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

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Coconut Cake

4.8 from 24 votes

This delicious coconut cake is perfect for any birthday or party celebration!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birthday cake, coconut cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 913 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • 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 vegetable oil or 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
  13. 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.
  14. Chill as needed if frosting seems runny (slightly runny is fine, once you get it frosted the coconut will help it stay in place).
  15. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Coconut Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 913 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 74%
Saturated Fat 33g 165%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 254mg 11%
Potassium 317mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 114g 38%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 89g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 22.6%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 9.3%
Iron 7.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Gwyn: I mistakenly used a whole can of coconut milk and it was still a beautiful and delicious cake. I used shaved coconut and it turned out wonderful. Rave reviews! Thank you! November 17, 2018 at 7:57pm Reply

  • Sandra: I understand it’s only 2 yolks. The remaining whites are left to complete the 6 whites required for meringue which will be folded into the mixture. October 29, 2018 at 9:18am Reply

  • April Chandler: I haven’t baked a cake from scratch in YEARS! Soooo I’m confused. When adding the egg yolks one at a time, am I only adding 2 yolks? Or 6? I’m thinking 2 but don’t want to mess this cake up!! Help:) September 25, 2018 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes only 2 yolks total for this recipe. Hope you love it! September 25, 2018 at 4:34pm Reply

  • Christine: This has been a go to recipe for me for a couple years now and I appreciate you so much for it!! It is the moistest cake ever!!! I ice the cake in a coconut Italian Meringue Buttercream and toast coconut flakes to put on the outside…so tasty! Thank you again for sharing :) August 29, 2018 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed! Thanks for commenting Christine! September 6, 2018 at 11:01am Reply

  • Heather Walton: This cake has the most delicate and dreamy texture. Scratch cakes can be difficult but this one has the perfect crumb. And the coconut flavor is spot on-subtle and summery. July 14, 2018 at 7:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback! Glad you enjoyed the recipe! July 16, 2018 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Kesha: I made this cake last week and it was amazing! Made exactly as instructed except I baked in a 9 x 13 pan and adjusted time as needed. Everyone LOVED this cake, there was nothing left and I am making it again this weekend for another family event! The cake itself had a wonderful taste to it and was very soft and moist. The icing was light and airy and the perfect amount of sweetness. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe! It will now be one of my go to desserts ???? July 5, 2018 at 9:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! Thanks for commenting! July 6, 2018 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Bree: I did make this. It was amazingly moist. Perfect. July 2, 2018 at 7:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for letting me know! July 3, 2018 at 10:29am Reply

  • Patricia: This is my go to coconut cake. I’ve made this cake numerous times and every time it comes out perfect. Today, I tried something a little different by adding marshmallow cream to the icing. Not sure if i like that change, the marshmallow has a chemical taste. Don’t know why I played with perfection, cake is still very good. June 25, 2018 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed! Thanks for commenting! June 29, 2018 at 11:40am Reply

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