Coconut cake is one of the most popular cakes and for good reason! It's a moist cake with simple icing topped with toasted coconut to enhance its flavor. Today I'm sharing an easy coconut cake recipe you can have with tea or coffee! Plus, it's so versatile that instead of baking it as a loaf, you can layer and frost it with your favorite frosting.
This cake is moist and delicious without the icing or frosting too. Using sweetened shredded coconut adds to the moist texture of this cake. And it also gives the cake its signature flavor and texture.
This cake is meant to be light and is an excellent companion to your coffee. It has a fluffy texture, subtle sweetness, and tropical flavor that is a great combo with bold coffee.
With its simple yet delicious ingredients, this coconut cake recipe is sure to become a favorite among your family and friends. I highly recommend you give it a try today!
WHAT IS COCONUT CAKE?
Coconut cake is a dessert cake with shredded or flaked coconut as one of its main ingredients. The cake is made with kitchen staple ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, butter, eggs, and milk. Shredded coconut is added to the batter to provide a sweet, tropical flavor and texture.
Coconut cake is incredibly versatile and can be decorated with frosting, icing, or whipped cream. It's sometimes topped with additional shredded coconut or other toppings like fresh fruit or nuts.
It is a popular dessert for special occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays, and is loved by many for its delicious flavor and texture. Trust me, you're going to absolutely love this one!
WHAT MAKES THIS COCONUT CAKE RECIPE SPECIAL?
Versatile: This coconut cake recipe can be made to suit different preferences and occasions. It can be made as a layer cake, a sheet cake, or cupcakes, and the icing and toppings can also be customized!
Easy to make: The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it a great option for novice bakers or anyone who wants to make a cake quickly and easily.
Simple ingredients: This recipe uses simple, everyday ingredients that are probably already in your pantry! This is a very accessible recipe for anyone who wants to make a delicious homemade cake.
WHAT TYPE OF COCONUT TO USE FOR COCONUT CAKE
The best type of coconut to use is the sweetened shredded coconut. The shredded flakes help distribute coconut flavor evenly through the cake and they make a great topping. Their sweet taste also greatly enhances the flavors in the cake.
Avoid using coconut flakes and unsweetened coconut. Unsweetened shredded coconut will make the cake very dry. Coconut chips will not add the flavor you are looking for, and the texture will be crumbly. Overall, sweetened shredded coconut is definitely the best option.
CAN I USE COCONUT MILK INSTEAD OF MILK?
I have used regular whole milk in this recipe to reduce the coconut flavor a bit, but you can use coconut milk instead if you prefer. However, do not use soy milk or almond milk. The fat in the whole milk and coconut milk helps the cake stay moist with tender crumbs.
🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED FOR COCONUT CAKE
All you need are some simple, pantry staple ingredients to make this delicious Coconut Cake at home.
You can scroll down to the recipe card for further details and instructions.
Dry ingredients: First, we'll need the usual dry ingredients for baked goods. These include flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar (both regular and confectioner's sugar).
Coconut: It wouldn't be a coconut cake without some delicious coconut! Again, the best type to use is sweetened shredded coconut.
Butter & oil: For this recipe, I use both butter and oil in the cake batter. It creates a rich, moist cake and also helps it stay moist for longer.
Milk: I'm using regular whole milk in this coconut cake. You can use coconut milk if you prefer, just be sure not to use soy or almond milk (we need the fat content!).
Eggs: Lastly, we'll need a couple of eggs for this cake. They help make the cake even richer and more tender giving it a tender crumb.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE COCONUT CAKE
Making this delicious cake is easier than you think, and you'll be rewarded with the tastiest coconut cake you've ever had!
The full instructions are in the recipe card below, but let's look at the main steps to making this tasty coconut cake.
FOR THE CAKE:
Preheat your oven to 350F/180. Line four 4 x 2-inch baking mini loaf pans with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Keep aside.
In a different bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for three minutes. Add the sugar to the eggs and beat for three more minutes.
Add the oil, butter, and milk to the eggs and beat for one minute. Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently.
Add the coconut and fold the batter gently with a rubber spatula until it's well incorporated.
Pour the batter into four mini loaf pans and bake for 26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
FOR THE ICING:
Gradually add the milk to the icing sugar until it reaches the consistency you want.
Pour the icing over the coconut cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Your delicious Coconut Cake is ready to be served!
💭 COOKING TIPS FOR COCONUT CAKE
Mix the batter properly: When mixing the batter, make sure to mix it just until everything is combined. Overmixing can cause the cake to become tough and dry.
Let the cake cool before icing: Allow the cake to cool completely before icing it. If you ice a warm cake, the icing may melt and slide off the cake.
Don't overbake the cake: Keep an eye on the cake as it bakes, and take it out of the oven as soon as a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS FOR COCONUT CAKE
This delicious Coconut Cake is absolutely perfect as is, but if you're looking to change things up, here are a few ideas you can try:
- Chocolate: Chocolate goes great with the coconut flavors in this cake. A great idea is to top the cake with a chocolate ganache and toasted coconut.
- Zesty: For a more tropical variation, you can add the zest of one lime to the batter and top the cake with a lime glaze and toasted coconut.
- Almond: The flavor of almonds goes incredibly well with the flavors in this cake. Add almond extract to the batter and top the cake with toasted almond slices and coconut to add an almond touch to your cake.
🍲 MORE CAKE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
🌡️ HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER COCONUT CAKE
Leftover coconut cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Plus, the cake can also be frozen for up to two months!
Simply cover it with plastic wrap and then place it in an airtight container before freezing. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying a slice of this delicious cake.
Easy Coconut Cake with Icing
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
FOR THE ICING AND TOPPING
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk you might need more
- ¼ cup toasted shredded coconut
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat oven to 350F/180Line 4, 4x 2-inch baking loaf pans with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Keep aside.
- In a different bowl, add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for three minutes.
- Add the sugar to the eggs and beat for three more minutes.
- Add the oil, butter, and milk to the eggs and beat for one minute.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix gently.
- Add the coconut and fold the batter for few seconds.
- Pour the batter in four mini loaf pans and bake for 26 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
FOR THE ICING
- Gradually add the milk to the icing sugar until it reaches the consistency you want.
- Pour the icing over the coconut cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
- You can bake this cake batter in one loaf pan.
- This cake batter makes one 8" baking pan.
- Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature.
- You can go for chocolate frosting.
They look sensational with that icing!
Thank you dear :), we love everything coconut!
If I use an 8 inch square pan, will I need to use 1 pan or 2??
You will need one 8" pan.
What if I don't have sweetened coconut ...
Hi, if the shredded coconut is not sweetened then add 1 1/2 tablespoon of sugar to the recipe. Hope this helped 🙂
Hi I don’t have mini loaf pans. What size should I sub? And I’m confused about the mixing. It says to mix for 7 minutes, but it also says only mix till combined. Can you clarify please? and mix on what speed? Thank you very much!!
Hi Cat, Thanks for your comment. You can beat the mixture for 7 minutes before adding the flour, after adding the flour to the wet ingredients you shouldn't over mix or the cake will come out dense. Beat the mixture on medium speed, but after adding the flour use the low setting. You can make this cake in a 8x4.5" loaf pan, make 10 to 11 muffins or 12 cupcakes, and one 8" round baking pan. I hope this helped 😊