Coconut Raspberry Cake
Coconut has such a distinct flavor. It certainly is assertive enough to be make it’s appearance known, but is also mild and delicate in it’s own way. This coconut cake is absolutely divine. When I first saw the recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, it was on my to-do list right away. I was very pleased with the results, especially when my husband loved it too. Sergi doesn’t usually like coconut, but he loved this cake.
I decided to add raspberry jam to the cake, adding some tartness and another dimension of flavor. Since I don’t like butter cream, I decided to make a Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting instead and it was the right decision. This cake is going to be made for many special occasions in my family, and I hope you and your family will enjoy it too.
1 large egg plus 5 large egg whites
3/4 cup cream of coconut
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened
12 oz raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
remaining cream of coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoon coconut extract
1-2 cups toasted coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 (8-9 inch) round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
First of all, let’s talk about the cream of coconut. You can find this in the baking aisle, or in the international food aisle. Make sure it says Cream of Coconut on the can, not coconut milk, etc. You will need one full 15 oz can. We’re going to use part of it in the cake layers and the rest of it in the frosting. Combine all the wet ingredients (egg, egg whites, water, cream of coconut, vanilla and coconut extract) together and mix to combine.
In a large bowl of a standing mixer, with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and mix to combine. Add the softened butter, one piece at a time, until it’s incorporated into the dry ingredients, about 2 minutes. The butter pieces shouldn’t be larger than pea sized.
With the mixer running on low, pour in the liquid ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes and then take out of the pans onto cooling racks. When the cakes have cooled, cut them in half horizontally with a serrated knife.
Meanwhile, make the raspberry jam by combining the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Strain the raspberries through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside.
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine the cream cheese and butter in a standing mixer using a paddle attachment. Mix until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, the remaining container of cream of coconut and the extracts. Mix to combine.
Spread 1/3 of the raspberry jam on top of the first cake layer. Spread part of the frosting over the jam. Repeat with the rest of the cake layers. Spread the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate the sides of the cake with the toasted coconut flakes and with fresh raspberries on top of the cake.
- 1 large egg plus 5 large egg whites
- ¾ cup cream of coconut
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces), sifted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- 12 tablespoons butter (1½ sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened
- ⅓ cup sugar (or to taste)
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- remaining cream of coconut
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoon coconut extract
- Garnish: 1-2 cups toasted coconut flakes
- fresh raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 (8-9 inch) round cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- Combine all the wet ingredients (egg, egg whites, water, cream of coconut, vanilla and coconut extract) together and mix to combine.
- In a large bowl of a standing mixer, with a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and mix to combine.
- Add the softened butter, mixing on low speed, one piece at a time, until it's incorporated into the dry ingredients, about 2 minutes. The butter pieces shouldn't be larger than pea sized.
- With the mixer running on low, pour in the liquid ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.
- Cool for about 10 minutes and then take out of the pans onto cooling racks. When the cakes have cooled, cut them in half horizontally with a serrated knife.
- Meanwhile, make the raspberry jam by combining the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Strain the raspberries through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside.
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a standing mixer using a paddle attachment. Mix until creamy and smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, the remaining container of cream of coconut and the extracts. Mix to combine.
- Spread ⅓ of the raspberry jam on top of the first cake layer. Spread part of the frosting over the jam. Repeat with the rest of the cake layers.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
- Decorate the sides of the cake with the toasted coconut flakes and with fresh raspberries on top of the cake.
Where did you buy the cream of coconut? I’ve looked in two stores already and can’t seem to find it anywhere?
In Florida cream of coconut can be found in all grocery stores. It will depend on the area that you live in. Maybe it’s not sold in the state that you live. I usually find it in the aisle where all the international food items are sold. Did you ask the store manager to find out if they sell it?
It usually can be found in the drink mixers section. It’s the main ingredient in most pina coladas. Look for by the bloody mary mix etc.
I finally ended up finding it in Safeway, there was only one brand to choose from, but cream of coconut, nonetheless! Thanks for your reply though 🙂
Beautiful cake, Olga! I love the way you take extra time to make your cakes looks thrillingly breathtakingly beautiful. Like they just came outta some high-end bakery! I’ll have to give this a try 🙂 I like coconut 🙂
Thanks, Nadia. That’s a sweet comment.
This looks amazing. I also had to go to 3 stores to find cream of coconut, I asked in the 1st two and they didn’t have it, I finally found it at Fred Meyer next to the drink mixers. On the frosting, you just say 1/2 powdered sugar. Do you mean 1/2 a cup?
I made this cake, but had to bake for 40 minutes because after 30 it just was not done. Also I had to add more powdered sugar to the frosting, I am guessing because my butter was to soft? Not sure. But it turned out great in the end.
Hi Rita! I’m glad you tried out this recipe. Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.
Every oven is different, I write the recipes based on what works in my kitchen. Yes, it’s 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Thanks for letting me know, I’ll fix it. I did not need to add more sugar to my frosting. My guess it that you were expecting the frosting to be very thick, like buttercream. I personally don’t like buttercream, so I don’t use it in my cakes and I prefer my frostings to be softer and not as sweet. I was very pleased with the consistency of my frosting, but of course, everybody has different preferences, so you just adjust it to the way that you like it.
Does the cake turn out moist? I noticed you didn’t use any syrup on the cake layers before the frosting, and the raspberry filling doesn’t look runny to me. I love love love coconut and definitely want to make this as soon as I buy some coconut cream.
Nope, no syrup needed. This cake is very tender and delicate and doesn’t need any syrup. Although, it’s totally up to you; you can add some if you’d like. In my opinion, it’s moist enough.
Hey .. Looks beautiful! I am wondering, can I leave all coconut things out and sub with something else?
If you mean the coconut flakes, then, yes, you can omit them. However, the cream of coconut is necessary in the recipe. If you don’t want to use it, I would recommend baking another cake.
Hi Olya. I was wondering if the same measurements would be used if I wanted to make this cake a roulade?
Tanya, I have no idea what the measurements would be, since I’ve never made this cake into a roulade. I’m not even sure if this cake will roll up properly. If you try it, please let me know:).
Olya how much powdered sugar would I use in the cream? It says 1/2 powdered sugar. 1/2 cups? Also, does it tasted buttery with the amount of butter in the cream?
It’s 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar, and no, the frosting does not taste too buttery, at least in my opinion:).
Hi, this cake looks so decadent and I can’t wait to try the recipe. However, I’ll be making it for a special occasion and thinking about covering it with fondant. Do you think the cake will hold up for this type of decoration?
Yes, Sher, you can definitely cover it with fondant. This cake will do very well with fondant.
Hi Olga, do you think using regular all purpose flour instead of cake flour would work?
I wouldn’t recommend it, Oksana. The cake will not be as tender and delicate, but more dense and may not rise as much as it should. The protein structure in cake flour is much different than all purpose flour.
Well you’re definitely right about that! I was tied down to the house and couldn’t get cake flour, so hoping that Canadian flour would be closest to cake flour, I made the cakes and it’s really really dense 🙁 but I’m sure once it’s all put together, the flavor will be there. This was a learning experience; when a recipe calls for cske flour, you NEED cake flour 🙂
Yep, cake flour is very important in most recipes and cannot be substituted for any other kind of flour, although I know that you can add some cornstarch while taking away some of the flour; I don’t know the exact measurements, but you can look it up online. However, whenever I’ve done that in the past, the results are not the same.
Do you think I can use the coconut filling, as well as the raspberry filling in a cake roll? Or would it ooze out?
Yes, Dino, you can use the coconut frosting and the raspberry filling in a cake roll. It will not ooze out unless you use too much.
can you make this cake with margarine instead of butter for the cake layers? will it make a difference?
I have never tried it with margarine, Yuliya. I wouldn’t recommend it though.
hey Olga, I did the cake with margarine and it turned out very good… thank you for the recipe.
Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad it worked out for you, Yuliya.
the only problem that I had was that the raspberry jam turned out kid of thick and I wasn’t able to strain it through… is it fine if you don’t strain it?
the only problem that I had was that the raspberry jam turned out kind of thick and I wasn’t able to strain it through… is it fine if you don’t strain it?
You don’t have to strain the raspberry jam if you don’t want to, but then you will have the raspberry seeds in the cake. I personally don’t mind taking the time to strain it, since I don’t like raspberry seeds in cake. I strain the raspberry seeds out of jam when I make it too, so if you don’t mind the seeds, you don’t have to bother.
It does take some patience to strain it out. It helps if you do it while it’s still hot.
I finally got to strain it but there wasn’t a lot of jam left…
As long as you didn’t cook it too long, there should be enough jam left for the cake.
hey Olga great recipe!! Just one question, would cream of coconut be the same as coconut cream? Normally coconut cream is much more thicker then the one in the photo
I always use the exact same cram of coconut that is in the picture. Cream of coconut is sweetened coconut cream.
I’VE NOW MADE THIS CAKE AT LEAST 4 TIMES, BECAUSE ONCE I MADE IT FOR THE FAMILY, IT IS CONSTANTLY REQUESTED. TRULY AN AMAZING CAKE!!! IT IS NOW OFFICIALLY OUR FAMILY EASTER CAKE, AND 4 PEOPLE ONLY WANT THIS CAKE FOR THEIR BIRTHDAYS.
Wow, that’s amazing, Joliene. I’m so glad the cake is such a hit with your family.Thank you for taking the time to write.
I love anything coconut. This is my kind of cake 🙂 I will be making this for sure! Beautiful picture.
That’s great, Dina. I would love to hear what you think once you make it.
I will definitely leave some feedback 🙂
Olga, I made this cake for a family gathering at my sister’s house. We all loved it 🙂 The cake layers were so moist and soft. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write, Dina. I’m so happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed the cake.
Hey Olga, does the frosting taste really buttery with two sticks of butter? I am not a fan of buttercream and am wondering if I can get by using one stick.
I actually hate buttercream myself too, Tanya! This one is much lighter than most recipes. Using cream cheese and the cream of coconut really helps to make it not as heavy. If you use only 1 stick of butter, you won’t have enough frosting, but you can make a cream cheese frosting instead.
Do you use fresh coconut for the toasted flakes?
I use packaged shredded coconut, Laura.
I make this cake over and over. I can say without a doubt that not only is it beautiful, but it is the best cake I have ever tasted!
Coconut is my absolute favourite ingredient! This cakes looks amazing and I would like to make it for my birthday this weekend. One question… I would like to put shredded coconut in the cake because I really like the texture it gives and that extra bit of flavour – what do you think? Thanks!
You can certainly add coconut to the cake too, Angeliki. It might be harder to cut the cake layers horizontally later on though.
Just to follow up – I did this with coconut flakes in the cake, turned out very well, a bit denser than without but very tasty and definitely not too dense to eat! Also, if anyone can’t be bothered to make the icing this cake also goes well with whipped cream (I made it without sugar)!
All in all, great recipe, I’m making it again soon 🙂
Thank you for sharing, Angeliki. I am so glad that you enjoyed the Coconut Cake.
Love love love this cake! I’ve had to make it over and over again with all the requests. Quite honestly this is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made, and it even tops my Irish Car Bomb cake…which is decadent and full of liquor!
I have to admit that I cheat and use premium raspberry jam from a jar. I had too much trouble with the fresh raspberries and straining (ie seeds). I ended up wasting so much and raspberries are $$$ no matter what time of year you buy them. The jam from a jar was just as tasty as the fresh. I used one that was 100% natural, with no artificial anything or preservatives.
Thanks for the recipe!! (I am a little biased and I’m coconut freak. haha)
Also, if there is anyone out there who has never used baking strips on the pan, and heating cores, I highly recommend especially since they will keep this cake very level in the oven. I just discovered this apparently well-known secret! After all these years of crowning cakes, I finally found a solution to keeping them level!
Wow, Terry! I’m so happy to hear that the Coconut Cake was such a hit. Thank you so much for taking the time to write.
I’ll have to check out those baking strips. I’ve head about them before and you’ve peaked my interest again.
I went on a serious hunt (5 stores!), for that cream of coconut and absolutely no luck! It Coconut Cream the same thing? Wish I could post a pic of it hear to be sure, buthe that’s all I found. Will it work?
I’m so sorry you had such a hard time, Oksana. It’s a very common ingredient in my area; I’ve found it in all our regular grocery stores. It’s usually in the International aisle. Coconut cream and Cream of Coconut are not the same. Cream of coconut is a sweetened version of coconut cream, and is often used for desserts and mixed drinks. Because of the added sugar, it is usually not interchangeable with coconut cream. I’m not sure if you can substitute coconut cream for the cream of coconut. It might work if you add more sugar, but honestly, I’ve never used it in this cake and I can’t guarantee that it will work out and not mess up the texture and flavor of the cake.
I guess it makes sense since you’re closer to all the tropics 😊 Here on the west coast, I’m not having much luck. I’m gonna keep looking!! I’m determined to find it .
UPDATE!! I found it at wal mart in the mixer aisle!! I googled where I can find cream of coconut in my state, and wal mart popped up and people commented that it’s in the mixer aisle. So glad I found it I’ll let you know how the cake turns out 😊
Yay! Finally, Success:). I’m glad you were able to find it.
So…we DEVOURED this cake today lol. It sure is delicious and I absolutely love how subtle the coconut is, but still there, and that it’s not too sweet. I missed one step of adding the leftover cream of coconut to the frosting, and by the time I realized it, the cake was all done. Nonetheless, it was delicious!! Thank you , Olga for delicious recipes! 😊😊😊
That’s wonderful, Oksana! After all the trouble you had finding the cream of coconut, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to write. I feel like I’ve been rooting for you these past few days, hoping you’ll find all the ingredients and wishing I could help more across the miles:).
Ah thank you, Olga!!! It was all worth it 😊😊
So your recipe calls for 3/4 cup cream of coconut for the cake part. The Frosting is calling for the remainder of the cream of coconut. What amount would the original be? Your recipe does not include this valuable piece of information. Does the frosting need 1 and 7/8 cups based up your 15 oz of Lopez cream of coconut? Not everyone who is trying to make this recipe will have Lopez cream of coconut.So we have to know what the original size is in order to calculate the remaining part for the frosting. Thanks.
Made the cake according to the directions. Used all purpose flour and took out 2 tablespoons and replaced with 2 tablespoons cornstarch per cup. The cake did not rise much so I didn’t cut each cake horizontally because I thought each layer would be too thin. So unfortunately there won’t be the 4 layers only 2. Same problem with the jam as others have mentioned. So I added the seeds back. Haven’t eaten it yet. Having it tonight for a birthday celebration.
I am trying out this cake today and it smells amazing. Might be worth mentioning, not all stores carry a 15 oz can of Cream of Coconut. Had to buy mine in a liquor store and it came in a 22 oz container. So for the wet ingredients use 3/4 Cup and for the frosting use 1 Cup.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am very excited to share with a friend who loves coconut as her birthday cake!
I can only speak to the grocery stores where I live. I am sure grocery stores around the world are all different in what they have stocked. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the cake.
Just found your recipe and am hoping to try to make it this evening for my Mom’s Birthday. Was wondering if you think this cake would be possible to make in a 9 X 13 pan as opposed to the cake pans? If so, what would you recommend for the baking instructions?
I have never made it in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, so I can’t give you the instructions for that. I hope the cake works out for you. Happy birthday to your mom.
frosting is terrible! way to runny, and way too much extract!
Terri R Moorhead
My icing was extremely soft, I added a lot more powdered sugar to make it firmer. Is this something that happens or is it supposed to be very soft?
It’s supposed to be soft, Terri. I personally don’t like how sweet buttercream frosting is, so this is the version that I prefer.
I made this recipe and it was good, however, I thought the cake should have had larger layers. Your cake batter looked thick but my batter was more the consistency of buttermilk. It said to beat on low speed until blended well. It was definitely blended but not thick. your thoughts.