The Best Coconut Cake EVER!


coconut cake
My grandmother’s homemade Coconut Cake is the very best coconut cake in the entire world. I have never found another coconut cake that remotely compares. Coconut Cake has been a staple at my family’s Christmas and Easter gatherings every year since I was a tiny girl. Now that I have a family of my own and we don’t usually travel at Easter, I make it for my family. It’s such a simple recipe starting off with a 1-2-3-4 cake and 7 minute frosting. Keep reading and I’ll share the secret to what makes this cake so moist and amazing! Easy Steps:

  1. Follow the recipe below to make cake layers. Allow cake to cool completely.
  2. Make 7 Frosting and Sugar Syrup.
  3. Begin to assemble layers by placing a dollop of frosting in the middle of the cake plate to prevent cake from shifting.
  4. Cut strips of wax paper and place around outside of cake plate so that the wax paper will be under the very edge of the bottom layer of cake. By doing this you will keep your cake plate nice and clean. Only place the wax paper around the very edge of the cake because as you add layers and frosting the cake gets heavy and it will be hard to remove if it’s too far under the cake.
  5. Place layer number one on cake plate, then spoon just enough sugar syrup mixture over cake to cover the top layer (this makes it really moist). You don’t want it dripping off, just enough to soak in.
  6. After the sugar syrup, frost layer with 7 minute frosting.
  7. Add coconut on top of 7 minute frosting. If you’ve never used frozen coconut you will be shocked at how moist and delicious it makes your cake.
  8. Add layer number two and repeat process. When you get to the last layer you’ll cover the entire cake with 7 minute frosting and then add coconut generously all over.

coconut cake 3
When making the 7 minute icing make sure the boiling water from the pan doesn’t touch the bottom of the top pan, otherwise your frosting will be grainy. coconut cake 4
Wax paper around the edges of the cake plate will help keep your cake plate clean while you are assembling and frosting. Use generous amounts of frosting. coconut cake 5
The frozen coconut really makes the cake amazing. It literally tastes like you used a freshly cracked coconut without all the work that would be involved. coconut cake 8
Once the entire cake is covered with the 7 layer frosting add the rest of the coconut to the top of sides of cake. coconut cake 2
Is it not gorgeous? It’s best to make a day or two in advance because as it sits in the fridge, the sugar syrup mixture and frosting permeates the cake layers and makes it ever so moist and delicious. So, what is my secret to the best coconut cake in the entire world? The sugar syrup and frozen coconut make this cake absolutely amazing!

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4.43 from 14 votes

The Best Coconut Cake EVER!

Author: Kasey Trenum


1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe

7 Minute Frosting

Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • **You'll also need at least 3 bags of frozen coconut to add between the layers and top of the cake. You could use packaged coconut but the frozen is the best.


For the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour (3) 9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl beat butter until fluffy and smooth.
  • Add sugar to butter and beat on low for 6-8 minutes.
  • One at a time add eggs, beating after each addition.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • Alternate adding flour mixture and milk beating after each addition. You'll want to begin and end with flour.
  • Stir in vanilla until mixed through.
  • Pour equal amounts in pans and level batter.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes then cool for 5-10 minutes before inverting on a cooling rack.
  • Cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  • Put all of the ingredients except the vanilla extract in the top of a double broiler.
  • Beat for 1 minute.
  • Place pan over boiling water, however do not allow the boiling water to touch the bottom of the pan or the icing could become grainy.
  • Beat for 7 minutes on high speed, then add in vanilla.

To make the Sugar Syrup

  • Boil one cup of water and one cup of sugar until it thickens and becomes syrupy.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kaseytrenumblogger or tag #kaseytrenumblogger!

If you like this recipe, check out a couple of other cake recipes.


  1. Can this cake be made ahead of time and put in freezer? Also, should frozen coconut be thawed first before adding to cake?

    1. Hi! Yes, it can be made in advance and frozen. I do pop the coconut in the microwave or lay it out on the counter to thaw it out before putting on the cake. Otherwise, it is hard to spread out.

  2. If I’m making the cake on Friday night for Sunday lunch should it be kept in the fridge or on the counter?

  3. When I make seven minute frosting my mom always added a cup of marshmallows before finished cooking makes the iceing much fluffier and delious

  4. This is very much like my late mother-in-law’s coconut cake, except she stirred the coconut into the syrup as it was cooking and layered the cake with that, then the seven minute frosting and coconut outside. The best coconut cake ever!

  5. My mother in law use to make the best coconut cake. We all loved it but somehow we have lost her recipe. She use the milk of 1 coconut and mixed it with the coconut and whipped cream I think. It was not as thick as you would usually do whipped cream she poked holes all over the layers. Put the mixture on the layers. Then she would frost the sides and the top with whipping cream with some coconut. Does anyone have the proportion of coconut milk, whipping cream to make the filling?

  6. My mother in law made a great coconut cake. Of course she used a real coconut for many years. Then my husband convinced her to use the frozen unsweetened kind. My husband and I now make this cake every Christmas we use a yellow cake recipe. Instead of water and sugar I use coconut milk and sugar it however does not need equal parts just add sugar till it is sweet enough for you. We poke holes in the layers. Whip your whipping cream till stiff. I use one pint. Take out about a third of it and sit in refrigerator. Then had coconut milk 1 can be sure to make sure it is coconut milk. I then whip it a little not till it is real stif but almost then add to remainder of whipped cream. Poke each layer then cover with coconut milk syrup, coconut whipped cream mixture then repeat with each layer. Keeping everything really cold. Cover with remainder of whipping cream with 3-4 bags coconut. Sometimes depending on how runny the coconut milk and whipped cream mixture is you may need to keep it almost frozen and the cake almost frozen makes the icing process much easier. She use to sprinkle the coconut over the whipped cream but I find that hard to get it evenly dispersed over the cake thus I mix it with the whipping cream you set aside. You can also toast the coconut which I think adds a great flavor and texture. I only win when I can do it without husband and son around. They want it like grandma and mama made it. I hope you will try this and let me know how it worked for you and how it tasted.

  7. Hi,

    Your link to the frozen coconut no longer exists and I just wanted to know what it is as it’s not something we have in the UK. I have tried a number of your recipes and they are all delicious and really want to make this one.

    1. Hmmm…I’m not sure why. If you google Birdseye Frozen Coconut you should see what it looks like here in the US. I’m not sure what you would look for in the UK.

  8. Frozen coconut is no longer available — not even on Amazon! I love this cake and another kind of coconut just doesn’t do it. Does anyone have a substitute recipe? I don’t want the poke kind.

  9. It is so usual to find a coconut cake with 7 minute frosting and frozen coconut. That is what I grew up with. My mother used to crack, peel and grate her coconut. What a job! When she discovered frozen coconut that was a real blessing. This is a real coconut cake!! Not cream cheese or buttercream frosting on a coconut cake. HA!! Same way with strawberry shortcake. 7 minute frosting with whole strawberries on top. Beautiful site!! A biscuit is not made for strawberry shortcake in my book. I want real cake!

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