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Incredible Coconut Cake Recipe
Incredible Coconut Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Incredible Coconut Cake Recipe

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I found this recipe in a newspaper many years ago and modified it to suit my taste. This is my all-time favorite cake, and my family and friends absolutely love it. —Lynne Bassler, Indiana, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 25 min. + chilling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flaked coconut, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 2 cups flaked coconut, toasted

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 689 calories, 37 g fat (21 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 353 mg sodium, 85 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.


  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°. In another large bowl, beat sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in coconut.
  4. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites.
  5. Transfer to three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and extract; beat until smooth.
  7. Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Incredible Coconut Cake in Taste of Home April/May 2011, p42

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 689 calories, 37 g fat (21 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 353 mg sodium, 85 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Reviews for Incredible Coconut Cake

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Reviewed Jan. 14, 2015

"Honestly, I just LOVE this cake. Made it for my husband, who loves coconut, for Christmas. Preparation has quite a few steps (I made 1-2 missteps, but nothing serious). Even only had 2 cake pans, which I had to rush out to purchase on Christmas Eve, but the cake still came out perfect! The batter was creamy, moist and very flavorful. I did not use as much coconut, and added what I did use into the frosting mix - no toasting. Also used Parchment paper in the pans rather than flour/oil - no clean up!

Had to freeze a piece to save for my 82 year old mother who is out-of-state. Coconut cake is one of her loves, and I'm sure she hasn't made one in more than 40 years!
I have shared this recipe with 2 friends and my sister.
Will be making another one for my birthday in a couple of weeks -1/20. Can't wait!!! :)"

Reviewed Dec. 13, 2014

"This is a lovely cake and I got lots of compliments, but there were some changes that I had to make, too. 1C sugar in the batter was plenty! I also put 1/4C sugar in the egg whites to make stiffer peaks without having to worry about overbeating. The flour needed to be increased by 1/2C because my batter "broke" during mixing (I always sift cake flour before measuring). Used 1C chopped sweetened coconut in the batter. The cake baked up a little dry. I will try 350d next time and start checking it sooner. The frosting was too thin, so I used a total of 6 1/2C of sifted confectioner's sugar and had frosting left over. I think every cook will have a different experience."

Reviewed Nov. 22, 2014

"This cake truly lives up to its name. I made it for my daughter's birthday party. She truly loved it. Every year she asks me to bake her a coconut cake and this is the best I've made for her. No more searching for a cake. The only change I made was to cut the sugar down in the batter to 1 cup."

Reviewed Aug. 16, 2014

"This is absolutely a 5-star cake. I didn't use as much sugar as it called for. I followed the recipe except for the sugar and it turned out moist and dense and not crumbly. I made it for an office party and used the new 'better-tasting' vanilla fondant. It turned out just how I have made this cake in the past. This is better than the coconut cake we made in culinary school!"

Reviewed May. 20, 2014

"I made this cake for my Grams 92nd Birthday. She said it tasted just like the one her mother used to make, delicious. Everyone loved it and I can't wait to make it again. After reading the reviews about the cake being crumbly I put the flaked coconut through the food processer which made it very fine. I did not put the coconut between the layers. The cake came out perfect!"

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