Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake Recipe

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Ramona Published: February 17, 2021 Modified: May 31, 2021

How To Make Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake

You can’t get any more traditional than this white and fluffy as a cloud coconut cake. The tender crumb is frosted with vanilla icing and coconut flakes.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Total: 3 hours



For Cake:

  • cupswhite sugar
  • 2eggs
  • 4egg yolks
  • 1cupmilk
  • ½cupbutter
  • cupsall purpose flour
  • 1tbspbaking powder
  • 1tspvanilla extract

For Frosting:

  • cupswhite sugar
  • ½cupwater
  • 4egg whites,room temperature
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • ½tspcream of tartar
  • 2cupscoconut,sweetened and flaked, or as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans.

  2. Mix sugar, eggs, and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

  3. Heat milk and butter in saucepan over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes until butter melts. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

  4. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Pour into egg mixture. Add vanilla extract and milk mixture; beat well using an electric mixer. Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

  6. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

  7. Meanwhile, thoroughly clean mixing bowl and beaters. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until foamy.

  8. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes, until a candy thermometer reads 242 degrees F.

  9. Beat egg whites on high speed. Carefully pour in hot sugar mixture in the side of the bowl, avoiding the beaters; continue to beat on high for 6 to 8 minutes until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla extract.

  10. Place 1 cooled cake layer on a serving platter and frost the top. Repeat with second and third layers of cake.

  11. Complete frosting the sides, top, and throughout. Sprinkle coconut on top and smooth onto sides of cake using hands.


  • Calories: 464.04kcal
  • Fat: 14.94g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.89g
  • Trans Fat: 0.31g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.16g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.81g
  • Carbohydrates: 77.76g
  • Fiber: 1.91g
  • Sugar: 56.19g
  • Protein: 6.43g
  • Cholesterol: 97.73mg
  • Sodium: 131.74mg
  • Calcium: 127.05mg
  • Potassium: 156.37mg
  • Iron: 1.96mg
  • Vitamin A: 102.62µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.44mg
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