Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

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This 3 layer coconut cake is for coconut lovers! It’s super moist with a soft fluffy crumb and has an intense coconut flavour all over! It also makes a show stopping dessert!


Units Scale


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 Tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line three, nine-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and butter/grease the sides. To line the cake pans, using a pencil trace the bottoms of the pan on parchment paper, cut out, and face the pencil side down in the cake pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg whites and continue to mix until well incorporated. Add sour cream and coconut extract and mix together until incorporated, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. 
  4. Next, alternate coconut milk and dry ingredients into your butter mixture in 2 additions just until incorporated.
  5. Using a spatula mix coconut into the batter.
  6. Divide batter equally into your prepared cake pans.
  7. Place all pans in the oven (on the same rack) and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pans after 15 minutes and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick or a cake tester comes out clean. Note: the cake will be very light in colour, so make sure not to overbake.
  8. Let cakes cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then place in the freezer (right in the pans).
  9. Meanwhile, toast your coconut in a large pan on the stovetop for approx. 5 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and place into a bowl to cool.
  10. Make your icing. In a bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment add icing sugar and butter together, mix on low. Slowly add coconut milk. Raise the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract. Note: add more butter for a creamier icing with less sweetness.
  11. Toast your coconut. In a large saucepan on medium to low heat, add coconut and toast, stirring occasionally until light brown. Remove from the heat, place the coconut in a bowl to cool and set aside.
  12. Build your cake. Take cakes out of the freezer and remove them from cake pans (and parchment paper on the bottoms). Dust any crumbs off the cakes.
  13. Build your cake on a cake board or right on your cake stand. Place a dollop of icing in the middle of the board/cake stand. This is to keep your cake in place. Add your first cake layer. Next, add a heaping amount of icing and spread out over the cake, letting the icing fall over the sides.
  14. Add your second layer and ice, letting the icing fall off the sides again. Add your third layer and add icing, again letting the icing fall off the sides.
  15. Ice the sides of the cake, making sure the icing is even and thick enough to press the coconut into the sides.
  16. Fill your palm with a handful of toasted coconut and add to the top of the cake and edges, lightly press in. Using your palm again fill with more coconut and lightly press coconut around the edges of the cake.
  17. Enjoy on its own or with ice cream.


Shake the coconut can before using.

The cake will last 3-4 days. Cover the cake with a cake lid and store at room temperature, or in the refrigerator during hotter weather.

See blog notes for tips and tricks on how to build a layered cake.


Let me know what you think of this recipe!x
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