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Coconut cake recipe - rich decedent moist coconut cake that is worth all the effort... which is a lot :) | www.lakesidetable.com
5 from 1 vote

Rooster's Coconut Cake Recipe

This is the real deal.  It's complex and not for the faint of heart.  It's worth doing.  You can do it.  Take your time and you will be rewarded!  Moist, light, and full of coconut flavor.  If you're looking for a classic coconut cake this is it. | www.lakesidetable.com
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Prep Time 5 hours 7 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 594.21 kcal
Author Madalaine


  • 5 eggs separated
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cake flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Coconut Soak

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar

Coconut Filling 

  • 3 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 oz butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted

Coconut Filling

  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk

Optional Topping

  • 3 cups shredded coconut


  • large bowl and whisk
  • sifter
  • stand mixer
  • saucepan and whisk



  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan.  Whisk egg yolks, water, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Sift cake flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt on top of wet ingredients and mix in.
  3. Beat egg whites on medium-low speed with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk.  Gradually increase speed to medium, then medium high.  When the volume has increased by about four times, slowly add in 2/3 cup sugar at the side of the bowl.  Continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Fold into batter.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake 20 minutes.  Rotate pan and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan.

Coconut Soak

  1. Combine the coconut milk, water, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter in bowl of a stand mixer until lump free.  Beat in vanilla.  Slowly beat in powdered sugar until fluffy.

Coconut Filling

  1. Beat coconut, sour cream, and vanilla with a mixer
  2. Place sugar and flour in a sauce pan over medium high heat.  Whisk milk in slowly to avoid lumps.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Once thickened, add to the coconut mixture and beat on low speed until slightly cool.

Assemble Cake

  1. Remove cake from pan and cut in half horizontally.  Place bottom half back into the pan, cut side up.  Assembling in the springform pan will keep the cake together.  Pour half of the coconut soak over the bottom.  The cake will be very wet.  Cover with coconut filling.  Place next layer on top, cut side up, and soak remaining liquid.  Refrigerate overnight.  Remove cake from mold and invert onto a cake plate or stand.  Cover with cream cheese frosting, then press handfuls of coconut around the top and sides.

Recipe Notes

There's a lot of steps and this takes a little while but it's well worth it.  Most of the time is waiting for things to cool and waiting for the cake to fully absorb the coconut soak.  Take your time and you'll be rewarded!

Nutrition Facts
Rooster's Coconut Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 594.21 Calories from Fat 388
% Daily Value*
Fat 43.07g66%
Saturated Fat 29.93g187%
Cholesterol 126.43mg42%
Sodium 485.28mg21%
Potassium 332.67mg10%
Carbohydrates 48.29g16%
Fiber 1.57g7%
Sugar 43.54g48%
Protein 6.71g13%
Vitamin A 986.68IU20%
Vitamin C 0.51mg1%
Calcium 115.32mg12%
Iron 1.91mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.