Coconut Cake

Do you love Coconut Cake? Then this is the cake for you! Perfectly moist, full of delicious flavor and crazy easy to make!

coconut cake

Coconut Cake

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As you guys probably know, I’m the queen of cake mix hacks. Work smarter, not harder! So it was only a matter of time before I made a variation of my favorite cake mix hack that is a Coconut Cake recipe, which I originally posted over at Yellow Bliss Road.

This easy coconut cake recipe gives you all the fantastic flavor and texture of a traditional coconut cake, without all the hassle of making it from scratch. Now don’t get me wrong, I love baking a cake from scratch as well. But a good cake mix hack can save time and yield fantastic results. Trust me, when I bring one of these to a party, everyone begs for the recipe.

I opted to frost it with fresh whipped cream instead of buttercream because I really wanted this to be as light and fluffy as possible and because I wanted the coconut to take center stage. So think of it as a Coconut Cream Cake!

coconut cake recipe

Tips for making this Easy Coconut Cake

  • Be sure to shake the coconut milk really well before opening the can and adding it to the bowl.
  • I’ve had a few people ask about the number of eggs. I know it seems excessive, but that large amount of eggs really makes the most perfectly moist crumb. Trust me on this!
  • Be sure to line your cake pans. I like to lightly trace the outside of the pan on parchment and use that to cut the parchment paper to the correct size. Them I spray the pan with cooking spray, place the parchment into the pan (the spray helps to almost “adhere” it to the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t shift when you add the batter) and spray a little ore cooking spray to the sides and bottom of the pan.
  • You’ll know the cakes are done because it doesn’t jiggle in the middle and when you gently press into the middle it bounces back. Cool them completely (I often bake the cakes the day before).
  • I like to take some foil pieces and gently place them under the first layer of cake with the edges sticking out so that I don’t make a mess when frosting and adding coconut to the cake.
  • I like to drizzle a little chocolate sauce and sprinkle some sliced almonds over the top- it tastes just like an Almond Joy bar!

coconut cream cake

Frequently asked questions about this Best Coconut Cake recipe

  • Do you need to refrigerate this coconut cake? Yes, because the frosting is whipped cream.
  • Can you add coconut to the cake mix? You can add 1/2 cup of flaked coconut tot the mix if you want to. I chose not to because I think the coconut in the filling and all over the outside of the cake adds enough texture already.
  • Can you freeze coconut cake? Yes I’d encourage you to freeze each layer well wrapped in plastic wrap without the whipped cream. You can whip that up fresh when it comes time to defrost the cakes.
  • How long does this cake last? It will be good to eat for up to a week.
  • How long does it take a cake to completely cool? This will vary by the cake but once out of the pan, it can be 15-30 minutes. Make sure you let the cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting the pans onto your cooling rack.
  • Can this cake be made in advance? Yes, you can make the cake layers in advance and assemble the day of serving or you can make and assemble the cake and keep it covered in the refrigerator if you have room (a cake dome is good for this).

easy coconut cake

Helpful tools:

  1. Measuring cups
  2. Measuring spoons
  3. Mixing bowl
  4. Spatula
  5. Stand mixer or Hand mixer
  6. 9-Inch Round Cake Pans
Coconut Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Cooling time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Do you love Coconut Cake? Then this is the cake for you! Perfectly moist, full of delicious flavor and crazy easy to make!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coconut Cake
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Jessy Freimann, The Life Jolie
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, be sure to shake the can well
  • 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract, divided
  • 3 cups heavy cream (1 1/2 pints)
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of 2 nine inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, instant pudding, coconut milk, oil, eggs and 1 teaspoon coconut extract until well combined.

  3. Divide evenly between both cake pans and smooth the top with a spatula.

  4. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the cake no longer jiggles and the middle bounces back when very lightly pressed. Cool completely.

  5. In a large bowl whip heavy cream, 1 teaspoon coconut extract, and confectioner's sugar until you have stiff peaks. 

  6. Place a small dollop of whipped cream in the middle of your serving plate to adhere the first layer. Place the first cake layer on top of it and gently press it into place. I like to place pieces of foil under the edges of the bottom layer to protect the cake plate while icing for less mess.

  7. Add a layer of whipped cream to cover the top of the first layer (this will be your filling). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup flaked coconut.

  8. Place the second cake layer on top of this and very gently press it into place.

  9. Cover the rest of the cake with the remaining whipped cream. You want it to be fully covered in an even layer, but don't worry if it's not perfect. I start at the top and work my way down.

  10. Carefully cover the outside and top of the cake with remaining flaked coconut. Remove the foil from the outsides of the cake plate.

  11. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

best coconut cake recipe

If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions! And if you make it please tag me on Instagram with @thelifejolie so I can share it <3

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