Becky Luigart-Stayner
16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

This coconut cake recipe is one of our readers' all-time favorites. The frosting is also popular for several other cupcake and cake flavors like carrot, spice and basic white. Garnish the cake plate with sugar-frosted cranberries and rosemary sprigs.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Lightly coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust pans with 1 tablespoon flour.

Step 3

Lightly spoon 2 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place 2 cups sugar and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until well blended. Add egg substitute and eggs to sugar mixture; beat well. Add flour mixture and coconut milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon extract.

Step 4

Spoon batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on countertop to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks; remove from pans. Remove wax paper; discard. Cool cakes on wire racks.

Step 5

To prepare frosting, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, without stirring, or until a candy thermometer registers 250°. Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; using clean, dry beaters, beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; continue beating until egg white mixture cools (about 12 minutes).

Step 6

Beat 1/4 cup butter until light and fluffy; stir in 1/4 teaspoon extract, if desired. Fold in 1 cup egg white mixture. Fold butter mixture into remaining egg white mixture, stirring until smooth.

Step 7

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat twice with cake layers and 1 cup frosting, ending with cake layer; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Chill until set.

Ratings & Reviews

TerriW's Review

April 20, 2014

Avivale's Review

May 26, 2012
This is a review for the buttercream only... Yes I got it to work and it's excellent, a little marshmallow-y from the meringue. The key phrase in the instructions is to cook the sugar "...until a candy thermometer registers 250°". At that point it has darkened and is nearly caramel. Quickly take it off the stove and pour it-- slowly-- into the egg whites which you have beaten till soft peaks (yes, do that first). Then just keep mixing and you end up with nice fluffy, lower-fat icing!

dmarquez's Review

January 02, 2012
Cake turned out well, but I agree--icing was a disaster. The hot sugar syrup cooked some of the egg white and the frosting never got thick. I tried it a second time, but same result. I was out of time, so just used what I had as a glaze. Tasted okay, but looked nothing like the picture. If I ever make again, will use another frosting recipe.

DeputyDog's Review

May 07, 2011
Made this cake for Mothers Day, the comments from the guests were worst cake ever, will never make again, it was dry...

dask109's Review

January 30, 2011
This is the best cake I have ever tasted. The cake was buttery, and the icing was fluffy and perfectly sweet. The recipe was easy to follow. The only change I made was regarding the light coconut milk. My store doesn't stock the light version so I used 2/4 coconut milk and 1/4 cup coconut water. The icing was thinner than the butter cream icing I normally use to frost cakes. However it covered the cake well and stayed put.

LindaKBC's Review

March 28, 2010
Made this for a birthday celebration thinking it would be a beautiful spring vision. The cake is delicious, just sweet enough. I added coconut extract in place of the butter but it seems to work. The cake has a very nice texture. I gave it only 2 stars because the frosting was a disaster. It never really obtained the stiff peaks and then got thinner and less fluffy as the recipe progressed. I did frost the cake with it because the taste was wonderful and I was on a deadline. Lots of toasted coconut later it didn't look too bad. I would like to try it again once I research what can be done to get the eggwhites a different consistency.

amywoo's Review

January 28, 2009
this was my first big baking project and it turned out perfect! i actually ended up doing 2 layers instead of 3. it was exactley like the picture only shorter, and very tastey!