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Southern Coconut Cake Recipe

Enjoy this sweet Southern Coconut Cake recipe for Easter, or any other special occasion this spring. This layered cake is so delicious and is topped with a crumby coconut topping making it extra decadent.

Southern Coconut Cake Recipe

While I love a classic, Southern recipe sometimes I like to try something a little different. For some reason coconut and Easter just go hand-and-hand to me and this Coconut Cake is the perfect dessert to celebrate the occasion. With the warm weather creeping up I have been craving the summery taste of coconut. Not only is it a fun + pretty ingredient to work with – but the taste and texture is so fresh and unique.

Coconut Cakes are also beautiful for baby + bridal shower celebrations or a baptism where the symbolic white color of the cake + coconut makes a beautiful statement.

Southern Coconut Cake Recipe

Ingredients for Coconut Cake

Cake in KitchenAid Mixer

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Southern Coconut Cake Recipe

Creamy Southern Coconut Cake recipe is perfect for Easter or any spring brunch. Pair it with classic buttercream frosting the complete the cake.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter – microwave for about 1530 seconds to soften butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups canned coconut milk , make sure this is well shaken and room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated – click here to read out how to.
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites – let them sit out a bit to get to room temperature.
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. For the cake: Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9-inch pans, using butter or a non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Add flour, baking powdered salt into a large mixing bowl, and whisk for about 30 seconds.
  3. Next, use an electric mixture, with the paddle attachment, mix together granulated sugar, butter and canola oil on medium speed until well combined. Slowly add in the egg yolks one at a time.
  4. Mix until combined after each addition (reserve 2 egg whites), then mix in coconut and vanilla extracts. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, alternating with 1/2 of the coconut milk and mixing just until combined after each addition (if you don’t have the paddle attachment that scrapes the sides of the bowl, stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom occasionally). In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip 6 egg whites with cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold 1/3 of the egg whites into cake batter at a time and fold just combined after each addition (don’t over-mix and deflate egg whites). Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Spread batter into an even layer and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 19 – 22 minutes.
  5. Once each pan is cooked allow the cakes to cool in the pan for about 5 – 10 minutes. Once cakes are cooled completely use a knife to even the tops out to a smooth, level surface.
  6. Start by frosting the top of one of the cakes. Next, stack the other cake on top and frost the top of it. You can then begin frosting the side of the stacked cakes. Finally, sprinkle fresh coconut flakes around and on top of the cake. You may need to gently press the sides to get the coconut to stick.

mini cake pans

cake batter

The Best Frosting for Southern Coconut Cake

Coconut cake is already a pretty sweet cake so choosing the icing can vary the final taste. We have a great recipe for Cream Cheese frosting if you want a little bit more tart flavor. However, I always use Buttercream frosting because I love how the flavors mesh.

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Buttercream Frosting with Coconut Flakes

This is the perfect frosting for coconut cake, and it adds a nice crispy touch with shredded coconut flakes.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cream cheese , let it soften to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter – microwave for about 1530 seconds to soften butter
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 11 1/2 cups shredded coconut (this can be up to you based on how much flavor + texture you want to add)

Instructions

  1. Use an electric mixture, with the paddle attachment, to whip butter with cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Slowly mix in the coconut extract. Continue whipping on medium speed adding in the powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  2. If the texture seems a bit runny, you can chill as needed to help it thicken up. DO note however, that the coconut will help it stay in place.

KitchenAid Stand mixer making Icing

spreading icing on cake

Wide Blue Stripe Collection

You’ll notice this beautiful stripe collection all through this recipe. We designed this collection to focus around this light blue hue of spring and summer. This 100% linen collection layers into the kitchen so nicely. Shop the full collection over on the site now!

coconut cake with buttercream frosting

coconut cake for easter

This Southern Coconut Cake Recipe turned out beautifully and filled my summery craving. I love using my cake plates whenever I get the chance. I ended up taking this cake to my small group meeting, and it was certainly a hit.

southern coconut cake recipe

heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

I’m an old soul based in Atlanta, GA and mom of 3 with a deep love of all things from the past with a story to tell, on a mission to keep heirlooms around for another generation - whether it be a tradition, splattered family recipe, or historic home.

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