Coconut Lover Coconut Cake

There are either coconut lovers or coconut haters. It’s a rare thing to be an “in-betweener” when it comes to coconut.

It’s like having a rare blood type.

I happen to be a coconut lover. I love it in baked goods and in savory dishes. It is also one of those flavors that pairs well with a variety of fruit.

But for this cake it was all coconut: coconut cake with coconut frosting!

I actually made this cake a while back when I was hosting my friends with a chili night! It all started when I was asked if I made cornbread.

Of course I said yes and then before I knew it my girlfriends were round for chili with cornbread and a coconut cake for dessert. I felt like staying with the Southern American feel of the meal.

The cake was soft and spongy and the frosting was smooth and silky both with the right amount of coconut flavor! 

We had some great food that night, if I do say so myself. That coupled with the great company was a very good night! Who could ask for more?

They did ask for the recipe, which I still haven’t gotten to them so I thought, might as well pop it on here!

Coconut Cake:

235g plain flour
4 tbsp corn flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
170g unsalted butter, room temp & cubed
6 egg whites
240ml coconut milk
120g sweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Heat the oven to 180C. Grease two round (8in) cake tins lightly flour, tap out any excess flour.
Sift the flour, corn flour, and baking powder into the bowl of a mixer or a large bowl if hand mixing it. Mix in the sugar and salt until combined. While mixing on a low speed add the butter cube by cube and mix until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites, coconut milk, shredded coconut and the vanilla paste until well combined.
Add half of the wet mixture to the dry and beat until combined. Scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the rest of the wet mixture. Mix on a medium speed for about 25 seconds, it should be light and fluffy.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake tins. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The tops should be a light brown and should spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool completely in the pans before removing.

Coconut Frosting:

300g caster sugar
6 egg whites
342g unsalted butter, room temp &cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
160ml coconut milk

While the cakes are cooling and not before because the frosting needs to be used pretty much right away and it won’t go well on a hot cake!
In a heat proof bowl mix the sugar and egg whites together, place on top of a simmering pot of water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water) and whisk for 6-8 until the sugar dissolves. It will thin out as the sugar dissolves.
Then place the mixture into the stand mixer and whip with the whisk attachment for 6-8 minutes on a medium speed until it’s cooled down and turns into a light meringue.
Turn the mixture down to low and add the butter cube by cube. Once all the butter is incorporated turn the mixture up to medium and whisk for 4-5 minutes, it will look curdled at one point, but keep mixing it will come together to be smooth and glossy.
Then add the vanilla extract, salt, and coconut milk and whisk for about 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

to finish:

120g sweetened shredded coconut

Remove the cakes from the tins and level them if necessary. Place one layer on a serving plate or cake stand or whatever you have before dolloping a bunch of frosting on top of the layer.
Smooth it on the top and down the sides before carefully placing the second layer on top, upside down so the sharp edges are on top.
Add a thin layer of frosting as a crumb coat and let it set before adding the rest of the frosting. Once it’s frosted coat the cake in the shredded coconut!

notes: This recipe is adapted from flour by Joanne Chang. 


  1. I totally agree with your coconut lover/hater comment...except for the fact that I AM an in-betweener!! lol But I'm completely aware that I'm in the minority. I'm an exception to the rule. I LOVE toasted coconut. Regular coconut, not so much. I'm an anomaly! Nothing I can do about it, I guess ;)

    1. You do exist! This cake would be awesome with toasted coconut! :0)

  2. DEFINITE coconut lover over here, in fact coconut obsessed would be more appropriate! I love how fluffy your frosting looks, everything about this cake just makes me want to dive right in - yummmmmmy!!


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