Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve adapted this cake from a basic white cake recipe and a coconut cream cheese frosting recipe.

I doubled the frosting recipe and was able to make two 9-inch round cakes with frosting in the middle, on top, and on the sides.  I still had enough left over to make a 9 x 13 inch cake.  I would recommend using the frosting recipe as is for a 9 x 13 inch cake or multiplying it by 1.5 for 2 9-inch round cakes.  I like having ample frosting.  (who doesn’t?)

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 tbsp butter (I use the Irish unsalted butter which you can find at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and sometimes Costco.  It has a richer flavor than other butters)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (I’m partial to C&H Sugars)
  • 2 tsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Angel Flake (sweetened) coconut
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet.  Add coconut; stir constantly over low heat until golden brown.  Important: Toasting the coconut is kind of  a pain in the ass, but it is required if you don’t want the cake to be way too sweet.  Spread coconut on a paper towel to cool.
  2. Cream 2 tablespoons butter with the cream cheese; add coconut milk and beat in sugar gradually.  Blend until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes)  I use a kitchenaid hand mixer for this task and it gets the job done.  
  3. Blend in vanilla; stir in approx 1/2 the coconut.  You can mix in all the coconut into the frosting and just frost it or you can reserve about 1/2 the coconut to spread around the cake.  I like to have enough toasted coconut to place on the tops and sides to give the cake a uniform look.
  4. Stack and sprinkle on remaining Coconut.

Coconut Cake

The cake part of this is a basic white cake recipe with 1/2 cup of coconut milk substituted for part of the milk.  It gives the cake a light coconut flavor without overpowering and without being too sweet.

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1  1/2  cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Depends on your oven temp – if your oven runs hot, go lower.  if your oven runs cold, go higher.  
  2. Butter (or Crisco) the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.  Line bottom with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  5. Combine egg whites, coconut milk, milk, and vanilla extract.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to teh butter mixture then add half the milk mixture.  Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Scrape the bowl and beater often.  beat on a low speed until just incorporated.  You want to avoid over-developing the gluten in the flour and thus making a chewy cake.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
  8. Bake cake(s) about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.  (The cake will take longer if you are using a 9 x 13 inch pan.  For the 9 inch rounds, check after 15 minutes.
  9. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper, and let cool completely before frosting (about 20 minutes)

About Nedra Dias

a girl who likes to cook I traded in the ideals of my youth for a cubicle and a paycheck. My company traded me in, so I left the country for a month. View all posts by Nedra Dias

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