm Reply

  • Jackie: Are you only using the 2 egg yolks and discarding the remaining four? November 17, 2015 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Joanne: Hi. Can I add the coconut today? I am serving it tomorrow. Or should I wait for tomorrow? November 25, 2015 at 10:50am Reply

  • Maura: I’ve made this cake and it’s amazing!!! But I’d like to make it cupcakes instead of cake. A million kids will be there and cupcakes are just easier. This may sound silly, I’m new to baking, but what would I do to the recipe to make into cupcakes instead?!? December 15, 2015 at 8:20pm Reply

  • Idera: Your cake looks really nice but please can I substitute the oil u used with normal vegetable oil December 26, 2015 at 3:22am Reply

  • Nick: Can I make this cake into a bundt?? And put frosting on top? December 30, 2015 at 8:29am Reply

  • Martha: Love the coconut cake, if I wanted to make this cake without the coconut milk and coconut extract can I do this and what would the substitute be. Want to try this as a regular cake will I get the same texture? January 7, 2016 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Jazmine: I am going to make this this weekend for my grandparents and girlfriend. After reading the comments I have a really good feeling that this will turn out exactly how I imagine it will taste! Cannot wait to get started, thanks for posting this amazing recipe! January 12, 2016 at 12:16am Reply

  • Rena: I was thinking of baking this for a friend who lives 4 hours away from me. Since this cake has coconut in it, can I know if it is a good idea to bake this cake and bring it along with me in my car for over 4hours (without being refrigerated)? January 25, 2016 at 9:25pm Reply

  • Veronica: Hello,
    This cake looks amazing!!! Could you double the recipe for a larger cake?

    Thank you! February 4, 2016 at 5:25pm Reply

  • Sally Francklyn: I’m making this, but the instructions are VERY confusing. At no point do I see that you add the egg yolk and coconut extract to the flour/coconut milk mixture. I’m going to guess and add it to the flour mixture before I bake it. You really need to clear this recipe up. February 11, 2016 at 1:17pm Reply

  • Michelle: My mom’s favorite cake is coconut cake so I will be making this for her birthday dinner tomorrow. I can’t wait to surprise her with this and try it! February 18, 2016 at 8:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope she loves it :)! February 18, 2016 at 7:03pm Reply

      • Michelle: So I accidentally added the whole can of coconut milk (an extra 1/3 cup), but it still turned out great! My mom loved it and I have to say this was probably been the best cake I have made. Both my MIL best friend requested I make this for them when they come to visit! Even my husband who isn’t a huge coconut fan loved the cake. I will keep this recipe in my arsenal. Thank you for this incredible recipe. Xo February 21, 2016 at 9:34am Reply

  • Rhonda: Hi Jaclyn I had made this cake some time ago and loved it I also had been searching for a great moist chocolate cake to make.
    When I first so your post for the coconut cake you had mentioned:

    ” Last week I posted my favorite chocolate cake recipe and this week I decided why not keep a good thing going – and make more cake? So, today I’m sharing my favorite coconut cake recipe with you.”

    Do you remember the chocolate cake you were speaking of ? I would really love to try that one also. March 10, 2016 at 4:27pm Reply

  • Gurl: Hi
    Can you cover this cake with fondant icing? March 14, 2016 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Renee: Hello, can I add shredded coconut to the batter without messing up the cake? March 21, 2016 at 1:06pm Reply

  • Liza: Hi! I just wanted to thank you for this recipe! I’ve been looking for a great cake recipe to make with my new KitchenAid mixer. I made this last night and it is FANTASTIC! My husband says it’s the best cake he’s ever had! I definitely recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a great cake recipe! March 30, 2016 at 11:20am Reply

  • Tami King: I have recently discovered your blog and am obsessed! I am hosting a bridal shower next weekend and have been baking like crazy. I would love to used this recipe for cupcakes (rather than your coconut cupcake recipe). The reviews on this recipe are just too good! Does this recipe work well for cupcakes???
    Thanks so much! April 28, 2016 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Angellina: Hello!

    Ive made your coconut cale multiple times and its soooo delicious! I am planning on makinga birthday cake with this recipe in a 6×3 pan. I wonderig if you have a conversion chart and how long I should kee it in the oven.

    Thank you! June 21, 2016 at 4:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t have a conversion chart but you may be able to find one online. I also can’t say for sure on the temp because I haven’t tested and that’s not a pan size I normally use but I’d probably start checking it 10 minutes earlier than the time listed (just a guess). I’m happy to hear you’ve liked the recipe! June 22, 2016 at 1:16am Reply

  • Alison: I’m going to make this cake Wednesday :) When you say shredded coconut, is that sweetened or unsweetened? June 27, 2016 at 3:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I used sweetened shredded coconut for this recipe. Hope you love it! June 28, 2016 at 11:28am Reply

  • AGS: Hi Jaclyn, incredibly soft cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Since I did not have coconut extract I used almond extract and it well was too over-powering :(. My mistake for doing so! But will definitely make this again. June 30, 2016 at 11:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Ah darn! I hope you get the chance to make it again! July 6, 2016 at 10:22am Reply

  • Sura kalamchi: Hi , this cake is really the softest cake as you described ,I made it yesterday and it was a great success,moist,soft and very delicious. I put some of the batter aside anxiety baked it in a cupcake mould and my children loved it even before I put the frost and ate the cupcakes while they were still warm. A great recipe, thank you very much . July 13, 2016 at 10:59pm Reply

    • Sura kalamchi: Sorry for the print mistake I wanted to write that I put some of the batter aside and baked it in a cupcake mould … the word anxiety was a print mistake July 13, 2016 at 11:02pm Reply

  • NRS: Made your coconut sheet cake this past weekend and it was so amazing! Now I need to make this cake! What brand of coconut extract do you recommend? And do you think letting it sit room temp for about an hour is good? I’ll need to make it early in the day to serve after dinner so plan to put it in the fridge given the cream cheese frosting. August 9, 2016 at 4:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I bought my coconut extract from a local kitchen supply store in bulk so I’m not sure of the brand but it’s the one I’ve been using for a few years, my sister uses the McCormick though I believe when she makes coconut syrup and that one is good. As far as letting the chilled cake rest at room temp, I’d just say not longer than an hour unless it’s really warm inside then even less. I hope you love it! August 9, 2016 at 11:35pm Reply

      • NRS: Thanks Jaclyn! And I take it it would be fine for me to both butter and flour my pans for this cake? They are not non-stick so I worry if I’m only using butter. August 10, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

  • Andrea: Unsweetened or sweetened coconut milk? August 10, 2016 at 5:39pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Unsweetened, does the canned kind come in a sweetened version? Don’t use cream of coconut here or the coconut milk beverage found buy the milk. It’s coconut milk from the asian section in a can or sometimes in the baking isle. August 10, 2016 at 11:57pm Reply

  • Mary: Can i used fondant with this cake? August 16, 2016 at 10:50am Reply

  • Kay: Hi,

    If I dont have 3 round cake pans but just 2–will this recipe still work?
    OR can i half this recipe and just use 2 cake pans?

    Thanks! September 9, 2016 at 6:15pm Reply

  • Gita Brett: I’m very intrigued by this cake. I sell a coconut cake that has exactly the same visual image however it has only 230g of sugar. It would be fun to make a new version and let my customers be the judges. November 12, 2016 at 6:29am Reply

    • Jaclyn: How funny! Let me know how it goes. :) November 17, 2016 at 9:37am Reply

  • Caseu: Hello :)
    Is it really on 1/8 tsp of tartar? Seems so little. I don’t even have a tap that small LOL
    Thanks November 18, 2016 at 10:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it’s just to help stabilize the egg whites, a little goes a long way in for this purpose. I actually recently lost my 1/8 tsp (they’ve always had a way of disappearing in my house) so I just use a 1/4 tsp and fill it halfway full. November 18, 2016 at 11:39pm Reply

  • Emily: I forgot to add the cream of tartar, do you think it will still turn out ok? And I also used coconut cream instead of milk because I was too lazy to go to store again.. Fingers crossed it turns out. November 27, 2016 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it should as long as the eggs didn’t deflate much while resting and when you mixed them in. All it does is helps stabilize them a little. November 27, 2016 at 5:17pm Reply

  • Alexa: This is my absolute FAVORITE cake and every family occasion I’m asked to make it. I need to make enough for 40 people this weekend and I can’t remember how many one recipe serves. I’m guessing I should at least double. Let me know if you can recall! Thanks.. best recipe ever! December 2, 2016 at 10:11pm Reply

  • Geri: I’m about to make this cake for my husband’s office Christmas party. I used to bake all the time and then our son passed away. So this cake is sort of me getting back into life. My son loved my baking, so I’m trying to life a life he would be proud of. Just wanted to put my Anthony out in the universe. Wish me luck! One question is the flake coconut sweetened or not? December 12, 2016 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Bre’a: Well, I did it, and this cake is simply divine! It’s whitest of white, soft, moist, airy -almost angelic! LOL. The only subs I made were Coconut Cream instead of Coconut Milk and Corn Oil instead of Canola Oil. These subs were made as inadvertent oversights —nevertheless the cake is simply a masterpiece. Baking 3 pans is so much more effective than splitting layers and for me – much easier to bake and judge for doneness. Because the recipe is new and complex, I had to re-write it in a bullet format. Having all ingredients measured and lined up logically for me really made it easier. I used basic vanilla icing recipe, but used the Coconut Cream and the Coconut Extract to tint the flavor. I also used frozen (fresh) Coconut meat that was thawed and strained. This actually sent the cake to heaven. Fresh Coconut meat between the layers and on top – finished it off. I will not change a thing the next time I bake this. Wow – thank you for sharing this recipe! It’s simply an awesome cake that looks just as beautiful sliced and plated. December 25, 2016 at 8:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the wonderful review Brenda! December 30, 2016 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Carolina: Hi! Is it ok if I don’t use the round parchment paper? Could I just butter the pan and dust with flour? December 29, 2016 at 9:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would probably recommend using foil and (greasing it) if you don’t use parchment, it just ensures that you can get the cake out without it sticking to the pan or falling apart. December 29, 2016 at 9:24pm Reply

  • Morgan: Note to Baking Newbies: This cake is Perfect and EASY to practice your frosting technique as the coconut flakes will hide any imperfections.
    I watched a couple of Martha videos as the cakes were cooling to get ready for the truly hard part of frosting, and creating a crumb coat was suggested. Basically what you will do is to brush the cake bottoms w/ a brush and then do a minor frosting job before putting it back in the fridge for 30 minutes. I ran out of time though and bypassed this step, opting to go straight to the Big Daddy Frosting Job.

    The trick of getting the crumbs out worked even though i didn’t have all the tools.
    You Don’t Need A Scraper or A Lazy Susan, You Just Need a Spatula to do the frosting.

    A final note on the frosting: Jaclyn’s suggestion for the baking sheet under the cake plate is great as it is easier to turn while you are frosting!!!!

    Seriously, you need to Promote this cake as a one that is Good for frosting Neophytes. It comes out looking Great if you don’t have the experience of an expert or even medium-skilled baker. January 1, 2017 at 10:37am Reply

  • Sandy: Just made this and it was delicious. I didn’t make it in 3 pans but a cake and a half size sheet cake pan. Worked fine. I also wasn’t as gentle mixing in the milk with the flour and gently folded egg whites in with my kitchen aid and finished with a wisk and still turned out great. The cake took about 35 minutes in the sheet pan and is so moist. I used another icing as just think cream cheese icing goes with carrot cake. But will definitely make this cake again February 17, 2017 at 6:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved it – thanks for commenting Sandy! February 27, 2017 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Gaby: Hi. I’m a newbie baker. I’ve only made cake out of the box mix, but want to try to make this. Reading the instructions I wasn’t clear on one thing. Does the flour go in the mixer and then I start mixing in the sugar, butter, etc.? Reading the instructions sounds like 2 different mixtures, but then it doesn’t tell me when to combine. Thanks! February 19, 2017 at 7:23pm Reply

  • Hajar Mokhtari: Hi,can this cake be covered by fondant ?
    Thank you March 25, 2017 at 7:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It’s a pretty fluffy/delicate cake but as long as it’s not a thick layer of fondant that should be fine. March 29, 2017 at 7:12pm Reply

  • Susanna: I want to make this cake, but first I have a few questions. Currently, I only have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, no hand mixer. My question is, can I make the cake batter, put it into a separate bowl, wash the Kitchen Aid bowl and beat the egg whites in it, and fold that into the cake batter? Will I be over-handling the batter or does that sound okay. Also I have no coconut extract and I don’t think I can get I where I live. April 4, 2017 at 9:56am Reply

  • Tammy: The Best coconut cake ever, even better the next day Big hit with the family April 8, 2017 at 8:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I love it too! Thanks Tammy! April 18, 2017 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Rhonda: I made this cake and I was very disappointed because as soon as i stuck a fork into it to make sure it was done, it deflated. I did bake a little loaf and the cake was really moist and good. I loved the icing! Next time I will try not to stick a fork I and trust it is done. Thanks for sharing! April 13, 2017 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Ursula: Hi Rhonda;When baking this cake,DON’T open the oven for the first 30 mins.
      Let the cake bake and after let’s say 50mins,you can check it if it’s already done.
      I bake such cakes for at least 60 mins and then check for doneness with a toothpick,but NOT with a fork.
      And be sure to put the ovenrack in the middle.Hope this helps

      Regards May 19, 2017 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Angela little: I am going to do this in a 12 inch cake tin which is aboutcompletely 3 inches deep will this be enough mixture ? X April 27, 2017 at 11:52am Reply

  • Liz: Omg this cake is truly the BEST COCONUT CAKE!!! Very moist and soft. I just made it for my mom’s bday and she said it was the best cake ever!! This will be my only go to recipe for coconut cake. The only different thing I did was to use vanilla buttercream frosting. May 19, 2017 at 5:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sounds amazing! Happiest of birthdays to your mom. :) May 25, 2017 at 11:28am Reply

  • Lauryn Hillman: I don’t have canned cocoanut milk and can’t find it. Is there any way that I can use carton milk or evaporated. June 1, 2017 at 11:18am Reply

  • Marta: I made this for my son’s birthday cake- it was wonderful! I used coconut oil instead of vegetable, and frosted it with French buttercream flavored with coconut extract. Yum. Now I’m thinking of making it with just vanilla flavor and no coconut, because I loved the texture so much! July 28, 2017 at 11:13pm Reply

  • YASMIN: I want to make two 12 inch cake would doubling the recipe be enough or should I triple it want to make two layer. August 1, 2017 at 7:28am Reply

  • Karla: Hiii! This coconut cake looks great, I’m dying to make it for my mom!!! I have a question? Can I sustitute Cake flour with AP flour ?? Thanks September 14, 2017 at 3:18pm Reply

  • Alexis Hannah: Instead of layering the tiers with frosting, would it be okay to make a raspberry filling? September 27, 2017 at 7:50am Reply

  • SOULA: Hi there, Going to make this for my sons birthday. Do you think adding shredded coconut to the batter. I wanted to add some more coconut favour but dont want to affect the cake texture…any suggestions?


    Soula October 12, 2017 at 7:51pm Reply

  • Rhonda: It is awesome! My daughter now wants that cake every time she visits! October 30, 2017 at 3:38pm Reply

  • Cindy Allwell: This is the absolutely best coconut cake recipe! November 17, 2017 at 5:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Cindy! November 21, 2017 at 11:39am Reply

  • Rob Lane: Hi Jaclyn. I’m going to attempt this cake for my wife’s 60th birthday on Monday 12/4/17. She has indicated she wants a coconut cake with rose flavoring. How do I accomplish that with your recipe? Thanks! December 1, 2017 at 8:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s so sweet of you :). I’d add some rosewater to the frosting. I haven’t made rosewater frosting myself but most recipes call for about 1 tsp. December 1, 2017 at 11:19am Reply

  • Gabrielle: I made this for Thanksgiving it was a huge hit. I didn’t even get a slice. Thanks for sharing December 3, 2017 at 5:25pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Glad it was enjoyed Gabrielle! December 4, 2017 at 11:54am Reply

  • peggy Henderson: this is a hit. I make it every christmas as per family requests. Super moist and tasty. December 12, 2017 at 11:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Peggy! December 12, 2017 at 12:03pm Reply

  • billie: This is an excellent white cake and made an great coconut cake. December 24, 2017 at 2:06am Reply

  • Caroline: Thanks for the recipe! I made this cake and it was very light with a nice coconut flavor. I personally cut down on the amount of sugar. The cake did end up a little dry and crumbly for me, though. I wonder if I overbaked it slightly? December 27, 2017 at 10:30pm Reply

  • Susan Austin: This is a very good recipe, an excellent coconut cake – light yet ever-so-slightly dense, the way a good homemade cake should be, and very moist. I did not make the icing but instead used my standard whipped cream icing with coconut, vanilla, and butter extracts in it because it’s lighter and (strictly personal preference) lets the flavor of the cake shine. But I like this cake better than any other I’ve made. Thanks for sharing. December 29, 2017 at 5:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Susan! January 3, 2018 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Luella Emswiler: I’ve made this cake several times in Virginia and it turned out perfect. Absolutely delicious! However, we spend our winters in Florida and whenever I make it down here the cake gets flat. Any ideas? January 23, 2018 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Linda M: Best coconut cake ever!!!! I have made it again and again. February 9, 2018 at 8:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it! February 12, 2018 at 10:08am Reply

  • Marisa Singer: Hi there – would you be able to adjust the proportions on your ingredient list for making this a two-layer cake rather than three? I don’t have three 9-inch pans but would love to make this for my dad’s birthday since coconut cake is his favorite!
    Thank you!
    Marisa February 13, 2018 at 9:55am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d go with these amounts

      2 cups cake flour (scoop and level)
      2 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp (heaped) salt
      1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
      1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
      2 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
      3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp well shaken canned coconut milk , at room temperature*
      2 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
      3/4 tsp coconut extract
      1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      2 large egg whites , at room temperature
      2 pinches cream of tartar February 19, 2018 at 12:09pm Reply

      • Marisa Singer: Thanks so much. I hadn’t heard back so I went ahead & made some cupcakes with the leftover batter. The cake & cupcakes we’re delicious. A total hit! February 19, 2018 at 12:26pm Reply

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