This recipe for Coconut Cream Cake is so tender, and it is deliciously covered in Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream and beautifully toasted coconut.
This Coconut Cream Cake is the best ever coconut layer cake you will ever taste! For real. The cake itself is so tender and rich and the coconut buttercream isn’t overly sweet. But what really makes this Coconut Cream Cake the best ever is the coconut flavor. It’s not too overwhelming and it’s not fake tasting at all. This is all thanks to a combination of 3 coconut products: cream of coconut, coconut extract, and toasted coconut shreds.
I love placing this cake on a table near the dining room so my guests can see that something completely splendid is coming. Every time I make this cake I find myself writing out the recipe for folks. It could very well be my all-time favorite cake. It’s perfect for holidays like Easter, or Spring and Summer entertaining.
Cook’s Note – Coconut Cream Cake
- Leftover cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before eating.
- You can find the cream of coconut near the drink mixes like Piña Colada or here on Amazon.
- This recipe calls for cake flour. You can save some money by making your own. It’s super simple and you can found out in my post for Cake Flour!
Cook’s Tools – Coconut Cream Cake:
- 9-inch cake pans
- cooling racks
- baking sheet
- small offset spatula
- large offset spatula
- Cake plate or cake stand (I have this one and it’s my favorite!)
- Cake knife and server
- COCONUT CAKE:
- 1 large egg plus 5 large egg whites
- ¾ cup cream of coconut
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 ¼ cups cake flour, sifted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, softened, but still cool
- 2 cups packed sweetened shredded coconut (about 8 ounces)
- COCONUT BUTTERCREAM:
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pinch table salt
- 1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks), each stick cut into 6 pieces, softened, but still cool
- ¼ cup cream of coconut
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- FOR COCONUT CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large measuring cup add egg whites, whole egg, cream of coconut, water, vanilla, and coconut extract and beat with a fork until combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt for 30 seconds on the lowest setting. With mixer still running, add butter 1 piece at a time, and beat until mixture looks like coarse meal (butter pieces should be no bigger than small peas), about 2 minutes.
- Keep mixer running and add 1 cup of liquid. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly pour in remaining 1 cup liquid. Turn off mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl, then beat on medium-high speed to combine, about 20-30 seconds. The batter will be deliciously thick.
- Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared cake pans and level off with an offset spatula. Bake until deep golden brown, cake pulls away from sides of pans, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Do not turn off oven.
- Move pans to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes in pans, then loosen cakes from pan, invert cakes onto cooling racks, then re-invert; cool to room temperature.
- While cakes cool, spread shredded coconut onto a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until shreds are a mix of white and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes, stirring 2-3 times. Cool completely.
- FOR COCONUT BUTTERCREAM: In a bowl of a stand mixer set over a saucepan with 2 inches of barely simmering water, whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt. Whisk constantly until mixture is opaque and warm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees, about 2 minutes.
- Move the bowl to mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high until whites are barely warm and they look glossy and sticky about 7 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-high and beat in butter 1 piece at a time. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl. Turn mixer to medium speed and beat in cream of coconut and coconut and vanilla extracts. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until well-combined, about 1 minute.
- ASSEMBLE CAKE: Place a dab of buttercream on cake plate or cake stand. Put 1 cake round on center of cake plate and place about 1 ½ cups of frosting on top. Spread buttercream in even layer using a large offset spatula. Place second cake round on top and frost sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle top of cake with coconut, then press coconut into the sides of cake moving from bottom to top of the cake. Let excess coconut fall back onto baking sheet.
- Slice and serve!
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