| | | | | | |

Tropical Coconut Cake Recipe

Tropical Coconut Cake

This Tropical Coconut Cake Recipe is moist, delicious, and packed with coconut. A simple cream cheese frosting adds the perfect finishing touch.

Hello there, my friend 👋! Want a taste of the tropics? This coconut cake has amazing coconut flavor in every single bite.

It is moist, light, and super easy to make.

Let’s get started!

Utensils You Need

These are the utensils and/or equipment you need to make this recipe:

  1. Two large mixing bowls.
  2. Several smaller mixing bowls.
  3. A whisk.
  4. An 8×8 or 9×13 baking pan.
  5. A hand mixer or stand mixer.
  6. Oven mitts
  7. Serving plates.

The Recipe

Tropical Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Enjoy this moist and fluffy coconut cake with a rich coconut flavor, topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Brunch, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 400 kcal


For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and grease your baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the coconut milk to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend until just combined – don’t overmix!
  • Stir in the sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

  • In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract.

Assemble the cake:

  • Frost the cooled cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.
  • If desired, garnish with additional toasted coconut for a tropical touch.


  1. Use full-fat coconut milk for the richest flavor.
  2. For a toasted coconut cake, spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Store your leftover coconut cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Keyword cake, Coconut, cream cheese frosting, Dessert, tropical

Alternative Ingredients

If you don’t have the ingredients I listed above, do not worry. You can swap them out for the alternatives below.

All-purpose flourCake flour, self-rising flour (omit baking powder and salt)
Unsalted butterSalted butter (reduce salt in recipe), shortening, vegan butter substitute
Coconut milkHeavy cream, whole milk
Granulated sugarBrown sugar, honey, maple syrup

What to Serve with Tropical Coconut Cake

Tropical coconut cake is a dreamy dessert that pairs well with:

  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Whipped cream.
  • Fresh pineapple, mango, or other tropical fruits.
  • A tropical cocktail!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this coconut cake into cupcakes?

Yes, you can. These cupcakes take about 18-22 minutes to bake.

How should I store leftover coconut cake?

Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

My cake is too dry, what did I do wrong?

Dry cake is usually caused by overmixing the batter or overbaking the cake.

Can I freeze coconut cake?

Yes. Frosted or unfrosted, wrap your coconut cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can bake the cake a day in advance. Wrap it tightly and store at room temperature. Frost the cake right before serving.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating