James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is an irresistible dessert. Cut yourself an extra large slice and enjoy a night off.

Sunset JUNE 2003

  • Yield: Makes 12 to 16 servings


  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, softened (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded dried coconut, plus additional for garnish
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon light rum


1. In a bowl, with a mixer on medium-high speed (use the paddle attachment if using a standing mixer), beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until fluffy and pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, then yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir (or beat at low speed) about a third of the flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in half the milk just until blended. Stir in another third of the flour mixture, then remaining milk, followed by remaining flour. Fold in 1 1/2 cups coconut. Scrape batter equally into two buttered and floured 9-inch round cake pans and spread level.

3. Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on racks in pans for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks and remove pans. Cool completely before frosting.

4. For frosting, in a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat whipping cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form; fold in rum. Split the layers of the coconut butter cake, making four; spread each of the first three with about 3/4 cup of the whipped cream. Frost cake with remaining whipped cream, then sprinkle top and sides generously with additional dried coconut. Chill at least 1 hour.


Note: Soften the butter briefly in a warm place in the kitchen or in a microwave oven until very soft but not melted.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 505
  • Calories from fat: 57%
  • Protein: 6.1g
  • Fat: 32g
  • Saturated fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrate: 50g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 296mg
  • Cholesterol: 164mg

Go to Full Version of

Coconut Cake Recipe