Coconut Cake Recipe


5 from 292 votes
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This coconut cake recipe features a light and fluffy cake that is rich in coconut flavor. It’s a simple recipe that requires no eggs and very little prep work to get in the oven.

coconut cake recipes.

Who doesn’t like a nice big slice of homemade cake? Some may think baking a cake yourself at home is difficult and time-consuming, but today we are here to debunk that myth!

This coconut cream cake delivers an unmatched coconut flavor, and you don’t even need to pop to the shops for eggs to make it!

Since making this, I’ve added this to my list of favorite cakes, along with my lemon blueberry cake, chocolate cake, and healthy carrot cake.

Why you’ll love this coconut cake recipe

This coconut cake recipe is quick and easy to make, even for beginners (like an orange or lemon olive oil cake). It requires simple ingredients and no fancy equipment but delivers a flavor punch you will be craving repeatedly!

Here are some reasons you’ll love this recipe:

  • It can be made using pantry staples. No need to pop into the shops.
  • The cake is vegan. Swap the cream cheese for vegan cream cheese to make the icing vegan too.
  • Perfect texture. It’s super light and fluffy, even without eggs.

If you want a low carb version of this cake, you may enjoy a coconut flour cake instead.

coconut cake.

Ingredients Needed

You’re going to love how simple this ingredient list is! Depending on how often you bake, you may have all these ingredients in your pantry. Here is what you will need:

  • All-purpose flour- Make sure to sieve before you use it to ensure no lumps in your batter.
  • Sugar- Adds the essential sweetness to the cake.
  • Baking soda- Helps the cake rise without the eggs.
  • Salt- Brings out the flavor.
  • Water- Helps to combine all the ingredients in the correct consistency.
  • Oil- Use a neutral flavored oil like canola or safflower oil.
  • Vanilla extract- A must for any good cake recipe.
  • Vinegar- You can use white spirit vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Shredded coconut- This is the key ingredient for this cake. You can use both desiccated coconut and coconut flakes for this recipe.
  • Frosting- A classic mix of cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, cream, and coconut extract.

How to Make Coconut Cake

As I’ve mentioned, this recipe is super easy to make and should be in the oven in under ten minutes. Just be sure to preheat your oven before we get started, and let’s get baking!

Step 1- Make the batter

In a mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk them together until they are evenly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together wet until well blended. Add the wet and dry ingredients and whisk together gently until just combined. Gently fold in the shredded coconut.

Step 2- Bake the cake

Using butter or a nonstick cooking spray, grease two 8-inch cake tins. Then divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Step 3- Frost and serve

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until smooth and well incorporated. Add the cream and coconut extract and mix well. Once the cake has cooled, ice the top of one of the cakes and sandwich the two layers together. Ice the outside of the cake however you like.

how to make coconut cake.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t overmix. This will make the cake tough and prevent it from rising well.
  • Decorate with toasted coconut flakes. This adds a little something extra both visually and in the flavor.
  • Use coconut extract. An essence is also an option, but the extract is more natural with a better flavor.
  • Toast the coconut: Toasting the coconut flakes will enhance its flavor and give your cake exterior a beautiful golden color.
  • Chill the cake before serving: Allow at least 30 minutes of chilling time in the refrigerator before serving and slicing the cake, to allow the frosting to firm up slightly.

Storage Instructions

To store: Place in an airtight container in the fridge. This is key to keeping the frosting fresh.

To freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this cake with the icing on, as cream cheese icing doesn’t freeze well. However, you can freeze the cake in a zip-loc bag for up to 6 months.

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coconut cream cake.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this cake vegan?

Yes, the cake is vegan, as it contains no animal products. To make the frosting vegan, use dairy free cream cheese.

Can I use another flour?

I don’t recommend switching up the flour. This recipe has been designed especially for using regular all-purpose flour, so changing to a different flour will affect the results of the cake.

Can I use toasted coconut?

You can use toasted coconut if you want to, but as long as it is not too toasted. If its too dark going into the cake, it may add a bitter flavor once it has been baked further.

coconut cake recipe.

Coconut Cake Recipe

5 from 292 votes
This coconut cake is light and fluffy in texture but rich in coconut flavor. It's a simple recipe that requires no eggs and very little prep work to get in the oven.
Servings: 12 Slices
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes




  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar and whisk until smooth. Fold through the coconut flakes.
  • Grease two 8-inch cake pans and divide the batter between the two.
  • Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. 
  • To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in the powdered sugar until combined. Add the cream and coconut extract and beat until stiff peaks form. 


TO STORE: Place in an airtight container in the fridge. This is key to keeping the frosting fresh.
TO FREEZE: I don’t recommend freezing this cake with the icing on, as cream cheese icing doesn’t freeze well. However, you can freeze the cake in a zip-loc bag for up to 6 months.


Serving: 1SliceCalories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSodium: 284mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 2gVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 41g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Just made this cake and it is delicious. But glad I picked up that the instructions left out adding the coconut extract. Be sure to add it. I did at the last minute….

    1. I am about to make this delicious looking cake . I can’t seem to find coconut extract or essence . Will replacing it with vanilla extract deter from the flavour much ?

  2. The picture of the cake shows 3 layers but the recipe says 1 8” pan. Does this recipe make 1 or 3 layers?

  3. This looks so good and can’t wait to try. Is there any world where this recipe could be cooked as a muffin to make more portable/single serving for covid-times?

    1. 5 stars
      Great recipe! Found I had enough cake batter for 3 sandwich tins. Recipe method mentions vinegar but no mention of vinegar in the ingredients!?

  4. A few questions:
    1) If you replace the coconut extract with vanilla, will it still taste overwhelmingly like coconut?; and
    2) Is it EGGY?


    1. Vinegar and it’s quantity is not mentioned under the ingredients list in the recipe, while it is mentioned in the method as well as earlier in the recipe. Could you mention the quantity of vinegar to add please? Thank you.