16 Coconut Cake Recipes For The Perfect Ending To Any Meal

Coconut Cream Cake
PHOTO: HECTOR SANCHEZ; STYLING: BUFFY HARGETT MILLER

Coconut is a true Southern ingredient and one of our favorite flavors in beautifully baked cakes. These delicious recipes make it simple to have a bite of coconut every day. You’ll love the ease of making Coconut Pound Cake or Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream. For beautiful coconut cake creations, bake the Coconut-Almond Cream Cake—it looks as good as it tastes—and the Four-Layer Coconut Cake. 

If you prefer your coconut as a bite-size delight, whip up a batch of Pineapple-Coconut Cupcakes. They mix classic Southern flavor with a tropical twist into one handheld treat. However you crack it, coconut cake is one of our favorite sweet treats.

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Coconut Cream Cake

Coconut Cream Cake
PHOTO: HECTOR SANCHEZ; STYLING: BUFFY HARGETT MILLER

The nostalgia of coconut cream pie meets the fanfare of a layer cake in one delicious dessert. To complete this cake’s beautiful exterior, look for packaged coconut shavings in the natural foods section of your grocery store. Coconut shavings are the perfect garnish on top of the Fluffy Coconut Frosting.

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Pineapple-Coconut Cupcakes

Pineapple-Coconut Cupcakes with Buttermilk-Cream Cheese Frosting
PHOTO: IAIN BAGWELL; STYLING: VANESSA MCNEIL ROCCHIO

These delectable Pineapple-Coconut Cupcakes with Buttermilk-Cream Cheese Frosting start with a store-bought cake mix. It’s a favorite dessert for any gathering. Make an impression by making birds’ nests with malted milk balls and edible paper as a garnish for these cupcakes.

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Coconut-Almond Cream Cake

Coconut-Almond Cream Cake
PHOTO: BETH DREILING HONTZAS; STYLING: ROSE NGUYEN

Brooks Hamaker, from New Orleans, makes this cake with the precision of a skilled baker who has made his masterpiece many times. If the tops of the layers are a little rounded, he recommends leveling them with a serrated knife. “This is a tall cake,” he says, “and it needs to be level if you want your friends to admire your work before they devour the cake—as they absolutely will.”

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Four-Layer Coconut Cake

Four-Layer Coconut Cake
PHOTO: JENNIFER DAVICK

Purchase coconut shavings in bulk from your local health food store or in the dried fruit section of the supermarket. Allow time to completely cool the layers before adding any coconut filling. The coconut filling comes together with only six ingredients.

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Chocolate-Coconut Pavlova Cake

Chocolate-Coconut Pavlova Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINE KEELY; FOOD STYLING: TINA BELL STAMOS

Your guests will never realize this gorgeous and delicious dessert is dairy-and gluten-free. This cake is layered with crisp meringues and coconut cream, making it a delightful but flourless dessert. Use canned coconut cream, not coconut milk, for the best results.

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Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream

Coconut-Carrot Cake with Coconut Buttercream
PHOTO: VICTOR PROTASIO; FOOD STYLING: TORIE COX; PROP STYLING: HEATHER CHADDUCK HILLEGAS

Swap out your usual carrot cake with a lightly spiced, coconut-sweet version. A sheet cake feeds a crowd and travels better than a layered cake. Plus, coconut and carrot cake together is better.

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Coconut Pound Cake

Coconut Pound Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS

Coconut pound cake sounds delicious enough, but this recipe packs two secret Southern ingredients that take this cake over the top—pecans and bourbon. This recipe serves about 12 people.

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Japanese Fruitcake with Lemon-Coconut Frosting

Japanese Fruitcake Recipe
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

This spiced cake is a holiday favorite for many families. Unlike some less-than-appetizing fruitcakes that might come to mind, this one only contains raisins—no strange dried fruits. Paired with the Lemon-Coconut frosting, this is a dessert you’ll want to serve on every holiday.

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Tropical Carrot Cake

Tropical Carrot Cake
MICAH A. LEAL

This tropical treat combines everything you love about carrot cake and our beloved Hummingbird cake into one decadent dessert. After one bite, this cake might be your new tradition. Pair this new classic cake with a traditional cream cheese frosting.

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The Lane Cake

Lane Cake
JENNIFER DAVICK

Topped with Peach Schnapps-infused frosting, this cake is an unforgettable layered classic. It uses all the favorite Southern flavors: toasted pecans, coconut flakes, and dried peaches. The meringue frosting brings it all together.

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Triple-Coconut Poke Snack Cake

Triple-Coconut Poke Snack Cake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; FOOD STYLING: EMILY NABORS HALL; PROP STYLING: KAY E. CLARKE

This poke cake is perfect for coconut lovers. This cake gets its flavor from coconut milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk, and coconut chips. Enjoy it for breakfast, as a snack, or as dessert.

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Coconut Chiffon Cake

The Coconut Chiffon Cake
HECTOR SANCHEZ

This classic cake, covered in meringue swirls, is as beautiful as it is delicious. The thick and rich filling is mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and a grated coconut blend. Paired with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, this cake is something you need to try for your next event.

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Millionaire Pie

Millionaire Pie
MICAH A. LEAL

This dessert looks like an old-fashioned sundae with bright colors and flavor. Pineapple and coconut fill this pie, encrusted by a graham cracker crust. Crushed pecans and whipped topping provide the ideal garnishes.

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Classic Coconut Cake

Classic Coconut Cake
SOUTHERN LIVING

Coconut filling helps enhance this cake’s flavoring. The frozen flaky coconut, coconut shavings, and whipped cream frosting with coconut extract make this cake unlike any other. If you still crave more coconut, add some flakes as a garnish.

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Ambrosia Cheesecake

Ambrosia Cheesecake
ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; PROP STYLING: GIULIETTA PINNA; FOOD STYLING: ALI RAMEE

Make this cheesecake up to four days in advance. Prepare the cream cheese and coconut filling and pour it into the graham cracker crust. Wait until you are ready to serve to add the assorted citrus toppings.

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Pineapple-Coconut Cake

Pineapple-Coconut Cake
PHOTOGRAPHER: FRED HARDY, FOOD STYLIST: KAREN RANKIN, PROP STYLIST: CHRISTINE KEELEY

This cake combines soft coconut cake with a sweet pineapple compote. After baking, cover this tropical-inspired cake with a tangy cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut. This delightful recipe combines the best tropical flavors into a crowd-pleasing dessert.