Cream of Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

We love coconut! People usually have very strong opinions about coconut … they either love it or hate it, but rarely do you find a person who is ambivalent about coconut. We can’t get enough of it whether it’s in macaroons, a Ritter Sport candy bar, 7-layer bar cookies, or even as a condiment for chicken curry. It’s especially good when paired with coconut cream cheese frosting on this layer cake! 

Cream of Coconut Layer Cake with Chocolate Filling and Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

This coconut cake is super moist because it’s made with sweetened cream of coconut, like a Coco Lopez or Real Gourmet Cream of Coconut … the kind your friendly bartender uses in Pina Coladas! We use it in both the cake itself and the frosting. And, if we happen to have a little bit of extra on hand, sometimes we spread a thin amount on the middle layers before covering them with frosting, too.

Cream of Coconut Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream of Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For this cake, we added a chocolate element for the filling between the layers by mixing a portion of the cream cheese frosting with chocolate.  This was a fun alternative and you can add your own little twist by spreading a thin layer of raspberry puree between the layers before frosting them, or your favorite fruit. It’s delightful with a hint of lime, too, for a summer twist on this cake. You put the lime in the coconut … 
If you branch out to add your own touches, please leave us a comment about what you did to make your coconut cake just perfect for you!
Servings 12 Servings
Prep Time 30 mins
Bake Time 30 mins

Ingredients

King of Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup canned, sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Casa Coconut Cream
  • 4 large eggs separated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
  • 4 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

Cream of Coco Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup canned, sweetened cream of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate frosting for between the layers:
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Instructions

King of Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  • Lightly spray the paper with cooking spray. If you use the magie baking strips (see recipe notes), dampen them and wrap them around the sides of each of the pans according to the directions.
    This will really help to bake a nice even cake. 
  • Separate egg whites and yolks. Put whites in a mixing bowl and yolks in a small bowl. 
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter together with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add coconut cream and continue to beat until well-integrated.
  • Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
  • On low speed beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, starting and ending with dries. 
  • Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt in the separate bowl until stiff, but not too dry. Gently fold beaten egg whites into the cake batter.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
  • Bake cakes until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into cakes comes out clean, anywhere from 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.
    When done, remove cakes from the oven. Cool cakes on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen cakes. Remove cakes from pans to racks, and cool completely.

To Assemble 

  • With a long bread knife, cut each cake layer in half horizontally.
  • Place the first half layer on a cake plate.
  • Spread chocolate coconut frosting over this layer and lay the other half layer on top.
  • Repeat the process with each half layer, ending with cream cheese frosting on top of the cake.
  • Spread remaining frosting all around the sides of the cake. Completely cover sides of cake with shredded coconut and pat gently into the frosting with the palm of your hands. If you want to go all out, cover the top of the cake with shredded coconut too!

Cream of Coco Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar, alternately with cream of coconut, and beat until fluffy and well-blended with each addition.
  • Add more or less powdered sugar to arrive at desired spreading consistency. Add vanilla and beat once more.
  • For the filling, separate out about 1 cup of the frosting and blend in either the cocoa powder or the melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate. This will be the frosting for between the half layers of cake! 

Notes

Wilton Bake Even Cake Strips can be purchased here. These are excellent for ensuring that the cakes come out even and not tilted and slanted, with one side higher than the other! 

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