Ultimate Coconut Cake with Coconut Frosting

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | March 2nd, 2024 | Desserts, Recipes
Frosted coconut cake

Today is “learn a couple fun facts about Michele day”. You may be wondering why you need to read this. I mean, unless you’re a close friend or family member, do these fun facts matter? On the opposite hand, maybe you’ll learn that you (the reader) and I (the writer) have something in common. Personally, I enjoy things like that.

With positive thoughts in mind, let’s dive into the first fun fact. I adore sweetened, flaked coconut. I always have. As a young child in the 70s, one of my favorite things about homemade cakes was that they were decorated with frosting and coconut. My mom had a couple cookbooks, of which I have now have one, that showed how to make almost any object from a regular-shaped cake, frosting, and dyed coconut. Want a puppy dog? With a dozen cuts or so, your 13×9 cake becomes a canine. Want a baseball glove? Again, another dozen or so cuts, and your 2 9-inch round cakes become a sports item.

The highlight of the year was a toss-up between Easter and my birthday. On Easter we were guaranteed a bunny with a jelly bean nose and licorice whiskers. For my birthday, it could be any item (within the cookbook) that I chose. The key item was that both of those holidays would include a frosted cake topped with lots of coconut.

Fun fact number two may be the more surprising fact. I absolutely adore Hostess Raspberry Zingers. What’s shocking about this is that I have quite a good amount of disdain for processed desserts. Anytime I’m asked to bring a dessert for a gathering, it’s homemade. Yet, one of my infrequent, yet highly enjoyed, treats is this mass produced snack. Who knew?

I guess I’d label it one of my guilty pleasure foods. Don’t we all need those? I know I do. There are other things that I eat that really don’t align with the way that I cook or typically order, but I like nonetheless. Maybe that’s part of what makes us human. Most days I want a dessert made from scratch, but every once in a blue moon I need a processed treat.

So, two fun facts later, there’s a general theme here. I adore coconut, which is why I made this cake. It’s full of coconut. The cake has coconut milk and coconut extract. The frosting also has coconut extract and coconut milk. Finally, it’s topped with as much sweetened, flaked coconut as the frosting will hold.

Yes, this cake is four layers of indulgent self-gratification via coconut and baked goods. For a dessert that’s full of coconut flavor, but without the flaked coconut, give this No Need for Frosting Coconut Cake a try.

Frosted Coconut Cake

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Course Dessert

Servings 14



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 3-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 Tb. coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • 3 cups sweetened, flaked coconut



  • CAKE: Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease and flour 2 8-inch round baking pans.
  • Cream butter with sugar until fluffy.
  • Add eggs individually, beating well after each addition. Add coconut extract.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and beat just to combine.
  • Add half of coconut milk and, again, beat just to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
  • Divide batter between prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pan and place on baking rack to cool completely.
  • FROSTING: Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, coconut milk, and coconut extract, and mix well.
  • TO ASSEMBLE: Slice each layer of cake into two halves (horizontally).
  • Place a half layer on plate or cake stand and top with a thin layer of frosting.
  • Place another layer of cake on top of frosted layer; frost. Repeat with two remaining layers.
  • Frost sides of cake.
  • Using small handfuls of coconut, firmly press coconut into sides and top of cake.

Keyword cake, coconut, cream cheese frosting
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