Coconut Cake

The inspiration came about while having lunch at work and we saw Ina Garten making coconut cake. It brought back memories of the one I made years ago. Yes, years ago because the last one I made is for a friend who didn’t even get to taste it.

We’re quite far from each other and I guess I was being a tease and sent step by step pictures of how I made the cake- from sifting the flour until it was ready, standing proudly on a pedestal in its white, creamy and luscious cream cheese frosting and garnished with shredded young coconut.
Well, let me make it short and just admit I kind of "bragged" about making a better one than what we saw on TV because of these reasons: number 1, I don’t use that much sugar in the cake batter and neither in my frosting; and number 2, I use only fresh young coconut to sort of wrap the cake with and then some more mixed with the batter. My cake may not be as pretty but taste wise, this is one cake I can confidently serve- coconut cake lovers or not
Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


For the cake
5 extra large eggs, separated (at room temperature)
1 1/3 cup sugar (sifted)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup whole or 2% fat milk
1 1/2 cup shredded young coconut, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda- set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the sugar, butter and oil until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in vanilla, almond and coconut extracts
Add flour mixture alternately with milk making sure to beat well after each addition.
Stir in shredded coconut
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff
Gently fold into the flour mixture
Divide equally into three well greased and lightly floured pans and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched lightly-better yet, insert a skewer or toothpick in the middle of the cake, when it comes out clean then the cakes are done. Baking time is shorter when using three pans

Remove from pans and transfer to wire racks to cool completely

For the frosting

2 packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
2 cups shredded young coconut, chopped

Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and unsalted butter
Add sifted confectioner's sugar and continue beating until creamy and smooth
Add coconut extract and beat a minute more
Chill before using
Assembling the cake:
Place one layer on a serving plate
Spread prepared frosting evenly on top
Place the second cake on top and repeat the process until the third cake
Spread the rest of the frosting all over the cake evenly with a spatula
Gently press the shredded coconut all around the cake
Chill before serving and make sure to refrigerate any left over cake 

For the young coconut, you can either get them fresh. Scoop with a spoon from the shells, cut into thin strips before chopping into small pieces or get the frozen ones at the Asian market. Just thaw, drain then spread in a baking pan and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 18 minutes. The process does not toast the coconut- just to dry the exterior without taking away the moisture inside.
So I brought the cake to work to prove that I am not just bragging and I was not embarrassed. It wasn't enough for my friends and they all loved it! :-)


  1. THE BEST coconut cake I've ever had! This one is my ultimate favorite of your creations...well, in the cake category of course. Thank you so much for making it for us. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful, talented co-worker. Te amos...Jenn

  2. That's right! We are indeed fortunate. I feel like I'm Ina's best friend and only your cake taste better!!!! I can't stop thinking about this lucious cake!!!! Thank u!!

  3. Thank you girls! Good eats need to be shared--- so happy you enjoyed it and you're very welcome!


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