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!
Recipe by Stephie Cooks at