coconut lover's cake

i've had coconut layer cake on the short list of birthday cakes for a couple years now. when i was pregnant with baby winn - whose really a toddler now, so we'll just call him winn - the coconut craving hit me hard, and it's really never left. so why have i waited so long to make this cake? jason hates coconut. loathes it.

so you can imagine my surprise when not only did he want to try a piece of this cake, but he went back for a second slice. and this cake is no wimp, it's definitely for coconut lovers: a light cake spiked with coconut extract and coconut milk, sandwiched with light and fluffy whipped cream & cream cheese coconut buttercream, slathered with cream cheese coconut buttercream and covered in toasted coconut. my favorite part of this cake is the filling - it's so light, fluffy, and coconutty. and the cake itself is a great balance - definitely coconut, not too overwhelming, and the perfect level of sweet.  

not feeling coconut? how about one of my past birthday cakes: cherry vanilla, baked's sweet and salty cake (chocolate cake with caramel ganache icing), and baked's aunt sassy cake [pistachio cake with vanilla honey buttercream].

coconut lover's cake
adapted from completely delicious, who adapted it from sky high: irresistible triple layer cakes
2 hours, serves 12+

for the cake
5 egg whites
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon coconut extract
3 cups cake flour
2 1/3 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

for the buttercream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk or water

for filling & finishing
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
  1. make the cake. preheat your oven to 350F. grease two 8 or 9 inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. set aside.
  2. mix the egg whites, milk, and coconut extract in a small bowl. set aside.
  3. with a mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. add the butter and coconut milk and cream until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. add the egg white mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. divide the batter among the two pans and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. cool in the pan about 10 minutes, turn out, and cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. while the cake is cooking & cooling, make the buttercream. mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth. add the powdered sugar and coconut extract and mix until light and smooth, a couple minutes. if the buttercream is too thick, add the coconut milk or water and mix until smooth.
  6. to make the filling, beat the heavy cream to medium peaks. add 1 cup of the coconut buttercream, a couple tablespoons at a time, mixing after each addition, until combined. continue whipping to soft peaks.
  7. when the cakes are cool, slice them in half, making four cake layers.
  8. spread a layer of the whipped cream filling between each layer. frost the outside of the cake with the cream cheese buttercream and sprinkle the top and sides with the toasted coconut.
  9. store assembled cake in the refrigerator.


  1. I have to make this for my mom...she has a coconut obsession!

  2. I'm glad I spotted this! I've been looking for birthday cake inspiration and can't wait to give one a try.

  3. Oh I just can't wait to make this.

  4. oh my goodness. i need to make this cake! my husband is sick of coconut because i'm so obsessed. definitely putting this on the short list for this year's birthday cake. yum!


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