Classic Coconut Layer Cake

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I’m not gonna lie, before I decided to make this coconut cake recipe I said to myself:

“Who in the world likes to eat Coconut Cake?”

It’s terribly sweet and even I am not sure I want all that dang coconut in one bite!


I ATE THE WHOLE PIECE and still wanted more.

The Classic Coconut Layer Cake with just two simple recipes you can have this rustic yet elegant cake

By adding shredded coconut to the cake batter I have transformed my white cake recipe into something completely new and awesome!

This cake is not too sweet at all!

And I even used sweetened flake coconut for the outside coating!

Of course you can opt for unsweetened coconut in both the cake and the batter for a less sweet version

The combination of coconut cake, coconut buttercream and sweet flaked coconut coating is out of this world amazing!

You will definitely turn some heads with this Classic Coconut Layer Cake!

Notes for Success:

By baking all the batter into a 9″ x 13″ cake pan you can have one single sheet cake layer of Coconut Cake!

It also bakes into cupcakes, but just not high domed ones

When measuring cornstarch I cannot stress enough that a kitchen scale is the best way to go.

Cornstarch is a very difficult ingredient to measure consistently with a volume spoons measure, so while I list both measures below I cannot stress enough how the grams measure with a scale is going to give you the best results.

A heavy hand in measuring cornstarch could result in a dry cake.

I am using aquafaba as the egg replacer here but you can use 2 Tbs flax meal reconstituted with 6Tbs water instead mixing with the same method as described

Be sure to turn the oven temperature down to 300°F as noted below in the recipes or you could have a dry over baked cake before the center is even baked through

For the most coconut flavor in this cake, coconut milk is the way to go

Specifically Drinkable Coconut milk NOT canned coconut milk which has an obscene amount of fat and will throw off the balance of fat in this recipe, although any plant milk will work just fine here

Surprisingly the sweetened flake coconut was not a bad idea here, I thought the cake would be too sweet but it was perfect!

Of course it is your option to use unsweetened if you prefer

I am using Coconut Extract & Coconut Flakes from Olive Nation~ They have extended a 20% off discount code if you want to grab some of their awesome high quality baking ingredients!

Type GVB20 at checkout on their website here at Olive Nation. com

For more awesome Coconut Recipes click the links below!

Coconut Mango Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Pie

Piña Colada Cheesecake Bars

Yield: Serves 8-10pple

Classic Coconut Layer Cake

Be sure to read the Notes for Success section in the text of the article above this recipe!
This recipe is for 2-8″ cake layers or 3-7″ layers

Prep Time
30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes


Vegan Butter 8 tablespoons (113g)

Coconut Oil 8 Tablespoons (113g)

Granulated Sugar 1½ cup (300g)

Plant Milk 1 cup (237ml)

Coconut Extract 2 teaspoons (10ml)

All Purpose Flour 5 Tablespoons (40g)

Cake Flour 3 cups (360g)

Baking Powder 3½ teaspoons

Salt ¾ teaspoon

Cornstarch 1 Tablespoon (8g)

Aquafaba ¾ cup (177ml)

Shredded Flakes Coconut * sweetened or unsweetened your option 1½ cups

1 recipe your favorite buttercream

2 teaspoons coconut extract


Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease & parchment line your cake pan(s)Combine the softened vegan butter with the granulated sugar and mix on high speed with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes until light and fluffy, then add the coconut oil and mix for another 2 minutes.Be sure to scrape the bottom & sides of the bowl from time to time.Combine the extract and plant milk set it aside.Combine the aquafaba with the cornstarch and whisk together so there are no lumps, it will get slightly frothy too, this is good.Once the butter mixture is creamed, add the aquafaba/cornstarch to it and change the attachment to the whisk attachment, whip on high speed to emulsify & the mixture will get very silky and smoothMeanwhile sift the flour with the salt and baking powder and add 1/3 of that to the creamed mixture, blend just until combined then add half of the plant milkBlend just until combined then add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then the remaining liquid and last the remaining dry ingredients.Be sure to scrape the sides & bottom of the bowl and whip it on high for 10 seconds to blend wellAdd the coconut and mix to combine.Divide the batter evenly between your pans and bake immediately in the preheated oven that has been set to 350°FAfter the first 10 minutes lower the temperature to 300° and bake for another 20-25 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanThe total bake time should be about 25-35 minutesCool in the pans and the turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completelyMeanwhile prepare the buttercream icing of your choice and add the coconut extract at the last stage of mixingAssemble the cake with the coconut buttercream filling & icing then add flaked coconut all over the cake for garnish or decorate as you wish


Coconut Cake is best served at room temperature and can be stored at room temperature in a cool area for up to 3 days.

For longer storage keep refrigerated for up to 1 week wrapped to prevent drying

Bring to room temperature before serving by leaving the cake out on the counter for at least 1 hour before serving.


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