Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Heavenly Coconut Cake

Coconut, I've discovered, is an acquired taste; you either love it or hate it!  I happen to love it, as did my mom and family.

Coconut cake is a popular Southern dessert, either white or yellow cake, iced with 7-minute Frosting and covered with sweetened, shredded coconut.  It definitely had its beginnings in the United States and along with Red Velvet it's become one of the most asked for in restaurants.

Heavenly Coconut Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature + more for the baking pans
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup canned coconut milk, shaken well before measuring
3 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Butter three (3) 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment paper and lightly dust the pans with flour.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light, then, while the mixer is running, slowly add the sugar.  Continue beating until fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.   One at a time, add the egg yolks, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients together and add them in two equal portions with the coconut milk, mixing after each addition until smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the coconut and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, using a hand-held mixer, beat the 5 egg whites until soft peaks form.
Stir in about one-fourth of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture, and then use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining whites.  Divide the batter between the three cake pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  My cakes took 22 minutes in a Convection Oven!
Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then invert and untold on a parchment covered wire rack.  Peel off the bottom parchment paper and let cool completely.

Old Fashioned Boiled Icing (7-minute)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

4 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and cream of tartar.  Stir, but once on the stove, resist stirring!   Cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 240F-degrees/115C-degrees (soft-ball stage).  Meanwhile, place the egg whites in a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add the salt and beat until soft peaks form.  Once the sugar mixture has reached 240F-degrees, add to the egg whites, slowly while the mixer is on high speed.  Drizzle the hot syrup into the whites, avoiding the whisk and sides of the bowl.  Whip until stiff peaks form.  Add the vanilla extract.  Frost the layers, about  1 1/2 cups per layer, then frost the entire cake.  Press the coconut around the sides of the cake.

This cake is so moist and it was a delicious dessert.  Are you a coconut lover?  Enjoy!


  1. I LOVE coconut! This looks incredible, Susan. Save me a HUGE slice, please :-))

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe! I'm going to print and save it for my Christmas Eve dessert! Your instructions will ensure a perfect cake!!

  3. I have a recipe that is very close to this one and I love it! I will try this one. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


    1. Thank you Mary...I'd love to hear how it turns out. We loved it!

  4. I love coconut cake so much! Your posts always make me so hungry!

  5. Oh yes, I love coconut! Your cake is lovely, Susan. My Mama used to make coconut cake using fresh coconut. Your cake really reminds me of her cake. XOXO ♥

    1. My mother loved coconut too. She also made the most amazing Coconut Cream Pie!

  6. Just came back to print it! Thanks again!

  7. Well I happen to be in the love it category, Susan! I'm wishing I had a big slice of your coconut cake for dessert tonight!

    1. Definitely one of those things you either love or hate...I'm with you!!

  8. My late MIL made the best coconut cake with 7 minute frosting ever. I'll have to try yours and see if it's the same.