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Toasted Coconut Cake Recipe

Toasted coconut is one of my favorite flavors, and a fantastic way to make use of that is by completely covering an entire cake with it. This toasted coconut cake is flavored with coconut milk too, to really kick it up a bit. 
Toasted Coconut Cake slice

Toasted Coconut Cake Recipe

Up until about a year ago, I wouldn’t have cared if there was any coconut left on the planet. I just did not enjoy it. I’m not really sure why exactly, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I hadn’t had it toasted to a golden, crunchy perfection before. That’s where the good stuff is.

Homemade Toasted Coconut Cake-6

I still can take it or leave it in its regular state (no Mounds or Almond Joy bars for me please!), but this cake? It is ALL take. This cake I could have on the reg.

Need more cake ideas? Check these out!

Marble Pound Cake
Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Poundcake
Blueberry Pudding Lemon Cake
Chocolate Sour Cream Coffee Cake
No-bake Cherry Cheesecake Fluff Pie

It was pretty easy to put together, in typical cake fashion. Not quite as easy as a boxed mix, but also not as temperamental as an angel food cake either.

Moist, tender, made-from-scratch coconut cake.

I’d say the fussiest part about this was getting the coconut to stick to the sides of the cake when it was done! That was quite the mess. If anyone has any tricks for that, I’m all ears!

Moist, tender, made-from-scratch coconut cake.

This is a great cake to bring to a potluck or party. I took it to my office with a note asking for ANY and ALL feedback, and got some pretty great remarks. One person even said that typically they aren’t a ‘fan’ of coconut, but quite enjoyed this particular cake.

Moist, tender, made-from-scratch coconut cake.

You can do a more traditional layering if you’d like by slicing the cakes in half and adding icing in-between those layers as well if you’d like. I tend to prefer thicker cake to frosting ratios, so generally leave my cakes whole.

Homemade Toasted Coconut Cake

This coconut cake is adapted from the fabulous Ina Garten via The Food Network.


Toasted Coconut Cake

Toasted Coconut Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Moist, tender cake packed with coconut flavor. This made-from-scratch cake is one of my favorite cakes to make in the spring and summer!



  • 3 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut


  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded toasted coconut *see notes



  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by spraying liberally with baking spray, lining the bottom with a parchment round, and then lightly spraying the parchment round with baking spray as well. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter and sugar into a mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until lightened in color and creamed, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. The mixture might appear curdled at this point. No worries! It is supposed to look like that.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Alternate adding in the flour mixture and the coconut milk until it is all added and combined. Don't over-mix!
  4. Pour into cake pans and place on the middle rack. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a tester comes out with moist crumbs. ALWAYS start checking any cake recipe about 10 minutes prior to the listed baking time. Oven temps vary!
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks.


  1. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat until combined.
  2. Place a thick layer on top of the 1st cake, place 2nd cake on top.
  3. Put 1/2 of the remaining icing on top of the cake and spread evenly. Spread the remaining half on the sides of the cake.
  4. Press the coconut onto all sides of the cake, and serve!


I found it a get the coconut to stick to the cake. I kind of threw it at it, and when that didn't work, started using my hands and gently pressing it into the cake. Your milage may vary, but the end result is worth the mess!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1039 Total Fat: 64g Saturated Fat: 42g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 217mg Sodium: 497mg Carbohydrates: 110g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 81g Protein: 10g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!
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Saturday 29th of June 2019

The recipe lists shredded coconut in the frosting and cake but does not say anything about it in the cake instructions.

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 30th of June 2019

Hi Audra! It is pressed onto the side of the cake in the last step of the icing instructions: 4.Press the coconut onto all sides of the cake, and serve!

Hope that helps!


Thursday 14th of July 2016

What was the 'notes' after "6 ounces sweetened shredded toasted coconut *see notes"

Nicole Johnson

Thursday 14th of July 2016

Whoops! I updated the notes section. That got removed somehow. Thanks for catching that! It was basically just describing that getting the coconut on the cake is a bit of a pain in the butt. But worth it.


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

I am drooling over here. This homemade cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut looks AMAZING!

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Thanks you!!! <3