Coconut Cake Recipe (No Artificial Flavors!)


Coconut Cake Recipe

Coconut Cake Recipe: When you're surfing the web, you will always find several online recipes that sends your mouth watering. Coconut cake is one such recipe that when you're thinking of something sweet and inviting, has a smooth and creamy texture, then coconut cake is the right recipe for you.

This Coconut Cake Recipe is the perfect dessert to surprise your family and guests! This coconut cake is delicious, moist, and melts in your mouth. Coconut cake recipes are easy to make with this simple recipe.

This coconut cake recipe is easy and delicious. Follow the instructions below to create a moist coconut cake that will be gobbled up in no time. 😋😋

This moist and delicious coconut cake recipe is infused with natural flavor throughout and garnished with giant toasted coconut flakes.

Coconut Cake Recipe

My main problem with the original coconut cake recipe was that it used coconut extract. I don't often like to use flavor essences in my baking, as I find them taste artificial and generally unpleasant.

Some are better than others, but I mostly stick with vanilla or try to spice up the flavors in some other way.

Coconut extract, unlike almond extract, is very easy to overdo. It's tough, often tough, and can make your baked goods taste like you're eating a suntan lotion if you're not careful.

Coconut Cake

All natural ingredients

I was on a mission to recreate this coconut cake recipe using coconut in its pure form. There are a huge number of coconut products, so the possibilities are endless.


I'm not kidding when I say I've bought every coconut product I could find to test and try. This included the following:

  • ➤canned coconut milk
  • ➤coconut milk powder
  • ➤pure coconut
  • ➤coconut sugar
  • ➤Fine grated coconut
  • ➤Medium grated coconut
  • ➤ coconut flakes
  • ➤ and some whole coconuts

It was very easy to find all of these ingredients (except for the coconut flakes) at the grocery store.

For me, the first three are found in the ethnic foods section, and the rest are in the baking section. The only thing that was hard to find was the large coconut flakes, which I picked up from Whole Foods.

I didn't end up using whole coconut items other than the pictures, but I was surprised how easy it was to break them!

There are a bunch of videos on how to do this, and I recommend watching one of them to see how it's done, but basically, all you have to do is:

🠞 Take out one or more of the "eyes" with a screwdriver (I was able to poke without using a hammer)
🠞Strain the coconut water into a bowl
🠞 Hammer around the axis of the coconut while turning it over and
🠞eventually the crack will start to crack (this didn't take long)
Keep hammering until the crack is large enough to pry the coconut open

💌 Coconut advice!

If you're cracking more than one coconut and want to conserve the water, drain them into separate bowls. I didn't know at the time, but the second coconut I broke was a bit rotten on the inside, and I didn't want to use the water after I saw that.💌

How to make coconut cake recipe

For the actual cake recipe, I ended up using canned coconut milk instead of regular milk, and added shredded coconut to the mixture.

I would have preferred to use finely grated coconut, as I don't like the texture of coconut, but the stuff I had was unsweetened and I wanted to add more sweetness to the cake. Both mixes will work - sweetened/unsweetened, fine/medium/coarse. It's just a matter of preference!

I didn't end up using coconut sugar in the final version of the recipe, because it colors the cake mixture a lot and I wanted a nice white/yellow cake.

Until you can use coconut sugar and it will work just fine, the cake will have a slightly different flavor and color. But it is important to note that coconut sugar does not taste like coconut at all. It's made from the sap of the coconut palm flower buds, not the coconut itself. It tastes like brown sugar.

Coconut milk powder worked very well as a garnish. It adds great flavor without affecting the texture. If you're going to use canned coconut milk instead, you'll have to use a lot of it to get the flavor, and it can make the garnish too soft. I highly recommend using milk powder if you can find it!

I only used coconut milk powder for the garnish, not the cake, but I think it would be a great way to add more flavor to the cake if you wanted to. I'll probably add a few tablespoons to the dry ingredients.

This beautiful coconut cake was finished with a simple garnish of some giant toasted coconut flakes, and I just love the look of it. I was able to buy mine already toasted, but baked it in the oven for more color to improve the color.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I convert this recipe?

Recipe as is will also work for 8 pans. For three 8 size pans, 1.5 times the recipe. Baking time may need to be adjusted.

To make cupcakes, all you have to do is reduce the baking time - start checking in 15 minutes or so. Recipe makes 18-24 cupcakes, depending on size.

For other transfers go here.

Can I do this in advance?

Chilled cake layers can be baked in advance, double wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 3 months. Take it 2-3 hours before collection.

Garnishes can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 1 week to freeze for 3 months. Bring it to room temperature and recharge before use.

Ready-made cake (whole or cut and sealed) can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Can I get the measurements in weight/grams?

There is a metric option on the recipe card. If you click on it it will convert everything to grams.

This conversion is done automatically and I can't guarantee the accuracy but many readers have been successful in using the scaling option for this recipe.


Coconut cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, any size (I was using medium)

Swiss Coconut Buttercream:

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut milk


Toasted coconut flakes


 Coconut cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and grease three 6-inch cake pans and spread the parchment paper on them.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Sit aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition. Add vanilla.
  • Instead of adding flour mixture and coconut milk, at the beginning and end with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Full integration after each addition.
  • Gently fold in shredded coconut.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  • Place cookies on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then flip onto a wire rack.

Swiss Coconut Buttercream:

  • Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat until combined.
  • Place bowl over a double boiler on the stovetop and whisk constantly until mixture is hot and grainy to the touch (about 3 minutes). Or it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.
  • Place bowl on your stand mixer and beat on medium-high until meringue is stiff and cooled (bowl no longer warm to the touch (about 5-10 minutes)).
  • Switch to the paddle attachment. Slowly add the butter cubes and mix until smooth. **
  • Add coconut milk powder and whisk until smooth.


  • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Put about 2/3 cup of the buttercream on top. Repeat with remaining layer and crumb cover. Chill for 20 minutes.
  • Smooth surface and sides of cake using a bench scraper. Swirl on top.
  • Gently press the toasted coconut flakes onto the sides of the cake.


* Make sure that there is no trace of egg yolk in the egg whites and that the bowl of the mixer and whisk are completely free of grease or the meringue will not harden.

** Buttercream may look curdled at some point. Keep mixing until completely smooth.

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