Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Frosting

5 from 55 votes

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Coconut Cream Cake is layer upon layer of coconut flavor in every bite! Coconut infused cake, coconut cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with toasted coconut. Truly a coconut lover’s dream!

A slice of coconut cake on a plate with coconut cake in background

Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake is probably one of the best cakes I have ever had. The coconut cream cake itself is so rich and moist and the frosting is just to die for. This is one of our sister Elise’s amazing baking recipes. Elise is definitely the expert when it comes to cakes.

This is a recipe you will want to keep on hand for special occasions, it is perfect for showers, birthdays, weddings, and having company over. We have even made it for Easter and dressed it up like a bunny. It’s a fun treat to serve at Hawaiian themed parties, too!

A round coconut cream cake on a cake platter

Tips for Making Coconut Cream Cake

  • This is one of our more advanced recipes on our site but well worth the work! We have made this countless times and it will turn out great as long as you carefully follow the instructions and don’t skip steps.
  • This cake requires freezing OVERNIGHT so be sure to make it a DAY AHEAD of when you plan to serve it! This is a very moist cake and the freezing of the cake makes it so it will not crumble when it is frosted then next day. This step is very important if you want to keep your cake looking pretty.
  • I have had a few comments with people saying they had issues with sticking, so make sure to grease and flour! I always grease my pan, then line the bottom and sides with parchment paper (so it doesn’t slip) cut a round piece of parchment paper for the bottom and a long strip for the side of the pan. Then grease again over the parchment paper and lightly flour.
  • Some people have had issues with the cake overflowing in 2 pans, I’m not sure if this is an elevation issue or an over-beating issue with the batter, but if the batter seems to be filling your pans more than ¾ full, consider using a 3rd pan or reserving some of the batter for some cupcakes.
  • One reader mentioned that she just made it in a traditional 9×13 inch pan without doing the layers and it turned out great. Another reader just did cupcakes and said that they turned out really good too! With either of these options you will need to adjust your baking times accordingly and really watch it close by doing toothpick tests. The cupcakes should cook much faster so start checking those sooner.
A slice of coconut cake being lifted from a cake platter

More Recipes for Coconut Lovers

How to Make Coconut Cream Cake

A round coconut cream cake on a cake platter

Coconut Cream Cake with Coconut Frosting

5 from 55 votes
Coconut Cream Cake is layer upon layer of coconut flavor in every bite! Coconut infused cake, coconut cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with toasted coconut. Truly a coconut lover’s dream!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Freezing Time 8 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16



  • Electric Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • 2 9 inch Round Pans



    Wet Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter softened
    • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
    • 1/2 cup cream of coconut Coco Lopez is the one I used, it can be found by the drink mixers at your grocery store- reserve another ½ cup to drizzle on the cake after baking
    • 4 large eggs

    Dry Ingredients

    Additional ingredients


    Toasted Coconut* (see below)


      For the Cake

      • Separate eggs, set whites aside.
      • Beat wet ingredients together including egg yolks until fluffy.
      • Sift dry ingredients together and stir well.
      • Add dry ingredients to wet using mixer on low speed alternating with buttermilk/extract mixture.
      • In a clean bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold egg whites into batter.
      • Line two 9-inch pans with baking spray and flour (or what works BEST is lining the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper- cut a circle for the bottom of the pan and a strip for the sides and still spray above and below the paper)
      • Bake at 275 degrees for about 90 minutes (this cake comes out much nicer when cooked at a lower temperature).
      • After about 60 minutes, do the “toothpick test”, repeating every 5-10 min or so until the toothpick comes out clean. 
      • After the cake is out of the oven and transferred to parchment paper or a cooling rack, poke each cake with a few holes (making sure not to poke all the way through) and drizzle another ½ cup of coconut cream over the top. This keeps the cake extra moist.
      • After the cake completely cools, gently cover it with some plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer to freeze overnight.
      • The next day, frost immediately after removing from the freezer (see frosting recipe below). This keeps the cake from crumbling while it is being frosted. 
      • Put a layer of frosting in-between the two cakes and then continue to frost the remainder of the cake.
      •  After frosting, sprinkle the cake with toasted coconut (instructions for toasting are below). 
      • Allow the cake to thaw for about an hour before serving.

      For the Frosting

      • Beat butter, cream cheese, and coconut extract together, adding powdered sugar little by little until reaching desired consistency. 
      • If it seems to get too stiff, add about 1 tsp of milk at a time until you get the consistency you want (add milk to thin it out, add powdered sugar to thicken it up).

      Toasted Coconut

      • Place contents of about ½ bag of sweetened, shredded coconut on a cookie sheet. 
      • Spread it out so it makes just a single layer. 
      • Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes
      • Some pieces will still be white and soft, some browned slightly with a little crunch.


      *The preparation time does not include freezing the cake overnight before frosting.  Make this cake the day before you plan to serve it.

      Nutrition Information

      Calories: 644kcalCarbohydrates: 101gProtein: 5gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 342mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gSugar: 85gVitamin A: 805IUCalcium: 56mgIron: 1.2mg

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      About the author

      Elise Donovan

      More about Elise Donovan

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      How many stars would you give this recipe?


      1. 5 stars
        Absolutely delicious! If you have a coconut lover in you life, you need this recipe! Thank you for sharing it. It is a keeper!

      2. 5 stars
        My whole family LOVED this cake!! I want to make it again for Father’s Day, but my dad loves Mounds bars, so I was thinking about adding dark cocoa to make it into a chocolate coconut cake. Do you have any tips on how much I should add and if I need to alter any of the other ingredients so it will turn out right?

        1. Ooooh that sounds delicious! We haven’t tested the recipe with dark cocoa, so I can’t say for sure. Let us know how it turns out if you try it though!

      3. 5 stars
        This coconut cake is amazing!!! I get a lot of requests for this cake. Perfect as is.
        Thank you

      4. 5 stars
        So far so good. Only advise I have to give is to definitely use parchment paper to cool. I got them out of the pan ok, which was a huge relief, but because they were still warm and moist, they stuck to the grate of the cooling rack. I repaired and think it won’t be noticeable once frosted tomorrow. So excited to have this cake for Easter.

      5. I made this cake exactly as written and my guests all said it was the best cake they have ever eaten! Be sure to check the cake after an hour as instructed. Mine only needed around around 10 minutes more time. This will be my new go to coconut cake!

      6. 5 stars
        I’m so happy I found this recipe! It turned out so delicious. I make it into cupcakes and that worked out really well.

      7. 5 stars
        The creamy, coconuty taste of the frosting and the soft cake within make for a treat that I seem to not be able to get enough of. Thank you for showing me this recipe!

      8. Any experience with freezing it more than 24 hours? I’m traveling this weekend, and would love to make it, but know I would have to make it on a Friday, and then freeze it until Sunday afternoon, so almost 48 hours.

        1. That should be fine! Just make sure you wrap it really well before freezing. Most cakes can last 2 weeks in the freezer.

        1. I have never tried it, so I can’t say if it will work or not. If you have used coconut flavored rum in your baking before, go ahead and try it. It will probably be just fine if you use the same amount of liquid. But, I don’t know if it will give the same amount of coconut flavor.

        1. If the cake is warm, the frosting will not go on to the cake correctly. I would freeze it for as long as you have time for even if it’s just half an hour.

      9. 5 stars
        Hi ladies!

        I’ve never commented before even though I have made several of your recipes, all with success. But I had to let you know that this is hands down my absolute FAVORITE coconut cake, or any cake for that matter! I make this cake for my birthday every year!! Thank you so much for such a great recipe!

        1. Yes. That is totally fine. Just refrigerate the frosting after making it and then bring it to room temp before frosting so it spreads easier. Hope this helps!

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