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Coconut Loaf Cake


Fine grained pound cake baked in a loaf pan is slathered in a rich and creamy cream cheese and coconut frosting. The recipe works well for potlucks or bake sales. Dye the coconut flakes red or pink for Valentine's Day, yellow or green for Easter, or even blue just because you like the color. This coconut loaf cake is delicious and can really be dyed any color for a festive addition to any celebratory dessert table.

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  • CAKE:
  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavor, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (8 ounce package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk powder, optional; for enhanced flavor
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut flavor, optional; for enhanced flavor
  • 3/4 to 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Servings 15
Preparation time 35mins
Cooking time 260mins


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x 5-inch loaf pan.

To make the cake: Beat the butter at medium speed, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, for about 10 seconds. Gradually add the sugar, beating all the while. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl midway through, until the mixture has lightened in color and is fluffy. See our creaming butter and sugar video for a great demonstration of this technique.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating each in completely before adding the next. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly, just until combined; the mixture will look curdled.

Beat in the salt, baking powder, coconut flavor, and vanilla.

Add the flour to the bowl in three portions, alternating with the cream, and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat at low speed, just to combine, after each addition.

Stir in the flaked coconut. Scoop the batter into the pan, smoothing its top surface.

Bake the cake for about 70 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center/top of the loaf comes out clean. Tent it gently with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes of baking, if it appears to be getting too brown.

Remove the cake from the oven, let it cool in the pan for a couple of minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Mix the butter and cream cheese at low speed, until thoroughly combined. Gently beat in the sugar, coconut milk powder, salt, and coconut flavor, until smooth.

Place the cake on a large piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Spread the frosting all over the cake. Pat the flaked coconut onto the frosting. This will be sticky work; use the paper or wrap to help.

Serve the cake in 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Store any leftovers, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Freeze for longer storage.

Yield: one 9" loaf cake, about 15 servings.

Tips from our bakers:

For smoothest frosting, make sure the butter and cream cheese are both at room temperature before you begin

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