Coconut Cake Recipe by Paula Deen

Level: Moderate

Time: 35 MINUTES

33 ratings
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  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, divided
  • 2 cups sugar, plus 3/4 cup for filling
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons for frosting
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted or whisked to remove lumps
  • 1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour 3 (9 inch) round cake pans.

Step 2

Cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar together in a standing mixer outfitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add the eggs, one a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 3

Add the flour and coconut milk, alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix in 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Step 4

Divide the batter among the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and cool completely on the wire racks.

Step 5

To make the frosting: In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter using an electric hand-held mixer. Gradually add the confectioner's sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the coconut cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.

Step 6

To make the filling: Mix together the sour cream, 3/4 cup sugar, milk and coconut flakes in a large bowl.

Step 7

Once cake layers are cool, poke all over with a wooden skewer. Spread 1/3 of the filling over the first cake round, letting the filling fall into the holes you have poked. Top with a second round, spread another 1/3 of the filling over the top, and finally top with the final layer and spread the remaining filling over the top.

Step 8

The filling step can be done up to 3 days ahead of time so the cake can fully absorb the layers.

Step 9

Frost the top and sides of the cake then sprinkle the tops and sides with remaining coconut flakes.

Coconut Cake


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33 Reviews

Barb 4/30/2017
I love coconut c

I love coconut cake. This one looks wonderful! But I have the same problem as you, Paula, diabetes. So, I will have to wait until I have some people over to make it for because...I will eat it myself if I don't.
Love you Paula. I haven't seen you teach in a while so I learned a lot today.
God bless you. Hey, maybe you could try a less sugar or sugar free version of this cake. I'll come see you and we will try it out together. Blessings.

Phyllis 3/4/2017
Awesome! Coconut

Awesome! Coconut is one of our favorites!

Diane 2/26/2017
Have been dying

Have been dying to make this cake for some time. Made it yesterday for my own birthday cake (sweet husband made an awesome dinner but I wanted to do this myself!) I have to say it is the most phenomenal cake!! I actually made 1/2 recipe, using 2 8" round pans, 1/2 recipe of the filling & frosting, since there is just the 2 of us. We could easily eat the whole cake but then again, it would not be kind to our diets!! The 1/2 recipe is still giving us a good 4 nights of very generous-sized dessert! We are in "coconut cake heaven"!! The cake gets better each day. I made the cake and filling on Friday (giving the filling time to soak in), since my birthday was Saturday, when I finished frosting the cake. Thank you, Paula Deen!! This will no doubt be my go-to birthday cake!! Or some other special occasion cake. AWESOME!!!

Jackie 12/23/2016
I am making this

I am making this cake for the second time. Not hard to make! This is the best coconut cake I have ever had! Even have a husband that does not like Coconut Cake and he loves it!! He saids not really like Coconut cake!! It is the CREAM CHEESE and all that BUTTER! This cake will make you a lot of friends! IT IS A MUST TO MAKE !!!

Rhonda 12/22/2016
I am going to ma

I am going to make this cake today for Christmas. Does the cake need to be kept in the refrigerator?

Netta 12/9/2016
I am looking for

I am looking forward to making this, however, I need a clarification on an ingredient. The recipe says "cream of coconut", but the instructions say "coconut cream". These are two separate things. They are not the same thing. Is the recipe ingredients list correct or are the instructions correct. I know Paula says "cream of coconut" in video, but I (we) need to know what the correct ingredient really is.
Please clarify. Thank you.

Anita 9/8/2016
After cakes are

After cakes are made and filling poured over them, should they rest in the fridge or on the counter top? So far I give it a 4 rating. I'm sure I will give it a 5 after its completely done. Smells wonderful.

Darryl 9/4/2016
Tried this and i

Tried this and it was fantastic!

Ss 8/15/2016


Jill 5/23/2016
If you like swee

If you like sweet, this is the cake for you. It is sweet, and rich and don't eat much dinner. You will want to save room for this delectable desert! Make it a small piece and make sure when you make it that you either have a large family or planning on having a party with lots of guests. Your guests will love you!

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