Delicious Coconut Cake Recipe: Easy to Bake at Home

Who doesn’t love a slice of moist, flavorful cake? Coconut cake is a timeless classic that brings a tropical twist to the traditional cake.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just craving something sweet, this easy-to-bake coconut cake is sure to impress.

Let’s dive into the world of coconut cake, exploring its ingredients, steps, and tips for baking perfection.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Essential Ingredients for the Cake

To make a scrumptious coconut cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Coconut Elements

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Ingredients for the Frosting

A delicious coconut cake wouldn’t be complete without a rich, creamy frosting:

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (for topping)

Preparing to Bake

Pre-Baking Tips

Before you start baking, there are a few things to prepare to ensure a smooth process:

Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures the oven is at the right temperature when you’re ready to bake.

Prepare the Pans

Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. You can also line the bottoms with parchment paper for easier removal.

Measure Your Ingredients

Accurate measurement of ingredients is crucial for baking. Use measuring cups and spoons for precision.

Making the Cake Batter

Mixing Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Creaming the Butter and Sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Adding Eggs and Extracts

Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts.

Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the coconut milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined.

Folding in Sour Cream and Coconut

Gently fold in the sour cream and shredded coconut until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Baking the Cake

Pouring the Batter

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula.

Baking Time

Place the pans in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Cooling the Cakes

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Preparing the Frosting

Creaming the Butter

In a large bowl, beat the softened butter until creamy.

Adding Sugar and Coconut Milk

Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract, and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Assembling the Cake

Leveling the Cakes

If needed, use a serrated knife to level the tops of the cakes so they are flat and even.

Frosting the Layers

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a generous amount of frosting over the top. Place the second layer on top, and frost the top and sides of the cake.

Adding Coconut Topping

Gently press the shredded coconut into the frosting on the top and sides of the cake. This adds a delightful texture and enhances the coconut flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Presentation Tips

For an extra touch of elegance, decorate the top of the cake with toasted coconut flakes or edible flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Serve your coconut cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an indulgent treat. A cup of hot coffee or tea pairs wonderfully with a slice of this cake.

Storage and Leftovers

Storing the Cake

Store the coconut cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

If you prefer, you can refrigerate the cake, but bring it to room temperature before serving to enjoy its full flavor.

Freezing Tips

If you have leftovers, you can freeze the cake.

Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Dry Cake

If your cake turns out dry, it might be overbaked. Check your oven’s temperature accuracy and reduce baking time slightly if necessary.

Dense Texture

A dense cake can result from overmixing the batter. Mix just until the ingredients are combined to avoid this issue.

Uneven Layers

If your cake layers bake unevenly, ensure your oven rack is level and rotate the pans halfway through baking.

Variations to Try

Lemon Coconut Cake

Add some lemon zest and juice to the batter and frosting for a refreshing twist.

Pineapple Coconut Cake

Fold crushed pineapple into the batter and top the frosting with pineapple chunks for a tropical flavor.

Chocolate Coconut Cake

Incorporate cocoa powder into the batter and use chocolate frosting for a decadent treat.

Conclusion: A Slice of Paradise

Baking a coconut cake at home is not only easy but also incredibly rewarding.

With its moist texture and rich coconut flavor, this cake is sure to become a favorite in your household.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just indulging in a sweet treat, this coconut cake brings a taste of the tropics to your table.

So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to bake a cake that’s sure to impress and delight.


1. Can I use coconut oil instead of butter?

  • Yes, you can substitute coconut oil for butter in the cake batter for a more pronounced coconut flavor. Use the same amount as the butter called for in the recipe.

2. Is it necessary to use both vanilla and coconut extracts?

  • While you can use only one extract, using both vanilla and coconut extracts enhances the overall flavor of the cake, making it more delicious.

3. Can I make this cake gluten-free?

  • Absolutely! Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend that includes xanthan gum for structure.

4. How can I make the frosting less sweet?

  • You can reduce the powdered sugar in the frosting by adding a bit more coconut milk to achieve the desired consistency without making it overly sweet.

5. What if I don’t have coconut milk?

  • You can substitute coconut milk with regular milk or almond milk. However, using coconut milk enhances the cake’s coconut flavor, making it more authentic.

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