Easy Coconut Cake Recipe

That is just about all I have heard for the past couple of months when I asked Greg what I should bake. I know how much he loves his mom’s coconut cake, and I knew it was only a matter of time until I had to make one for the boy too. Normally when I see a recipe that I don’t have a few ingredients for already, it slips lower and lower on my list of things to make. And I’m not talking about needing chicken or flour. I’m talking about the lesser used ingredients like coconut milk, coconut extract and cream. 
Well, I gave in.

easy coconut cake

I actually think this is the first cake I have ever baked completely from scratch. Not including cupcakes obviously! After baking the cake batter evenly in two 9-inch round pans, you have to cut across the top of one half to even it out for layering. Of course I was not about to let that rounded top go to waste. So Greg and I got a sneak preview of what was in store for the final product. As much as I LOVE frosting, this cake doesn’t even need it. The cake itself was the star of the show. I just about ate the entire “top” of one of the cakes in a matter of minutes.
But I didn’t. Aren’t you proud of me?

easy coconut cake recipe

I was only saving it for later. 

easy coconut cream cake

The second dinner was over, we dug into that cake like it was our last day on earth. 
It’s not pictured here, but we topped our slices off with some chopped pecans straight off the tree! We had gone on a walk before dinner and carried some of the nuts home with us. It was all Greg’s idea and I was pleasantly surprised with the look and taste of the pecans sprinkled on top. Something I will definitely remember for the future. 
easy coconut cake recipe

Easy Coconut Cake Recipe

(Cake adapted from the Food Network’s Alton Brown)
Makes 10-12 servings


For the cake:
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup half and half (I used fat free)
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
4 egg whites
1 cup shredded coconut, for topping
For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 egg whites
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a small bowl, stir together coconut milk and half and half.
4. In the bowl of a stand alone mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and continue to mix until light and fluffy. Add coconut extract and mix for an addition minute.
5. Turn the mixer on low speed and gradually add the flour mixture alternately with the milk mixture until just combined.
6. In a separate medium bowl, add egg whites. Beat with hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold this mixture into the batter.
7. Pour batter into the two cake pans evenly. 
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cake becomes a golden color and separates from edges of pan.
9. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. To allow for easy layering, lay butcher’s knife flat on it’s side on the top of one of the cakes. Slice straight across the top to remove the rounded top. 
10. Continue to allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. 
For the frosting:
1. Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, egg whites and water in the top bowl of a double broiler. Place over boiling water and beat with hand mixer for about five minutes on medium speed.
2. Add vanilla and coconut extract and beat another minute until completely combined.
3. Remove from heat and let cool 5-10 minutes before spreading onto cake.

Leave a Comment