Coconut cake recipe

(3835 ratings)

This delicious coconut cake recipe is quick, easy and has a wonderfully light sponge and super-sweet frosting. The coconut cream frosting really adds to the cake...

Coconut cake recipe
(Image credit: Alamy TTNE19)
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories506 Kcal25%
Sugar20 g22%
Fat39 g56%
Protein6 g12%
Carbohydrates33 g13%

Our coconut cake recipe guarantees a moist light sponge and a silky coconut cream frosting.

This coconut cake has a soft, melt-in-the-mouth sponge and sweet coconut, and double cream frosting. This delicious dessert is mixed using an electric whisk to give it extra light and airy texture. 

Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and decorate with glace cherries before serving.


  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 3tbsp milk

For the coconut cream frosting:

  • 50ml coconut cream
  • 400ml double cream
  • 4tbsp shredded or desiccated coconut
  • Glace cherry, to decorate




  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat together with an electric whisk or with a wooden spoon until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a spoonful of the flour if the mixture begins to curdle.
  3. Sift over the flour and fold in gently, using a metal spoon. Fold in the coconut and milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and gently level the surface using the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for 25-30 mins until risen, golden and springy to the touch. Cool in the tins for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  5. To make the coconut cream frosting, place both creams in a large bowl and whisk together with an electric whisk until stiffly peaking. The mixture should form a trail once you remove the whisk from the bowl, similar to a meringue mix texture.
  6. To assemble, slice each sponge in half horizontally and sandwich all the layers back together with one-quarter of the coconut cream. Make sure the cakes are completely cool before adding any frosting or filling as warm cake will make the frosting melt and curdle. Spread two-thirds of the remaining cream over the top and sides of the cake.
  7. To finish the cake, add any remaining cream to the top of the cake and then gently press the coconut onto the sides and top of the cake. You can also opt to pipe the remaining cream in rosettes on top to decorate. If you don't have a piping bag, you can make a piping bag easily with our how-to guide. Decorate with glace cherries and serve.

Top tips for making a coconut cake

The coconut sponge cake can be made a day in advance but it’s best to assemble the cake on the day of serving to make sure the coconut cream frosting and the cherries stay as fresh as possible.

For an extra nutty flavour, lightly toast the desiccated coconut before adding to the sponge mixture. You can also swap desiccated coconut for coconut flakes instead which will add a different look to your finished cake.

For another kick of coconut flavour swap the milk in this recipe for coconut milk instead.

Can I use this coconut cake recipe to make a loaf cake or cupcakes?

If you want to make a coconut loaf cake or coconut cupcakes instead you'll be glad to know that you can easily adapt this recipe to suit. Use all of the same ingredient quantities and follow the method up until step 3, when you divide the mixture. Instead of dividing, pour into a greased and lined loaf tin or spoon into cupcake cases.

This recipe will make around 16-18 cupcakes and will fill a 900g loaf tin. Cooking times will vary, however. For a loaf; bake for 30-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cupcakes will take 15-20 minutes.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to kitchen appliances, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends some of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family including her two lucky children.