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5 from 2 votes

Classic Coconut Cake

This Classic Coconut Cake is the perfect Easter dessert! Light and fluffy with a cream cheese frosting laced with the essence of sweet coconut!
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 772kcal
Author: Rebecca Hubbell



  • 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




  • 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 a 6-inch 4-layer cake: 2 cups of batter per 6-inch pan, bake for 30-35 minutes.
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.


Calories: 772kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 182mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 81g | Vitamin A: 1100IU | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 1.7mg