Old Fashioned Coconut Cake with Buttercream Frosting from Scratch
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Old Fashioned Coconut Cake with Butter Cream Frosting
We all love coconut cake with buttercream frosting around here, topped with lots and lots of coconut.
This beautiful cake was made for a special birthday along with an old fashioned southern dinner of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
This same cake was made for Easter and it’s so beautiful as a naked coconut cake.
You Can Also Make a Naked Coconut Cake with a Buttercream Frosting
There are a few ways you can make the cake a “naked” cake. You can use three 6 inch x 3 inch cake pans and make a tiny cake, which still yields lots of cake, or you can increase the recipe by 1 to 1.5 (add in half measure of each ingredient) to make three big layers. You could also make two layers and cut them across in half. I made three layers here because it was a special occasion, but typically, I would do the three 6 inch layers.
I made the original coconut cake for a friend’s birthday. We both share our love for coconut cake and it matches our style. We are both girly girls and coconut cake is girly. It was the cake served at my wedding, and it was one thing I absolutely would not change in a wedding redo even if David Tutera planned it.
It’s pretty. It almost always looks good, even at the hand of cake-baking non-professionals and it’s white, my favorite color. This batter is extra special and a little harder to make than some other cakes, but she and I would agree, high maintenance in some areas is worth it.
The cake itself is yellow, but very light because the egg whites are whipped to stiff peaks and folded in, but it has a nice body to it. It was too dark to take a photo of the inside of the cake, but you can see what it looks like when I made it here with a lemon curd, which is another option.
You can Make this coconut cake with Buttercream Frosting from scratch gluten free.
If you are needing a gluten free recipe, I have a delicious gluten free yellow cake recipe here. Just make the cake according to those directions, add in one cup of coconut to the batter and continue here with the buttercream frosting.
Tell me, what’s your favorite cake? When I don’t want chocolate I know I want coconut. I recently made these amazing low carb, sugar-free, gluten-free. keto friendly coconut cupcakes.
More Cake Recipes from Spinach Tiger
Coconut Layer Cake
- 6 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups 325 grams all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups 350 grams granulated white sugar, divided to 1 1/2 cups to cream with butter and 1/4 to add to egg whites.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups 420 ml buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup coconut
- Yellow Gluten Free Cake Option here
- Add in 1 cup coconut to batter
- FROSTING INGREDIENTS
- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 5 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 cups coconut to garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two - 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch cake pans, and then line the bottoms with parchment paper (or spray with Bakers Joy).
- Separate eggs while still cold, and bring to room temperature.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together. Set aside.
- Cream butter for two minutes until fluffy.
- Cream butter with sugar for 2-minutes.
- Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat each for 45 seconds, medium speed.
- Add vanilla, mix. Add coconut.
- Turning mixer to low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- In separate clean bowl whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed. Beat until stiff peaks are formed.
- Gently fold in to cake batter with a spatula.
- Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
- You can do a two layer cake or a four layer cake, by cutting the layers in half. Or use three cake pans for a triple layer, dividing the cake evenly.
- Adjust baking time accordingly.
- Allow cakes to rest on a rack for ten minutes before removing.
- Invert cakes and allow to completely cool before frosting. I usually freeze cakes for ten minutes before frosting.
- FROSTING INSTRUCTIONS
- Cream butter until it's fluffy.
- Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time. Between each cup add a little cream. Add vanilla at the end.
- To frost cakes, freeze cakes for ten minutes. Remove and beginning with each layer, lightly spread a dry crumb layer. Let that set up and then frost each layer. Add coconut to frosting between each layer. Completely frost cake, and add coconut to cover cake entirely.
- Serve at room temperature.
- If you need to refrigerate, take out at least one hour in advance.
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If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo
Can anyone explain the frosting instructions (step #18 where it says to add ,”a little cream” in between adding the sugar? What kind of cream? And #19 where she says to add a “dry crumb spread on the first layer? What is she talking about? TIA
Cream means heavy cream. It’s used in buttercream frostings to thin it if it’s too thick to spread. Dry crumb layer: put a light spread of frosting which catches all the dry crumbs. Let that set up before adding layer of frosting. This prevents frosting from having crumbs.
I absolutely love coconut cake.
Angela, thanks for being such a great supporter of Food on Friday. I am now moving you to the group that gets the first heads up each week. This is a lovely cake. Cheers
What a great cake and what a great photo!! When seeing it at Simone’s blog I was immediately fascinated by the stylish retro look of this picture. I just love it!
Wow ¡¡ I have just seeing your photos in Junglefrog blog. It’s a beautiful cake and its reall y very very tempting.
Do you have to alter anything for high altitude?
Lucky friend! I would have to say that old fashioned vanilla cake with chocolate frosting is my go-to choice when it comes to birthday cakes, not very exciting I know but it’s one of those nostalgic things.
My husband’s favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting, the kind his mother made. Very nostalgic also.
What a glorious cake and the photograph is incredible.
this looks stunning! and i adore coconut, so I’d love a slice 🙂
What a gorgeous cake! The cake is the one thing I woulent change about my wedding too 🙂 haha!
What a gorgeous cake! I love coconut in anything. This is my dream cake.
Coconut cake is my favorite! Will attempt your recipe this weekend. I may try coconut extract in the frosting out of curiosity.
I absolutely love coconut cake – it’s one of my all-time favorites! And this looks great – what a perfect choice for a birthday cake!
What a beautiful, gorgeous and tasty looking cake…good luck with “white”. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Not to mention I could use a piece of that cake right now. Looks so much like the ones my Grandmother used to make for special occasions.
Angela, you know of my love of Southern food and this is no exception! I had a coconut cream pie too at a pie shop and it was heaven. Next stop, this cake! 😀
What a fantastic birthday cake. Love the picture too.
My daughters birthday is in September so it always holds a dear place in my heart. There are a few things when it comes to sweets that I cannot resist the first being lemon and the second coconut. I can live without chocolate but sometimes it is irresistible too.
Such a gorgeous photo! I love coconut cake- I agree, it’s such a girlie treat 🙂 Your frosting is especially gorgeous and way to go on an all-white photo, that can’t have been a simple task!
What a beautiful cake – and photos. I must make this for my husband’s birthday.
Lynda, the birthday girl just finished the last piece and said it was delectable. I do hope you make it.
I love this old fashioned coconut cake. Want a piece now! My favorite birthday cake is white cake but there was awhile in my 20’s when I was on a cannoli cake kick from Veniero’s in NYC.
Cannoli cake? Now that’s awesome. I would love a recipe for that.
A dreamlike cake! Incredibly irresistible.
O boy that is one stunning cake you have there Angela! I love it!! And really well done on the white too! You managed to make a fairly difficult situation (back lighting with a white cake can be tricky!!) into something very beautiful. Gorgeous…. now I just want to have a slice of that cake!