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A slice of coconut cake with gold fork on a white plate

Fluffy Coconut Cake

Serves 10

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American



  • 3 cups cake flour see notes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk see notes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 eggs divided
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar see notes
  • 2 cups shredded coconut


  • 2 cups unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups cream cheese chilled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar



  • Preheat your oven to 175C / 350F. Spray the bottom of three 8-inch cake tins with oil spray and line with baking paper. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl, add the cake flour, salt and baking powder. Use a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • To a separate bowl, add the butter, 1 1/3 cups of the caster sugar and vanilla extract. Use an electric hand mixer to whip until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and vegetable oil, and mix on low speed to begin with then up to medium high speed until well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until a batter forms.
  • To a separate large mixing bowl add the egg whites and use clean beaters to whip for 10 seconds until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks form. While the mixer is on high speed, add the remaining 2/3 cup of caster sugar a little at a time. Once all the sugar is In there, continue whipping for 2 minutes until stiff glossy peaks form.
  • Add the egg yolks and use a spatula to fold through.
  • Add half the egg mixture to the batter and fold through until well combined. Add the remaining egg mixture and repeat.
  • Split the batter between the three cake tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean Once baked, allow to cool in the cake tins

Cream cheese frosting

  • Add the softened butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and use an electric hand mixer to whip on high medium speed until well combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  • Add the milk powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Turn the beater to low speed and mix until no dry ingredients are showing. Then turn up to high speed and continue beating until frosting is fluffy and pale, about 5 minutes.

To Assemble

  • Carefully run a knife around each cake tin to loosen the cakes of needed. Place your serving plate on a cake turntable if you have one. Add a dab of frosting on your serving plate and add the first layer of cake. Add 1/4 of the frosting on top of the cake and use a spatula to smoothen out flat. Add the next layer of cake and repeat until you put on the third layer of cake.
  • Pipe frosting around the sides of the cake and smoothen out.
  • Add a baking tray underneath the cake turntable. Use your hands to stick the shredded coconut on the top and sides of the cake. Slice and serve.


This cake can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to three days.
To make your own cake flour
Cake flour gives cake a nice light and fluffy texture and is lower in gluten. To make your own cake flour, simply take out 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour from each cup of flour and replace with 2 tbsp of corn flour, also known as corn starch. Sift together twice to aerate the flour mixture.
Canned coconut milk
This will make your cake really moist and add loads of coconut flavor. If you don’t have it, you can use any type of plant-based carton milk with 1 tsp coconut extract.
Cream of tartar
This will help stabilize your egg whites and help them fluff up better. If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice or white vinegar.


Calories : 154kcal
Carbonhydrates: 6g
Protein: 3g
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 1g
Trans Fat : 1g
Cholesterol: 82mg
Sodium: 395mg
Potassium : 106mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 5g
Vitamin A: 119IU
Calcium: 88mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure