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This classic coconut cake is an easy sheet cake made in a 9×13 inch pan. No need to stack and frost layers, this is an old-fashioned sheet cake like your grandma used to make!

square slice serving of coconut cake with coconut cream frosting on a white round plate

When I was growing up, a birthday cake was always a sheet cake made in a 9×13 pan. You’d frost it right in the pan and cut it into squares before serving. Now, it seems like Pinterest is full of fancy layer cakes that require a lot more work, but do they taste any better than sheet cake? No!

So why not save yourself the frustration and make this coconut cake sheet cake style.

square slice serving of coconut cake with coconut cream frosting in a 9x13 inch baking pan

Coconut Cake from Scratch

I love cake mix hacks, but this coconut cake is an easy one and the results are worth it! With creamy coconut milk, plenty of butter, and full-fat sour cream, you get a moist, tender crumb—and while no one likes the word moist, you have to admit that moist cake is the best cake!

The coconut cream frosting is the perfect finishing touch. While you could go with a cream cheese frosting or vanilla buttercream instead, the tropical flavor in the frosting really complements the cake. Serve it as-is or garnish it with toasted coconut for the best sheet cake ever!

ingredients to make coconut cake with coconut cream frosting

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • Unsalted butter – Let the butter come to room temperature.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Coconut extract
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour – For a fluffier cake, use cake flour instead of all-purpose.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • Full-fat sour cream

For the Coconut Cream Frosting:

  • Unsalted butter – Let this come to room temperature so it can be whipped into a creamy, dreamy frosting.
  • Coconut milk
  • Coconut extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar
steps to make coconut cake with coconut cream frosting

How to Make Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake from Scratch

1. Prepare

Preheat the oven to 350ºF, then butter and flour an oven-safe 9×13 baking dish, tapping out any excess.

2. Cream the Butter, Sugar, and Eggs

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until it’s a pale yellow color and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time while scraping the bowl with a spatula. Beat in the extracts and continue to beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. 

3. Mix the Dry Ingredients

Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

4. Mix the Coconut Milk and Sour Cream

In a third mixing bowl, whisk the coconut milk and sour cream until smooth.

5. Make the Batter

Add a third of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add half of the coconut milk mixture and mix. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and coconut mixture, ending with the final third of dry ingredients. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir until the batter is just combined.

6. Bake

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the coconut cake completely before adding the frosting.

7. Make the Frosting

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter, coconut milk, and coconut extract until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Slowly beat in the sugar. Once the frosting is done, use an offset spatula to spread it onto your cake.

square slice serving of coconut cake with coconut cream frosting sitting on a metal spatula

How to Store Homemade Coconut Cake

Store this coconut cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days; I recommend letting it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. You can also freeze coconut cake for up to 3 months.

coconut cream frosting on a square slice of coconut cake served on a white round plate

FAQ

How do you make coconut cake?

There are so many ways to make coconut cake! If you’re looking for a recipe for coconut cake from scratch, the recipe below is exactly what you need. Want to make coconut cake from a boxed mix? Then you’ll love my easy coconut poke cake. I also have a coconut tres leches cake recipe!

How can I decorate this coconut cake?

Toasted coconut flakes are an easy garnish for this coconut cake, or serve it with fresh berries. 

What is the difference between sheet cake and regular cake?

Sheet cake is made in a 9×13 baking dish, while a “regular” cake is usually made by stacking two cakes baked in 8- or 9-inch pans.

coconut cake cut into square servings with coconut cream frosting in a 9x13 inch baking pan

More Easy Cake Recipes

Coconut Cake

This classic coconut cake is an old-fashioned sheet cake made in a 9×13 inch pan. Making moist, rich coconut cake from scratch is super easy!
2.17 from 18 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup full-fat sour cream

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an oven safe 9×13 baking dish and dust with flour making sure to shake out any excess flour. Set aside.
  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until pale yellow and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time while scraping the bowl with a spatula before adding each subsequent egg. Add extracts and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In another medium mixing bowl, combine coconut milk and sour cream and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the whipped eggs mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Add ½ of the coconut milk mixture and mix to combine. Repeat again with the dry ingredients and coconut mixture making sure to end with the final ⅓ of dry ingredients.
  • Scrape the mixing bowl and stir with a spatula a few times to make sure the batter is well mixed and combined. Pour batter into the buttered baking dish and smooth with a spatula. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter, coconut milk, and coconut extract until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar. Continue to beat until fully combined and smooth.

Notes

For a fluffier cake, use cake flour instead of all-purpose.

Nutrition

Calories: 692kcal | Carbohydrates: 109g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 84g | Vitamin A: 825IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: cake, coconut, coconut cake, coconut cream frosting
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

Comments

  1. Marilyn Johnson says:

    What is the recipe for coconut sheet cake? All we show is items needed but not how much of each

    1. Keep scrolling, some more scrolling, that’s it, down just a bit more, yup scrolling still. There you are at the end. The whole recipe with measurements.

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