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
Test Kitchen Approved
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

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Reviewed May. 13, 2016

"I made this for the first time this year for Easter and it was a big hit. Even people who were not huge coconut fans loved it! It is time consuming but so worth it. The egg whites make it so light and the toasted coconut is the perfect addition. This is my new favorite cake."

Reviewed Mar. 14, 2016

"Two nights ago my sister asked me to make her favorite cake (coconut) for her. I hadn't made a coconut cake in a long time so I looked for a new recipe and find this one. I have to say that this is one of the best tasting coconut cakes I have made. The cake was moist and tasted great. I did not use cream cheese frosting so I made buttercream frosting. My sister and the rest of my family really enjoyed the cake. I give the cake 5 stars. I am adding this recipe to my collection of recipes."

Reviewed Jan. 25, 2016

"I made the cake according to directions and I didn't like the cake. I found the texture too much like a Little Debbie lunch cake. I didn't like the flavor of cream cheese used as a frosting for a coconut cake. I didn't like all the different extracts used. The different flavors of extract made a very confusing taste for the cake. I gave a 3 star review because, the cake was very pretty. I know many cooks gave the cake 5 stars, maybe for me it was just a matter of my taste?"

Reviewed Jan. 24, 2016

"Like others, I only used 1 cup sugar in the cake batter and I did not add the extra coconut between the layers. It turned out wonderful!!! Rave reviews about how fluffy and delicious it was! My sister-in-law (who is not a coconut fan) even tried a little piece and liked it! I used a separate frosting recipe."

Reviewed Aug. 30, 2015

"I took this cake to a family gathering and everyone raved about it. The cake turned out absolutely beautiful and delicious. The only change I made was to add 1 cup of sour cream instead of buttermilk. The cake turned out moist with coconut flavor throughout. Thanks for sharing this recipe!"

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