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Coconut Layer Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling


16 servings

"This dessert is my specialty - it's great for wedding or baby showers," offers Marilyn Dick, a field editor from Centralia, Missouri.


  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • Pecan halves


  1. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottoms of 2 greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper.
  2. Cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in coconut and chopped pecans.
  3. With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold gently into batter. Transfer to prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  5. For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Top with coconut and pecan halves. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 571 calories, 28g fat (15g saturated fat), 96mg cholesterol, 239mg sodium, 75g carbohydrate (62g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • corry05
    May 30, 2020

    What a find! Delicious cake!!! Highlight of my pandemic birthday celebration. First coconut cake I’ve made with coconut in the batter. Will not be my last. Definitely destined to be my go to coconut cake. Made cake recipe as written, but omitted the pecans. Made a buttercream frosting because that’s what I prefer. Covered the cake in coconut ??

  • prettymama
    Feb 21, 2013

    Delicious and very moist. I used coconut extract. I will definitely make this cake again.

  • xicota
    Aug 19, 2010

    I had been looking for a good coconut cake recipe, and thought I'd try this one. I used all butter, as I do not use shortening in cooking. I omitted the pecans, as I thought the coconut was texture enough. I also used a butter cream frosting instead of the cream cheese. I covered the frosting with coconut as well. The cake looked beautiful, and was very rich. I will definitely make this again!

  • mizchancellor
    Nov 14, 2009

    this was my first "from scratch" cake i have ever made, an it was "out of this world" my family as well as my neighbors loved it!!

  • beep5491
    Jun 1, 2009

    I made this cake for my mom's birthday (minus the pecans). It was so easy and absolutely delicious! Everyone LOVED it! I added homemade lemon filling in between the layers instead of icing and that just added to the yumminess of the cake. Awsome recipe!

  • soapdance
    Jan 19, 2009

    One of my favorite recipes! This cake is super-moist and very flavorful. Works great in a 9 x 13 pan too!

  • Chavel
    Dec 18, 2008

    This cake is also known as Italian Cream Cake