Classic Coconut Cake: This triple layer cake is filled with delicious coconut flavor and topped with a to-die for cream cheese frosting! This cake is simple yet a total crowd pleaser!
This cake might be the best thing I’ve ever made.
You see, I love coconut cake.
I feel it is so underrated and often neglected in the cake sphere. It’s a real shame, I tell you, which is why I rectified the situation by making this fabulous coconut cake.
It’s 3 layers, filled with cream cheese frosting, and topped with toasted coconut.
It’s the cream (cheese) of the crop.
But really, though, because I had 4 slices and ate all the frosting on my slices, which is a big deal. Piles of frosting on cake is a thing—it’s just not a thing I like. Unless it’s this cream cheese frosting. Or this chocolate frosting.
But the Easter weekend was filled with family, friends, chocolate, church, and a lotttt of fun and laughter.
While we’re on the subject, how was your Easter? I hope it was filled with jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and tons of those amazing butterfinger eggs.
Getting back on topic, this cake is on point. So much so that it is perfect for any time of the year, season, and day.
Like I mentioned earlier, I had 4 slices. I love cake–a lot–but I’m usually a one-or-two-slices-max cake person because I’m ready to move onto the next flavor of cake.
The key thing to making a level triple layer cake is making sure all 3 cake layers are even. If your cake layers do not bake evenly (which they often do not–they usually dome a bit in the center), then you will have to trim the top of each layer until all 3 are flat.
Once they are all level, with an even layer of frosting between each, your cake will be perfectly stable.
Yields 16-20 slices
40 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 cup coconut, sweetened flaked
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened
- 12 Tbsp butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 5-6 cups powdered sugar
- salt to taste
- 2 cups toasted coconut
- Separate the egg whites from egg yolks, and allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (it's easier to separate the eggs when cold, but it is better to whip the egg whites when they are at room temperature)*.
- Preheat the oven to 325. Grease three 9" round cake pans and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla and almond extract. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix whole milk, coconut milk, and Greek yogurt (or sour cream) together.
- Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Once combined, add in coconut.
- Add cream of tartar to egg whites, and with clean beaters, beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into the cake batter, then gently fold in remaining whites.
- Once combined, divide the batter evenly into the 3 greased cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before carefully removing from the pans and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a 300 degree oven, toast 2 cups of coconut on a baking sheet, spread out in an even layer, about 8-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool while working on the frosting.
- For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add in powdered sugar, beginning with 5 cups.
- Add in vanilla and almond extracts. Beat together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add in 2 Tbsp of heavy cream and beat. If frosting seems too thick, add in another Tbsp of cream. If it seems too thin, add in the last cup of powdered sugar (cream cheese frosting has a slightly thinner consistency than buttercream). Add in salt to taste (salt helps even out the sweetness).
- (Before frosting the cake, you may need to trim the tops of each layer until they are flat.)
- On a serving plate or cake stand, place down one of the layers. Spread a layer of frosting over the cake, about 1/4 cup. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup of coconut. Top with second cake layer, and repeat the process. Top with the last layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top of the cake and around the sides, covering thoroughly.
- Press toasted coconut on the sides of the cake and sprinkled lightly over the top.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours before serving, and store the leftovers in the fridge.
*When it comes to beating egg whites, make sure the bowl and beaters are completely clean and dry. Also, make sure no egg yolk is mixed with the egg whites. If either of these things occur, the egg whites will not whip into stiff peaks.
Check out my other cake recipes: