Coconut Cake

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Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: 12 to 16
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 box (18 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
Whole milk, as called for by cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
12 ounces canned or frozen shredded coconut

2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons light corn syrup, or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut





Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans with butter, oil or cooking spray.

To make the cake: Follow the directions on the cake mix box, substituting milk for water. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pans for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then remove the cakes from the pans to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, sugar and coconut. Spread between the slightly warm cake layers, piercing each layer with a toothpick as you stack them, but don’t pierce the top of the top layer. Store the cake in a container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days to allow the flavors to soak through.

On the day you are ready to serve the cake, make the frosting: In the top of a double boiler, combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup or cream of tartar, and salt. Do not place over the heat; instead beat for 1 minute using a handheld electric mixer. Then place over simmering water and cook, beating constantly, until the frosting forms stiff peaks.

This should take about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla and beat until it reaches spreading consistency, about 2 minutes. Frost the top and sides of the cake and sprinkle all over with shredded coconut.

Publication: From PAULA DEEN’S SOUTHERN COOKING BIBLE. Copyright © 2011 by Paula Deen. Published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Reprinted by permission.

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Reader Comments:


love your show. I came on here to fine a coconut cake am wanting to make a drum cake for a church christmas dinner that we are having. they seem to love the recepies that i do. and i have you to thank. thank you again wanda yates

By wanda yates on December 02, 2013


Re: the coconut cake recipe. I think that you must have left out water in the 7 min. iceing. and the filling seems to have way to much sugar. Are you sure that this is right?

By TT on January 14, 2013


Wish I had read the comments before I made the frosting. I've made this cake before and had great success, but I had downloaded it from another site. There is 1/3 cup of water left off the frosting ingredients and it's CRUCIAL! I had to dump the first batch and start over once I figured out what was going on. The web master needs to update this one.

By Lyn on December 24, 2012


Karen, I was wondering why in the world my frosting was so sticky! The water makes perfect sense! I'm assuming you add the water along with all the other ingredients in the double boiler..? Thanks!

By Amy on July 06, 2012


Made this cake using a lemon cake mix as I couldn't find plain yellow cake mix, and fancy flake bagged coconut as I too couldn't find frozen or canned. Turned out great, with the exception of the 7-minute frosting. Now, I didn't have a double boiler, so that may have been the problem with the frosting, but honestly, the coconut/sugar/sour cream mix that you put between the layers is so good, and firms up so well (when not between the layers) that next time I'll just make more of it and use it to frost the cake. When between the layers, it keeps the cake extremely moist. We were still eating the cake 2 weeks later, and it was just as good, and moist. The lemon cake mix added a nice light citrusy touch.

By Heather on April 21, 2012


Who makes canned coconut....or frozen?? All I can find is the bagged, flaked.

By Maggie Grevenow on April 14, 2012


Made the frosting from this recipe. It did not turn out, checked Paula's cookbook. Cookbook recipe called for 1/3 C cold water. Remade frosting with addition of water. It turned out wonderful!

By Karen on April 10, 2012


I want to make this coconut cake, but where in the heck do I find canned or frozen coconut?? All I can find is bagged.

By Maggie Grevenow on April 10, 2012


What is the easy way to get coconut chips crumb on the sides of a cake

By Tammy on April 05, 2012


I have been looking for a coconut/lime cake, I am sure it is one of your recipes but can t find it! Thanks

By Wayne on April 03, 2012


My daughter made the sour cream coconut cake for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful. Just like Mama's. Your program is the one show my daughter and I can't miss.

By Linda Blasingim on November 30, 2011


My Mom is so excited to try this Recipe, no dout she loves your show, and she thinks your so funny at times... I Love you Mami! ♥♥♥

By Sarah :) on November 01, 2011


Love your recipes, watch you daily on the food channel, have all of your books except this one and subscribe to your magazine

By Mildred Amos on October 17, 2011


Watched you on Rachel Ray this morning,,,,wonderful and I can't wait to make the Coconut Cake for Christmas.

By Marge Bidwell on October 17, 2011

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