Old Fashioned Coconut Cake

An old fashioned coconut cake made from a fluffy yellow cake and a frosting recipe handed down from my grandmother.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 475kcal
Author Sam Merritt



  • 2/3 cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk room temperature preferred*
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • 3/4 cup salted butter softened, 1 1/2 sticks
  • 9 Tablespoons shortening Crisco
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar granulated
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or just regular milk which is what my grandmother uses)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 18 oz frozen fresh shredded coconut thawed


  • Preheat oven to 350F and thoroughly grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (be sure to shake out excess flour).
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating on high-speed for 30 seconds between each addition.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir in vanilla extract and sour cream, stirring until well-combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  • With mixer on low speed, gradually add about 1/4 of the flour mixture. Stir until just combined, and then add about 1/3 of your milk. Stir until just combined, and repeat, ending with the flour mixture and being careful not to overmix (this could result in a dense cake).
  • Divide the batter evenly into your cake pans and rap the bottoms of the pan firmly on a flat surface (to help eliminate any air bubbles).
  • Bake on 350F for 30 minutes (toothpick inserted in center should come out clean or with few crumbs when tested).
  • Allow cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, and then run a knife around the edges and invert onto cooling rack. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.


  • In KitchenAid or with hand mixer, cream together your butter, crisco, and sugar until creamy well combined.
  • Add sifted flour, one Tbsp at a time (I sift it into the mixture), beating on medium speed for 15 seconds between each addition. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and beat again for 20 seconds.
  • Add coconut milk and vanilla extract and stir to combine
  • Turn mixer speed up to medium-high and beat for 12 minutes. Pause once at about the 4 minute mark to scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Once finished, the frosting should not be grainy at all. If it still is, carefully scrape the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl again and stir again on high speed until no longer grainy.
  • Once your cakes are cool, ice them by placing one layer on your serving dish and applying an even layer of frosting to the top. Sprinkle liberally with coconut.
  • Place your second layer on top of the first and apply an even layer of frosting around the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle coconut over the top of the cake, and then use your hands to press coconut all around the sides.


*If you only have cold eggs, set them in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes before using


Calories: 475kcal