Grandpa’s Coconut Cake

Looking for a moist Coconut Cake? Great for that special party or dinner you are giving. So much flavor in this cake.

Looking for a moist Coconut Cake? Great for that special party or dinner you are giving. So much flavor in this cake.

Mr. G’s birthday is coming up and I asked what kind of cake he would like and he replied he would love to have coconut cake. One of his favorites. Since we have been married, I haven’t baked one for him because I’m not a big fan of coconut. But, since he asked and it is a special birthday, I started looking for a recipe. And boy did I have to dig deep in my collection of recipes.

It was a big hit with hubby and said it was one of the better cakes he had ever eaten. Something a cook always loves to hear.

Even though I don’t like coconut, I had to take a bite just to see how it tasted. WOW!!  He was so right.

There is something really special about the flavor of this cake. Maybe because there are 5 sticks of butter in it!  Oh my! Such an elegant cake and would make a perfect dessert for any occasion.

Looking for a moist Coconut Cake? Great for that special party or dinner you are giving. So much flavor in this cake.

One thing I did learn from baking this cake, is that I defiantly need new 9″ cake pans. I am using aluminum pans that were given to me when my grandmother passed away. They work ok, but cakes have a tendency to stick just a bit on the bottom.  Even though I put flour, spray with Pam or use butter.

MY TIPS: Really watch the time on baking this cake. I set my timer at 45 minutes and I could’ve probably taken it out at 40 minutes. I’m sure ovens and pans can make a difference. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before icing because it’s so moist and flaky. I started to ice the bottom layer when the cake was just a tad bit warm. MISTAKE! It started crumbling on me. So, I waited until it was completely cooled and the icing went on just fine. I also mixed the coconut in the icing instead of just layering it on the outside.

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Grandpa’s Coconut Cake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


  • ¾ pound 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ pound 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, then line them parchment paper. Grease them again and dust lightly with flour.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. The mixture might look curdled; don’t be concerned.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in three parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.
  • For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).
  • To assemble, place one layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.
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    1. Thanks Stephanie. Another secret. I’m not a good baker because you have to be so precise in measuring. So its been a LONG time since I had baked a cake from scratch. But, hubby loved it and thats all that matters.

  1. Baking from scratch is such a rare skill these days, but I know it must taste so much better than from the box. I’ve never had coconut cake before, but I’d give it a try! It looks beautiful. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Jane. I don’t bake from scratch that much, but I have though seriously about doing that more often because I don’t know what is on box mixes. This way I know what eggs, flour, butter, etc. I am putting in my cakes.

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