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Coconut Cake



  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup canned sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • pinch of salt


  • 2-8 oz. packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter and flour 2 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch sides (or spray with non-stick baking spray).
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  • Using a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, sweetened cream of coconut and orange juice until fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla.
  • On low speed, add the dry ingredients, and mix just until blended.
  • Add the butter milk and mix just until blended.
  • Remove the batter to another bowl and set aside.
  • Wash and dry the bowl and beater thoroughly.
  • Add the eggs whites to clean, dry mixing bowl and beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry.
  • Fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter until combined. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the batter into two prepared pans.
  • Bake 40 to 45 minutes until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the pans, turn the cakes out onto a rack, and let them cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
  • Combine the cream cheese and butter together and mix until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and stir in the confectioners sugar until smooth.
  • When cakes are completely cool, frost with the cream cheese frosting. Spread 1 cup of cream cheese frosting over the first layer and sprinkle 1 cup shredded coconut over the top.
  • Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake and sprinkle with remaining coconut, gently pressing into the sides to adhere.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.