Fresh Coconut Layer Cake Recipe

Fresh coconut layer cake

The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 50 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cake (16 servings)

This is a delicious and moist fresh coconut cake with fluffy frosting. Make this cake as a special dessert for Easter, Christmas, or other special dinner or family gathering.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or regular whole fat milk, or a combination of coconut milk and regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (or pastry flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the Fluffy Coconut Frosting
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh coconut (grated)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this coconut cake dessert is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cake
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans; line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper and sides of the pans; set aside. Heat oven to 350 F.

    Fresh coconut layer cake
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Heat the coconut milk with 1/2 cup coconut and the 1 teaspoon vanilla until hot.

    Heat coconut milk
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Put in blender and process until coconut is finely chopped. Set aside.

    Put in blender
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Sift the cake flour into a bowl with the baking powder and salt; set aside.

    Soft the cake flour
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  6. In a bowl of electric mixer, beat butter until light and creamy.

    Beat butter
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  7. Gradually add the 1 1/2 cups sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, scraping the bowl and beating for about a minute after each addition.

    Add sugar
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  8. Add the 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping sides of the bowl frequently.

    Add eggs
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  9. Slowly, add about one-third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, along with half of the milk/coconut/vanilla mixture. Beat on low speed until blended.

    Mix
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  10. Scrape the bowl and repeat with another one-third of the dry mixture and the remaining milk mixture.

    Scrape sides
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  11. Scrape the bowl and repeat with remaining flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and continue beating on low speed for a few seconds.

    Scrape bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  12. Spoon batter into the two baking pans, spreading evenly.

    Spoon batter
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  13. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until browned and sides pull away from the sides of the pans.

    Baked cake
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  14. Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes.

    Cool
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  15. Invert onto racks which have been sprayed with a little nonstick coating to cool completely.

    Invert onto racks
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Bring the 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil; cover and cook without stirring for 1 minute.

    Pot
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Uncover and boil, stirring frequently until mixture is hot enough to spin a thread when a little is dropped from a spoon, or to about 230 F. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Boil
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. In the bowl of electric mixer -- with whisk attachment if available -- beat the eggs until fluffy and soft peaks form when you lift the beaters or whisk.

    Beat eggs
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Still beating on high speed, gradually add the sugar syrup in a thin stream. Continue beating until the frosting is fluffy and holds peaks.

    Beat
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Assemble the Cake

  1. Invert one of the cakes onto a serving plate.

    Cake on plate
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. Frost top and sides with frosting.

    Frost top
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  3. Place the second layer atop the first and frost the top and sides liberally.

    Frost top
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Sprinkle the freshly grated coconut over the top of the cake and toss coconut gently onto the sides.

    Sprinkle coconut
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  5. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

    Serve
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Recipe Variations