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Coconut Cake

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  • Prep 1 hr 25 min
  • Total 1 hr 45 min
  • Servings 16
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We bet you’ve never tasted anything quite as delicious as this coconut cake. From the tender crumb to the sticky-sweet frosting, this coconut confection is made completely from scratch. Three perfectly moist, almond-and-vanilla-infused cake layers are brushed with a coconut-milk mixture, layered with an incredibly special frosting and sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes for a gorgeous end result. Don’t be intimidated by the boiled frosting—just when you think it’s not working, the smooth, luscious mixture will come together and you soon understand why it’s worth the effort. Ready to make the coconut cake of your dreams?
Updated Feb 24, 2020
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  • 2 3/4 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup milk

Boiled Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large marshmallows, cut into small pieces


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat (lite) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
  • 2 to 3 cups flaked coconut
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with shortening; lightly flour. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt; set aside.
  • 2
    In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and almond extract. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk, beating just until blended. Divide batter evenly among pans.
  • 3
    Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.
  • 4
    In heavy 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 1/2 cups sugar and the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is clear. Cook, without stirring, to 240°F on candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high; pour hot syrup into egg white mixture. Add marshmallows, a few pieces at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and frosting is thick enough to spread.
  • 5
    In small microwavable bowl, microwave 2 tablespoons sugar and the coconut milk on High 1 minute; stir until sugar dissolves. Brush half of the coconut milk mixture over 1 cake layer to within 1/2 inch of edge. Frost with 1 cup of the frosting; sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the coconut. Top with second cake layer; brush with remaining coconut milk mixture. Frost with 1 cup frosting; sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting on top and side of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    If you’d rather keep your frosting in the traditional buttercream family, here’s an excellent Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting.
  • tip 2
    If you fall for the boiled frosting in this recipe, you’ll want to try our Swiss Meringue Buttercream next. It’s made with a similar method and is just as delightful!
  • tip 3
    Cool layer cakes in their pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. If you try to remove them from their pans sooner, they’ll be too warm and tender and might break apart. Then, flip each cake out of its pan onto the cooling rack. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  • tip 4
    Try using a turntable when decorating your cake. These nifty rotating cake stands are available at large craft stores and allow you to assemble your cake on a flat surface and turn the cake as you frost.


460 Calories, 17g Total Fat, 6g Protein, 72g Total Carbohydrate

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 3 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 3 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
4 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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