• Gabriela

Coconut Cake

Updated: Mar 30

Delicate and sweet! This cake is light and really helped me expand to different types of cakes.



Make the Cake

I first want to start by saying I found this cake recipe on Pinterest. I find majority of my cakes there. This cake was a new experience for me to make because I had never folded in my egg whites before to a batter. But even with that, the recipe call for ingredients in ounces and I only have cups, teaspoon, and tablespoons. However, I did my best to convert. I will list out the conversions for you because it was an extra task to have to do this

  • 11 oz flour = 1.375 cup

  • 14 oz granulated sugar = 1 3/4 cup

  • 6 oz coconut flakes = 3/4 cup

  • 1 oz coconut flakes = 0.125 cup

  • 4 oz butter = 1/2 cup/ 1 stick

  • 8 oz butter = 1 cup/ 2 Sticks (for frosting)

  • 36 oz powdered sugar = 4 1/2 cups (for the Frosting)


Now with that underway let's begin!


Start by preheating the oven at 350°F. Spray your cake pans with baking spray. I use two 9" Williams Sonoma Gold Touch cake pans and bakers Joy spay with flour. This recipe calls for three 8" cake pans, but two 9" works just as well.


Toast Your Coconut!

Don't trust timers, check your bakes frequently.

I had never toasted coconut before, and it is a little tricky. Spread the 3/4 c (6 oz) sweetened coconut flakes on a baking sheet. I put parchment paper down first as i wasn't sure if the flakes would stick to the pan or not. This is not necessary but doesn't do any harm.


Bake for 2-3 minutes take out and stir. bakes for 2.5 minutes and i didn't think it looked browned at all. The next instructions say bake for 1-2 more minutes. I put it back in for 2 minutes and this was my result....

Luckily, had a lot of left over coconut! Time to start again. This time, I cooked for 2.5 minutes, stirred and cooked for 1 minute again. They weren't my desired brown so i put it back in for 20 more seconds and they were much better.


I could have done a little bit longer, but so much can change in just seconds, I didn't want to risk it! Now that your coconut is toasted, time to start on the batter.


I went ahead and got all my ingredients separated in their bowls. This helps so you can quickly add your ingredients and not have to take time to measure out what comes next.

Bowl 1: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine

Bowl 2: buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and coconut extract. Whisk.

Bowl 3: egg whites

Bowl 4: egg yolks


Make a meringue with your egg whites. With the whisk attachment, whisk your egg whites in a mixing bowl. Add your cream of tartar and beat until you have soft peaks. Make sure not to over beat your egg whites. Set aside, these will be added to your batter later. Meringue egg whites will help make your cake fluffy and delicate.


Clean your mixing bowl and get started on your batter. With the paddle attachment on low, beat your softened butter for approximately 30 seconds. add your sugar and beat until light and fluffy for 5-7 minutes. The butter and sugar mixture should lighten in color to almost white.


Next add your egg yolks one at a time. Beating each well before adding the next.


Continue with kitchen-aid speed on low. Add 1/3 of your dry ingredients to the batter. Followed immediately by 1/3 of your wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, and extracts). Repeat until all your wet and dry ingredients are added – mixing until combined between each addition every time.


Add your meringue. I added 1/3 of the meringue and folded it into the batter. Do this until all the meringue is fully incorporated. Do the same for your toasted coconut.


Once your batter is ready, divide evenly between your pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.

As always I like to set my timer 5 minutes before the lowest time in the range – 20 minutes. I check the readiness of the cakes with a toothpick. If not ready, bake at additional 5 minute increments.


let your cakes cool fully before you start to decorate. While your cakes cool, I clean all the mess I made and then begin to make my frosting.


Make the Frosting

My first step is to sift the powdered sugar. I do this before making any frosting and highly recommend. However this is not a required step, it just helps get out any lumps in the sugar. Sifting is a pain and my least favorite thing to do, but it does help.


You can use this sifter above or a hand crank sifter – so much easier, but I don't have one. Set aside your sifted powdered sugar.


Cut your room temperature cream cheese into cubes and set aside.


In your mixing bowl, with your whisk attachment, beat your butter on low until smooth. My butter was very soft and this didn't take long. Once your butter is smooth and creamy, add your cream cheese cubes and continue to beat until smooth.


Add your sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Fully mix well in between each cup and scrape the sides of the bowl to get all your ingredients combined.


Next, add the coconut extract and kosher salt. Salt is a great addition to your frosting. The saltiness helps balance the sweetness fo the sugar and really brings the frosting together. Mix until fully combined and cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. (I only did about 1 hour – as soon as my cakes your fully cooled.


For decorating, read how I built the layer cake and decorated in this post.


Get This Recipe

What to make your own Coconut cake, go here for the full recipe and steps. Good luck!

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