Coconut Cake

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Our coconut cake is deliciously fluffy, topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting, and sprinkled with sweetened coconut flakes. It’s perfect for all your best celebrations!

Slice of coconut cake on a white plate.

Are you a coconut lover? Of course, you are! That’s why you’re here, right?

As a huge fan of all things coconut, this coconut cake is one of my top favorites.

What’s not to love? It’s light, fluffy, and has the most amazing cream cheese frosting, with a generous sprinkling of sweetened coconut flakes on top.

It has the best coconut flavor!

My favorite part? I’m using a boxed mix to make this recipe super easy.

Turning a box of cake mix into a delicious cake or cupcakes is kinda my thing. It’s how I make my lemon poke cake and these red velvet cupcakes.

So, grabbing some Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker white cake mix for this coconut cake recipe was a no-brainer. Not to mention, it’s how my granny taught me to make it.

I’ve tweaked her recipe a bit, but honestly, I don’t think she’d mind. This cake tastes exactly like hers, right down to the cream cheese frosting.

If you’re a coconut lover like me and crave more coconut in your life, try our homemade mounds bars, coconut no-crust pie, or pineapple coconut margarita.

White cake in a pan with coconut cream cheese frosting.

Tips for the Best Coconut Cake Recipe

Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your eggs, sour cream, and cream cheese are at room temperature. This makes a smoother cake batter and frosting for the fluffiest cake and creamiest frosting.

Cream of Coconut: Don’t confuse cream of coconut (I love Coco Lopez brand!) with coconut cream. These are two completely different products.

Don’t Overmix: When combining the cake ingredients, mix just until everything is incorporated. You don’t want a dense cake with a dry, crumbly texture.

How to Store Leftovers

Since the cake has a coconut cream cheese frosting, you’ll have to store it in the fridge. Cover the cake with some foil or put it in an airtight container, and it will stay fresh for 5-6 days.

Want to save some cake for later? Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Absolutely, you can use another flavor of cake mix! Switching up the flavor is a fantastic way to add your own twist to this delicious coconut cake.

Try using a yellow or vanilla cake mix for a classic touch, or go bold with a lemon or chocolate cake mix for a unique flavor combination.

I’ve even used French vanilla in the past with great results!

Nope, not with this recipe.

Cream of coconut is much sweeter and thicker, giving the cake its rich coconut flavor and perfect texture.

Canned coconut milk just won’t deliver the same results. Stick with cream of coconut for the best, most delicious outcome!

Slide of cake on a plate with coconut cream cheese frosting.

Coconut Cake with Cake Mix

5 from 14 votes
Print Pin
Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 20 Servings

Ingredients

Cake Batter

  • 14.25 ounce box white cake mix
  • ¾ cup canola oil, or vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 15 ounce can cream of coconut, (we used Coco Lopez brand)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces block-style cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 7 ounces sweetened coconut flakes

Instructions
 

To Make the Cake Mix

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat a 9×13-inch metal pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cake ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan, and spread into an even layer.
    14.25 ounce box white cake mix
    ¾ cup canola oil
    4 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    15 ounce can cream of coconut
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and enough milk to make the frosting spreadable.
    16 ounces powdered sugar
    8 ounces block-style cream cheese
    1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with coconut flakes, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
    7 ounces sweetened coconut flakes

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of cake. Actual calories will vary.
 
*We updated this recipe/photos slightly on 5/15/24. Inspired by Coconut Cake recipe from The Good Taste of Hope.
 
 
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Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 274IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

Kim and John Vargo of Berly’s Kitchen and its affiliates are not dieticians or nutritionists. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If preferred, use your favorite online nutrition calculator to double check the amounts. Calories and other nutritional values can vary based on brand and serving size.

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14 Comments

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Kim loves coconut too, hence all the coconut recipes lol! Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely day 🙂

    1. Thank you, Analida! I know what you mean. I tried to write it a way that showed the respect and love I feel for these special ladies. Thank you again for commenting and love a lovely Friday 🙂

  1. One of my favorite is coconut cake.! I love that you added some fresh shredded coconut. I Love doing that too! This recipe looks so simple and easy to make. Can’t wait to try. Yum.

    1. Thank you, Veena! Coconut is such an awesome flavor and works beautifully in so many different recipes. I am glad you enjoyed this recipe. Have a lovely Friday 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kristina! I’m thrilled you like the recipe and hope you enjoy making both versions. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

  2. One of my favorite is coconut cake.! I love that you added some fresh shredded coconut. I Love doing that too! This recipe looks so simple and easy to make. Can’t wait to try. Yum.

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