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Coconut Cake

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Coconut Cake

Happy Friday, loves! Before I jump into talking about cake and giveaways, I want to make a quick little mention.

bake-sale2 (1)

Tomorrow – that would be Saturday, May 11, 2013 – I am joining My Daily Find Chicago and some of Chicago’s best bloggers, writers, and foodies for the 4th Annual Chicago Pop-Up Bake Sale benefitting No Kid Hungry. We will be at 900 North Michigan Shops, Level 2, from noon-3 pm with a number of gorgeous, homemade treats to help eliminate childhood hunger in the United States.

If you are in the city tomorrow or would like to take a day to explore downtown, make sure to stop by and say hi! I’d love to meet you and sell you a cupcake or two.

And now, for our next order of business…


Since this week has been all about Mother’s Day desserts, let’s talk about moms for a minute, shall we?

Did you know that this year, Mother’s Day and World Fair Trade Day fall on the same weekend? To celebrate, Fair Trade USA is highlighting stories of moms around the world – just like Maria, pictured above – who, because of fair trade cooperatives, are better able to provide for their families and see their dreams realized.

“Fair trade” means just that: Products that bear the Fair Trade USA logo come from farmers and workers who are being justly compensated.

The impact goes beyond just the workers and their families, though: With the help of fair trade cooperatives, farmers in developing countries are able to build sustainable businesses that positively impact and influence their communities. Workers are taught how to use their skills and the free market to their advantage to make a positive change in their day-to-day lives.

This is especially important in communities where women might not otherwise be encouraged to contribute economically – allowing them to earn a place of respect and power in their families, and drastically reducing rates of domestic violence. Every time you purchase a product with the Fair Trade USA logo, you are helping someone like Maria see her dreams of starting a small grocery business at the Sunday market and sending her four children to college come true.

To read about more fair trade moms, check out the Fair Trade USA Mother’s Day feature.

While fair trade has its roots in the coffee industry, it has grown to include so many different products, and a lot of brands that you probably recognize and may already be buying! {This goes beyond just food, too – I am totally lusting after this scarf from prAna.}

I bet some of you have already tried Green Mountain Coffee, Numi Tea, LARABAR, or Alter Eco products – well, they are all fair trade! This means that supporting fair trade cooperatives and positively influencing communities around the world is as easy as brewing your morning coffee or afternoon cup of tea.

Fair Trade USA recently sent me some of their favorite products to check out, and I will tell you – these products are awesome! Believe me, making the switch to regularly purchasing these fair trade products would not be a sacrifice at all.


Because I believe so much in fair trade and want to encourage each of you to support fair trade cooperatives, Fair Trade USA has agreed to provide one lucky EYHO reader with the same box of goodies that they sent me! The lucky winner will receive:

  • 1 Numi Tea sampler box
  • 1 sampler of LARABARs, including 4 flavors
  • 1 package of Alter Eco Thai Sticky Purple Rice
  • 1 12-ounce package of Green Mountain Coffee
  • and 1 coupon for a FREE 16-ounce Iced Bhakti Chai

To enter, comment below and answer the following question: What makes your favorite woman (mom, grandma, aunt, sister, friend, etc) in your life special? Giveaway is closed!

For additional entries, do one or all of the following, and leave a separate comment for each telling me that you do (for a maximum of 5 entries):

Contest closes at 10 pm CST on Thursday, May 16. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

The winner was comment #5: Stephanie from Girl vs. Dough! Congrats, Stephanie!


And now…cake.

I recently made this coconut cake to celebrate my cousin’s senior art show. My family looooooves coconut, so I knew this cake would be a total hit – and I was right!

Here is what a coconut cake is NOT: a coconut cake is not a plain old white cake with some coconut stuck to the outside. Nonono.

To me, a coconut cake needs to have elements of coconut running throughout the cake, and that’s exactly what we have here. A perfectly moist cake flavored lightly with coconut milk, layered with a coconut filling, covered in buttercream made with a splash of coconut milk, and topped with toasted shredded coconut.

That, my friends, is a coconut cake, and one that your mom will love this Mother’s Day.

Coconut Cake

Fair Trade USA provided products for review. I was under no obligation to host a giveaway and, as always, all opinions are my own.

Coconut cake adapted from Shutterbean.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Coconut Cake
Yield: 1 3-layer 9-inch cake
For the cake:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 7 ounces sweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the frosting:
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
First, make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour 3 round 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture in 4 parts, alternating with the coconut milk and vanilla, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  5. Allow cakes to cool for 20-30 minutes in the pans, then remove from pans and allow to finish cooling on a cake rack.
Make the filling:
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, sugar, and flour until thoroughly combined. Turn heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add the coconut and vanilla. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature.
Make the frosting:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and the salt, whisking on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and the coconut milk, beating on high speed until light and fluffy and slightly increased in volume, about 2-3 minutes. Add more milk or powdered sugar as necessary to achieve your desired spreading consistency.
Assemble the cake:
  1. Divide the filling in half, spreading over the tops of two of the cake layers. Stack the cakes, then frost the tops and sides of the cake with the frosting. Immediately gently press toasted coconut onto the tops and sides of the cake.
  2. Cut and eat!

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Saturday 7th of October 2017

Hi. Can I half the recipe for a two layer 8" cake?


Wednesday 11th of October 2017

You could definitely try it. It might make the layers a bit thin, but would be worth a try.

Kathleen Curto

Wednesday 7th of December 2016

I just made this coconut cake for the first time, and holy bananas it is amazing. Thanks for all of the time you take to create these amazing recipes, Stephie! They are worth it every. single. time.


Monday 12th of December 2016

Thank you!!! You're the best.


Thursday 8th of September 2016

this cake is delicious!


Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

I am so making this! I pinned this to make for my husbands birthday ...coconut is his favorite!

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

Wednesday 3rd of February 2016

love this cake and what Fair Trade USA is doing!