An old-fashioned coconut cake recipe, made with a soft, 2-layer vanilla cake and iced with an old-fashioned frosting straight from my grandmother’s cookbook, and covered in sweet coconut shavings. Here’s a simple way to make a scrumptious coconut cake: Take a boxed cake mix, add Coco Lòpez and top with flaked coconut.

This Coconut Cake is one of the best cakes you’ll ever make! It’s light and fluffy, it’s brimming with sweet coconut flavor and it’s finished with a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting. This has been a reader favorite recipe for years and it’s one of my my families favorites!

This was just ok for hubby and me. The cake part itself is pretty good, albeit a bit sweet, but the frosting was not a favorite. It had the consistency of a melted marshmallow, which made it somewhat difficult to spread on the cake. And once the layers were stacked on top of each other, the frosting just oozed out the sides, making a mess of things. It was also very sweet, with not much flavor other than sugar. I would also enjoy more coconut flavor throughout the cake and frosting, instead of just putting some coconut on the outside. Overall though, I could see making this again, but with a few tweaks.

Those of you who follow the blog regularly are familiar with a lot of my grandmother’s recipes. Maybe you’ve tried her hot milk cake, potato candy, or apple dumplings (to name just a few!). She also makes a killer Coconut Cake with a unique, silky white frosting. While she was just as happy to share that recipe with me as all of the others, I was a little surprised to learn that she actually doesn’t make her coconut cake from scratch.



1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 3/4 cups white sugar

1/2 cup water

4 egg whites, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, or as needed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease three 9-inch round cake pans.

Mix sugar, eggs, and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Heat milk and butter in saucepan over low heat until butter melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Pour into egg mixture. Add vanilla extract and milk mixture; beat well using an electric mixer. Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, thoroughly clean mixing bowl and beaters. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until foamy.

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil until a candy thermometer reads 242 degrees F (116 degrees C), 3 to 4 minutes.

Beat egg whites on high speed. Carefully pour in hot sugar mixture in the side of the bowl, avoiding the beaters; continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract.

Place 1 cooled cake layer on a serving platter and frost the top. Repeat with second and third layers of cake. Complete frosting the sides, top, and throughout. Sprinkle coconut on top and smooth onto sides of cake using your hands.

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