Go Back
Coconut Cake
Print Recipe
4.93 from 38 votes

Coconut Layer Cake

This cake is amazing. The coconut flavor is unmistakable because it's made with coconut milk, coconut flour, and coconut oil and it's amazingly moist. And then the cake is topped with an ermine coconut frosting that is fluffy and light.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time3 hrs 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 645kcal



Cake Release

  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Coconut Cake

  • 2 2/3 cups (340 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (57 grams) coconut flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 grams) plain or toasted sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter room temperature, 60-65°F
  • 2/3 cup (113 grams) virgin coconut oil creamy and soft room temperature, about 72°F
  • 3 (150 grams) large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (510 grams) full-fat coconut milk room temperature

Coconut Ermine Frosting

  • 1 1/2 (300 grams) cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) full-fat coconut milk room temperature
  • 24 tablespoons (342 grams) unsalted butter room temperature

Coconut Coating

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut toasted


Prepare the Cake Pans

  • Melt the butter in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of flour and stir together until it is smooth paste. With a pastry brush thoroughly coat the bottoms and sides of two 9-inch aluminum cake pans and line them with parchment paper.

Coconut Coating

  • The coconut coating can be toasted or untoasted. If toasting the sweetened coconut, preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Spread the coconut on a quarter sheet pan into a single layer and toast it until it is golden brown, 7-10 m minutes. Stir the coconut about half way though the baking time for even browning.

For the Coconut Cake

  • Preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  • Place the all-purpose flour and the coconut flour in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and remove any lumps. If you don’t have coconut flour, replace it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour.
  • Crack the three eggs into a bowl large enough to hold all three eggs.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, butter, and virgin coconut oil. Mix on low speed to roughly incorporate, then increase to medium and beat until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes. Halfway through, pause to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula.
  • With the mixer still running, add eggs one at a time, letting each fully incorporate before adding the next. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, then add 1/3 of coconut milk and mix until just incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and coconut milk, working in thirds as before.
  • Scrape bowl and beater with a flexible spatula and resume mixing on medium speed for about 5 seconds to ensure everything is well combined. The batter should look creamy and thick, registering between 65 and 68°F on a digital thermometer. (Significant deviation indicates ingredients were too warm or too cold, which can lead to textural problems with the cake.)
  • Using a flexible spatula, fold batter once or twice from the bottom up, then divide evenly between prepared cake pans (about 840 grams each, if you have a scale).
  • Bake until the cakes are firm, pale gold, and begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 35 minutes.
  • Cool cakes in their pans for 15 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges to loosen. Invert onto a wire rack, peel off parchment, and return cakes right side up. Allow the cakes to completely cool, about 1 hour. (Covered in plastic, the cakes can be left at room temperature for a few hours.) Prepare the frosting.

For the Coconut Ermine Frosting

  • This recipe makes 5 cups, enough for a 9-inch two-layer cake or an 8-inch three-layer cake.
  • In a 3 or 4-quart nonreactive pan whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk the in the coconut milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly and scraping the corners of the saucepan, until the mixture boils and is very thick, about 6-10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a wide bowl or glass pie plate and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter (which should be between 65-68 degrees F) on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5-minutes. Turn off the mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the cooled coconut milk-flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Assemble the Cake

  • Reserve 1 cup of the coconut frosting in a smaller bowl for decorations. Place one cake layer on a cake board or plate. Use 1-1/2 cups of frosting for the center and evenly spread across the layer. Place the second cake layer on top. Crumb coat the cake by spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire layer of the cake to lock in the crumbs. This technique will prevent cake crumbs from getting mixed into the final frosting. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
  • To coat the cake with the shredded coconut, place coconut in your hand. Hold the edge of your hand close to the bottom of the cake, tilt your hand up and lightly press the coconut into the frosting. Repeat to coat the sides of the cake .


If you want enough frosting for more elaborate decorations make 6 cups.
Increase sugar to 1 3/4 cups, increase the flour to 5 tablespoons, increase the cornstarch to 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons, increase the coconut milk to 1- 3/4cups, and increase the butter to 30 tablespoons.


Calories: 645kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 35g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 448mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 744IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg