This Classic Coconut Cake is the perfect Easter dessert! Light and fluffy with a cream cheese frosting laced with the essence of sweet coconut!
Classic Coconut Cake
I have been craving coconut cake for soooooo long and when I got a ton of flours from Bob’s Red Mill in the mail, yeah that’s right, Bob sends me FLOURS, maybe Matt will get the hint and start getting me FLOWERS to compete. Kidding! Kinda 😉
And let me tell ya, light and airy is exactly what this cake is! I whipped my egg whites separately and then folded them into the batter for even more airiness. But it doesn’t have the texture of say a chiffon or angel food cake, it’s still quite moist! It’s exactly the kind of cake you’d want to make for Easter Sunday, or any day for that matter.
I love that the coconut carries just a sweet hint throughout the cake and the tang of the cream cheese in the frosting brings the whole thing to life. The frosting is silky and rich and when you sound it with a layer of minced coconut, you’re in for a real treat!
Classic Coconut Cake
- 4 large egg whites room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/3 cups loosely packed sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 5 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 8 oz. cream cheese block softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of two 9-inch pans with parchment rounds and spray with non-stick spray.
- Add egg whites to a small bowl or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until stiff peaks form. If using a stand mixer, transfer egg whites to a small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate small bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda and set aside.
- Measure the sweetened flaked coconut out on a cutting board and mince even further, nobody like a stringy cake. Add minced coconut to a large bowl and mix in the flour.
- Add the sugar and butter to a large bowl or stand mixer and beat on high until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and beat in the egg yolks.
- Beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately until fully combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Fold in the coconut extract and egg whites, evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until toothpick comes clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. See notes for alternative sizes and measurements.
- Add cream cheese and butter to a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar a cup at a time, alternating with the heavy cream and extract. Beat on high for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add more sugar or cream to reach desired consistency.
- Add bottom cake layer to a plate or cake stand and spread some frosting out on the top all the way to the edges. Add the next layer of cake and add more frosting to the top, spreading it evenly and down over the sides.
- Gently use the palm of your hand to press shredded coconut onto the sides and top of the cake, pipe on additional decorative frosting around the base of the cake and on top if desired.
Make 24 cupcakes: 2 to 2.5 tbsp batter per cupcake liner, bake 18-23 minutes.
Make a 6-inch 2-layer cake and 12 cupcakes: Follow guidelines above.
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Comments & Reviews
These are gorgeous!!! Everything you bake always looks so perfect! I am not worthy!
Rebecca Hubbell says
I have never tried it but they are very different liquids and I’m not sure the recipe would turn out when making this substitution.
Kris Marie says
Could I switch out the buttermilk for cream of coconut milk?
Jeff @ Make It Like a Man! says
What a beautiful cake!
Thank you so much, it definitely tasted amazing!
Almost is right!
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
Oh my goodness that cake looks amazing! It’s GORGEOUS and I bet it tastes awesome! I Love coconut 🙂
Jaime Wiebel says
That is a beautiful cake. It almost looks to good to eat, almost!
Antojo en tu cocina says
I love it!!!! yummm
Thanks so much, Dorothy!
Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Kylee!
Oh, I hope you do, they’ll love it!
Same here, we need more coconut in our lives!
Thanks so much, Lucy!
I love coconut cake. This looks gorgeous. You icing flowers look professional!
Willow | Will Cook For Friends says
Mm, this cake sounds divine! And it’s so pretty, too! Coconut is one of my favorite flavors, but I don’t use it often enough. This cake has inspired me!
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says
I am a huge fan of coconut! Your cake looks so sweet and light! Just perfect for Easter! I think I may try to make this. My family would love this!
Kylee @ Kylee Cooks says
WOW – you decorated that so beautifully!! I love coconut cake, one of my all time favorites. That looks SO good.
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
Words cannot even describe how good that cake looks to me. I am swooning over here.