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Southern Style Coconut Cake


Whenever I make ice cream, or custards, I always have leftover egg whites. (Did you know that you can freeze egg whites for future use? Yes, you can!) I've made a few coconut cakes, but I'm always looking for a white coconut cake that is moist, and packed with coconut flavor. This recipe fit the bill, and was the perfect way to use up the egg whites. I especially love the coconut butter cream/whipped cream filling-- which is light and flavorful. The end result yielded a moist cake, packed with coconut flavor. This recipe is every so slightly adapted from the food blog, "Completely Delicious". Click on the recipe source to see how I made this at "A Feast for the Eyes".

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Rate this recipe 4.2/5 (18 Votes)


  • CAKE:
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flavoring (I used LorAnn coconut flavoring)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 3 cups cake flour*
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk or regular milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup cream cheese butter cream frosting (above)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • NOTE: If you don’t have cake flour on hand, substitute 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour for 1 cup of cake flour.


Servings 10
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 45mins
Adapted from


Step 1


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans and line with parchment paper. (See note)
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, whole milk and coconut flavoring.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Add the butter and coconut milk and combine on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the egg white mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between additions.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Butter cream:

Beat together the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar on medium high speed until light and creamy.

Add the vanilla, coconut flavoring and enough coconut milk (or regular milk) to reach a spreadable consistency. Mix until smooth.

Optional: Spread the coconut on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven until golden, checking every 2 minutes. Watch it carefully, the coconut will burn fast. Let it cool completely. Note: I didn't follow this step, and the cake turned out great-- either way.

Whipped Cream Cheese Filling:

With a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until it starts to thicken.

Add 1 cup of the cream cheese butter cream a spoonful at a time while mixing on medium-high speed. Whip to soft peaks.

To frost the cake:

If desired, slice the 2 cake layers in half to create 4 layers. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Cover with the whipped cream cheese filling.

Repeat with the rest of the layers. Frost the entire cake with the remaining cream cheese butter cream and cover in the toasted coconut.

Chill for one hour before serving. Store in the fridge, cake will keep for several days.

Note: If you have only 2-inch deep pans, consider using 3 pans or 9-inch pans.

I brought the cake to slightly room temperature for about 15 minutes, before slicing.

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