Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream

Coconut Cake
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If you’re a fan of rich, tropical flavors, then Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream is a dessert you absolutely must try. This delectable cake combines the delicate taste of coconut with a luscious buttercream frosting, making it perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or simply indulging your sweet tooth, this Coconut Cake is sure to impress.

Origin and History

Coconut Cake has a storied history that dates back centuries. The use of coconut in cooking can be traced to Southeast Asia, where coconut trees are abundant. However, the specific origin of Coconut Cake as we know it today is likely rooted in the American South. During the 19th century, recipes for cakes using coconut began to appear in Southern cookbooks. These cakes quickly became popular due to the unique, exotic flavor of coconut, which was a novel ingredient at the time.

Coconut Cake

What Country is Coconut Cake From?

While Coconut Cake has become a beloved dessert worldwide, its roots are firmly planted in the United States. Southern bakers were among the first to incorporate coconut into their cakes, creating the classic Coconut Cake recipes we cherish today. The American South remains synonymous with this delightful dessert, known for its layers of moist cake and creamy frosting.

How to Stick Coconut to a Cake?

One of the defining features of Coconut Cake is its beautiful, snowy coating of shredded coconut. To ensure the coconut sticks to your cake:

  • Frost the Cake Generously: Apply a thick layer of coconut buttercream to the entire cake. This gives the shredded coconut something to adhere to.
  • Use Fresh Coconut: Freshly grated coconut tends to be moister and sticks better than dried.
  • Press Gently: After sprinkling the coconut over the cake, gently press it with your hands to secure it.
  • Rotate the Cake: As you press the coconut, rotate the cake to ensure even coverage.

Why is My Coconut Cake Dry?

A dry Coconut Cake can be disappointing, but several factors could be at play:

  • Overbaking: The most common reason is overbaking. Check your cake a few minutes before the recommended baking time.
  • Incorrect Measurements: Baking is a science, so ensure you measure your ingredients accurately.
  • Insufficient Moisture: Ingredients like sour cream, buttermilk, or even coconut milk can add extra moisture to your batter.
  • Improper Storage: If the cake is not stored properly, it can dry out. Keep it in an airtight container or wrap it well in plastic wrap.

Is Coconut Sugar Good in Cake?

Coconut sugar is a popular alternative to regular sugar and can be used in Coconut Cake recipes. It has a lower glycemic index, making it a healthier option. However, it also has a distinct caramel-like flavor that can alter the taste of the cake. Use it as a substitute for white or brown sugar, but be prepared for a slight difference in flavor and color.

Can You Leave Coconut Cake Out Overnight?

Leaving Coconut Cake out overnight is generally not recommended, especially if it contains a buttercream frosting. The frosting can spoil, and the cake can dry out. If you must leave it out, ensure it’s in a cool, dry place and covered well to protect it from air exposure. Ideally, store the cake in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before serving.

How many types of Coconut Cake?

Coconut cake comes in various types, each offering a unique twist on the classic dessert. Here are some popular types of coconut cake:

  • Classic Coconut Cake: A traditional layered cake with coconut-flavored sponge and a creamy coconut frosting, often topped with shredded coconut.
  • Coconut Cream Cake: This cake is made with a rich coconut cream filling between the layers and frosted with a coconut-flavored buttercream or whipped cream.
  • Coconut Poke Cake: A sheet cake that is poked with holes after baking, then soaked with a mixture of coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk, making it exceptionally moist.
  • Coconut Pineapple Cake: Combining the flavors of coconut and pineapple, this cake often includes pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple in the batter and is topped with a coconut-pineapple frosting.
  • Coconut Lemon Cake: A zesty variation that includes lemon zest or lemon juice in the cake batter and frosting, offering a refreshing citrusy twist.
  • Coconut Carrot Cake: A fusion of traditional carrot cake with coconut, incorporating shredded coconut into the batter and often topped with a coconut-cream cheese frosting.
  • Coconut Bundt Cake: Baked in a Bundt pan, this cake is usually dense and moist, with a coconut glaze or icing drizzled on top.
  • Coconut Rum Cake: Infused with rum, this cake has a tropical flair, often soaked with a rum syrup and topped with coconut frosting or glaze.
  • Vegan Coconut Cake: Made without dairy or eggs, using coconut milk and oil, and often featuring a coconut-based frosting suitable for vegan diets.
  • Gluten-Free Coconut Cake: Made with gluten-free flour alternatives, ensuring those with gluten sensitivities can enjoy a delicious coconut-flavored treat.
Type of Coconut CakeDescriptionKey Features
Classic Coconut Cake
Traditional layered cake with coconut-flavored sponge and creamy coconut frosting.Shredded coconut topping
Coconut Cream Cake
Rich coconut cream filling between layers, frosted with coconut buttercream or whipped cream.Creamy texture, indulgent flavor
Coconut Poke Cake
Sheet cake soaked with coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk.Exceptionally moist
Coconut Pineapple Cake
Cake with pineapple chunks/crushed pineapple, topped with coconut-pineapple frosting.Tropical flavor combination
Coconut Lemon Cake
Cake with lemon zest/juice in batter and frosting for a citrusy twist.Refreshing and zesty
Coconut Carrot Cake
Carrot cake with shredded coconut, topped with coconut-cream cheese frosting.Fusion of classic carrot cake and coconut
Coconut Bundt Cake
Dense, moist cake baked in a Bundt pan with coconut glaze or icing.Unique shape, moist texture
Coconut Rum Cake
Infused with rum, often soaked with rum syrup and topped with coconut frosting or glaze.Tropical and boozy flavor
Vegan Coconut Cake
Dairy-free and egg-free cake using coconut milk and oil, with coconut-based frosting.Suitable for vegan diets
Gluten-Free Coconut CakeMade with gluten-free flour alternatives, ensuring no gluten sensitivity issues.Safe for gluten-sensitive individuals

Gadgets Used for Coconut Cake

To create the perfect Coconut Cake, you’ll need several kitchen gadgets. Here are some essentials:

  1. Stand Mixer: For mixing the batter and frosting efficiently.
  2. Cake Pans: Ensure even baking with quality cake pans.
  3. Offset Spatula: For smooth frosting application.
  4. Cooling Racks: Allow your cakes to cool evenly.
  5. Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial.
  6. Mixing Bowls: Various sizes for different mixing tasks.
  7. Coconut Grater: Freshly grated coconut makes a big difference.
  8. Cake Leveler: For even, professional-looking cake layers.
  9. Parchment Paper: Prevents cakes from sticking to pans.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Use Room Temperature Ingredients: This ensures even mixing and a smoother batter.
  2. Sift Dry Ingredients: This helps to aerate the flour and other dry ingredients, resulting in a lighter cake.
  3. Don’t Overmix: Once the dry ingredients are added, mix just until combined to avoid a dense cake.
  4. Add Moist Ingredients: Ingredients like sour cream, buttermilk, or coconut milk can help keep your cake moist.
  5. Cool Completely Before Frosting: Make sure your cake is completely cool before applying the buttercream to avoid melting the frosting.
  6. Store Properly: Keep your cake in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

How to make Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream

Recipe by ImamCourse: DessertCuisine: American


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This Coconut Cake is a celebration of coconut in every bite. The cake layers are moist and tender, infused with coconut milk and shredded coconut. The coconut buttercream frosting is rich and creamy, providing a perfect balance to the cake’s texture. Finished with a generous coating of shredded coconut, this cake is a true showstopper.


  • Cake
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup shredded coconut

  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • Coconut Buttercream
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 6 cups powdered sugar

  • ½ cup coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut (for coating)


  • Prepare the Cake Layers
  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Cream Butter and Sugar: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add Eggs: Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and coconut extracts.
  • Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the coconut milk and sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Bake the Cakes: Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Prepare the Coconut Buttercream
  • Beat the Butter: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Powdered Sugar: Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 3 minutes.
  • Add Coconut Milk and Extracts: Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract, and beat on high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Assemble the Cake
  • Level the Cakes: If necessary, level the tops of the cakes with a cake leveler or a sharp knife.
  • Frost the Cake: Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a generous amount of coconut buttercream on top. Repeat with the second layer and more buttercream. Place the final layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
  • Add Shredded Coconut: Gently press shredded coconut onto the top and sides of the cake, covering it completely.


  • This Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream is a delightfully tropical dessert that is sure to impress at any gathering. With its moist cake layers and creamy frosting, it’s a taste of paradise in every bite. Follow these detailed instructions and tips to create a show-stopping cake that your friends and family will love.

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Nutrition Facts

1 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 30g 47%
    • Saturated Fat 20g 100%
  • Cholesterol 120mg 40%
  • Sodium 250mg 11%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Carbohydrate 80g 27%
    • Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
    • Sugars 60g
  • Protein 5g 10%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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