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A 3-layered slice of coconut cream cake standing upright on a plate in front of the cake on a cake stand.

Coconut Cream Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coconut Cream, how to make a coconut cream cake, layered yellow cake recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 779kcal
This Coconut Cream Cake is gorgeous and super delicious. Perfect when planning a special meal. So moist and so flavorful. Delicious.
Print Recipe


  • 3 9-inch straight edge cake pans (See NOTES)
  • Parchment paper



  • Cooking spray, or butter for greasing the pans
  • cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting the greased pans
  • cup granulated sugar separated (1¼ for the cake, ¼ cup for the meringue)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 5 large egg yolks save the egg whites
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut extract
  • cup unsalted butter 3 sticks, melted
  • cup egg whites from the saved egg white


  • 24 oz cream cheese room temperature, 3 8 oz. packages
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • cups confectioners' sugar aka: powdered sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened cream of coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes divided, 3 tbsp for the icing, the rest toasted for topping


  • Preheat oven to 275°F. Cut parchment paper into circles to fit each pan. Grease the pans (and parchment paper) with cooking spray or butter, and then lightly dust with flour.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1¼ cups sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk together buttermilk, yolks, oil, and both extracts. With the mixer running on low, slowly add in the melted butter.
  • Switch the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment and gradually add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and mix on low until combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg whites (preferably with an electric hand mixer), slowly incorporating the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar until soft peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Fold peaked whites into the batter until just incorporated.
  • Pour batter evenly into greased cake pans.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Transfer each pan to a baking rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the pans to remove each cake layer. Discard the parchment paper. Allow the cake layers to completely cool before adding the frosting.
  • While the cake is baking make the frosting: In a stand mixer (or mixing bowl), mix together the room-temp cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the other ingredients (with 3 tbsp coconut flakes) until fully incorporated. Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Toast ⅓ cup of the coconut flakes until lightly browned.
  • Place one cake on a cake platter. Add a layer of frosting, and continue with the remaining layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes on the top of the cake.



We love using 3 9-inch straight-edge cake pans for this cake, however, you can also use whatever you have on hand if you prefer.  We originally baked this cake in 4 pans, but that makes for very thin layers.  We've revised the recipe to just 3 layers.  If you prefer 4, no problem!  You'll most likely need to bake the layers for less time, about 25 minutes.  If you are using 8-inch pans or going with just 2 pans, you will probably need to increase the bake time to about 40 minutes.  Keep an eye on them, and don't forget about the inserted toothpick test.
275°F may seem too low - but trust us...it cooks the cake perfectly!
Sweetened cream of coconut can often be found in the 'Juices/Mixers' area of most well-stocked supermarkets. 
We recommend using a spatula (or 2) to help transfer the cooked and cooled cake layers to the cake stand and for assembling the cake. 
The cake will keep (covered) for up to 1 week.  
The original sugar icing:
  • 1¾ cups softened butter
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 15 oz. can sweetened cream of coconut
  • 2 tbsp sweetened coconut flakes
  1. Beat the butter until fluffy.
  2. Incorporate the powdered sugar until combines.  
  3. Add the cream of coconut and flakes and mix for a few minutes.  


Calories: 779kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 202mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 1606IU | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 2mg