Photo: Raymond Hom; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 10 Mins
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 slice)

A little coconut flour (look for it with specialty flours) adds extra nutty essence. But don't get overzealous and use more than we specify; because this flour lacks the gluten of wheat-based cake flour, it would wreck the structure.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare filling, combine raspberries, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently until ­berries break down. Combine cornstarch and liqueur; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to raspberry mixture, stirring with a whisk; return to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until very thick, stirring constantly. Spoon mixture into a bowl; cover and refrigerate until needed.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 3

To prepare cake, coat 3 (8-inch) round metal cake pans with baking spray, and line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with baking spray; set prepared pans aside.

Step 4

Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Place 1 1/4 cups sugar, oil, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add coconut water; beat at low speed 1 minute or until combined. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed 1 minute or until well combined.

Step 5

Place 6 egg whites in a large, clean bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; beat 1 minute. Stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

Step 6

To prepare frosting, place 3 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form using clean, dry beaters. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. With mixer on low speed, pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream down the side of mixing bowl. Gradually increase speed to high; beat 3 minutes or until thick and cool.

Step 7

To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with half of filling (about 1 cup), leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with another cake layer, and spread with remaining filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Gently press coconut flakes into sides of cake.

Ratings & Reviews

kitten4's Review

April 14, 2014
I made this cake for Easter last year and it got such rave reviews that I made it on Easter again this year, much to the delight of my family. The frosting is so light and delicious - don't be deterred if it looks complicated - it's really not and it's totally worth it. The cake is light and flavorful, but the coconut flavor is very subtle. Warning - do not make this cake during humid months. I made it in July for a friend's birthday and although the cake was delicious, the frosting basically disintigrated.

JNBank's Review

March 11, 2014
The cake wasn't what I thought it would be. It was good but needed more covonut flavor for me. I couldn't find coconut flour. The icing lacked flavor also but whipped up nicely. The filling was wonderful.

LDombeck's Review

March 04, 2014
I loved this cake! I made it for my bday and will make again for sure! The toasted coconut really made the cake! The raspberry filling was super easy to make. Because I thought the frosting looked too complicated for me to make in the time I had, I bought the can of white fluffy frosting. Since that has so many more calories and fat than the recipe frosting, I did some tweaking to the cake. I used applesauce instead of canola oil, and splenda baking blend for the sugar in the cake. I use Pure Via baking for the sugar in the filling. The cake was a little less fluffy b/c of my sub. So, in the future I will plan more time to make the frosting instead of buying, and making the cake as written. That said, I still loved it!!

grfried's Review

January 20, 2014
I made this for my sister's birthday. I only made 2 layers and probably could have halved the filling because I had a lot left over. I also bought the icing (white) instead of making it. It came out really good! My sister said she wouldn't want it every birthday but maybe every other! I wasn't able to get the coconut flour at my store so I do wonder how much of a difference that made.

nikkiesa4's Review

February 09, 2013

BSneed444's Review

December 26, 2012
I made this cake for my mother-in-law and you'll absolutely love it if you appreciate a light and moist cake.

GillianWillis's Review

December 26, 2012
Made this cake for Christmas. Wanted a festive cake that could actually be eaten after a big dinner. This was a perfect alternative to some 1,000 calorie/slice cakes I found similar recipes for. It was quite flavorful and relatively easy to make - especially since I cheated a little and used canned fluffy white frosting. As noted, the coconut flour is just enough to give some flavor without that being the dominant flavor. Will definitely make again.

sajarche's Review

December 20, 2012
This cake is wonderful. I had my doubts about the cake before I baked it because the batter became very very thick and started to seem chunky-I almost threw it out it looked so awful...but I went ahead and baked it and was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I didnt have coconut water so I used lite coconut milk instead and I didnt want a 3 layer cake so I made the cake in 2- 9 inch pans and used the leftover batter to make several muffins in a jumbo muffin pan. I cant speak on the icing or filling yet as I have only tasted the cakes but Im sure the cakes would be great with any icing you wanted to use. I plan to make my filling with blackberries instead.